“For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands (which are copies of the true things), but into Heaven itself-now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.
Nor was it to offer Himself repeatedly (as the high priest entered the Holy places every year with blood not his own (the priest’s))-for then he (Jesus) would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world.
But as it is, He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And just as it is appointed for man to die once (and after that comes judgement) so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time-not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him. (Heb 9:24-28)
What happened to make the Gospel happen? The above happened. Does it need to happen again? No, and that is the point of this chapter…
Every day I am in the position of reminding myself that Christ died once for my sin. He died once for your sin. He died once for the sin inherent in all things because of and since Adam.
Why do I need to remind myself? Because it is easy to repeat the above phrase every day. I can post it on the mirror so I can memorize it when I brush my teeth every morning. Unfortunately at least for me it isn’t that easy.
It is difficult to get this principle hammered deep in the stony wastes of the heart because we want to do everything but remember the Gospel. Jesus died for the sin of the world and it is that truth, applied in faith, that initiates salvation, redemption by His blood, acceptance into the presence of the Father as adopted children, etc. We did nothing to gain or deserve that salvation; it is all done and it is there, just hanging, awaiting our acknowledgment by faith that it is finished for me.
However, I want to act out “Jesus, plus, plus…” Whether I intentionally acknowledge it I want somehow to do something to deserve salvation; I want to show I am worthy. None of us can help it; we all want to do it. Somehow “well done, good and faithful servant” is translated in our imagination as “Well done. Because of that success, come on in, glad you made it…” That worm of self-determination, independence, and self-atonement is insidious. There are times that, unless you are looking for it, it creeps in unseen, unfelt, unnoticed until we find our prayers thudding against the floor.
So what in particular do I do? Simply, I intentionally review the Gospel especially the part of “I cannot add one thing to my salvation. Jesus paid it all.” It helps orient my thinking if I think of the following: “Why did He die for me?”
Lord Jesus, every once in a while I get a fairly clear glimpse of me, the depth of my sin popping up in the mirror every so often. And when I see myself like that, two things happen: 1) “How could You love me so”, and; 2) “Thank You for loving me so.” There are enough times that I don’t think of the “undeserving” side of “undeserved Grace” that it gets me off kilter in my heart. It is because that I will be aware of how underserved my redemption is that on That Day I will have no choice but to throw whatever crown I have at Your feet and declare: “Only You, Lord; only You.” AMEN.