Here at Newberry, various members of the campus community are invited to contribute to devotional series during Advent and Lent. The format is simple: There is a passage from Scripture, a consideration of the text, and a brief prayer. I contributed the entries for yesterday and today. Here’s the one for today.
Hebrews 9:11-14 King James Version (KJV)
11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
When I was young, my family frequently couldn’t afford name-brand items. The “store-brand” or economy products, from groceries to tennis shoes to the other necessities of life, were what furnished much of my childhood. And we got along fine during those years; what we had might not have been fancy, but as my parents frequently noted, it was “good enough.” Still, I would sometimes hear my parents talk about the things they wished they could give my brother and me – after all, they loved us, and they did the best they could.
When Paul writes to the Hebrews, he talks about the offerings they had traditionally made for the remission of sins, for atonement with God. And for generations of Hebrews, the sacrifice of bulls and goats, doves and lambs had been “good enough.”
But unlike my parents’ household budget, God’s grace was and is unlimited. And through His sacrifice on Calvary, He offers us forgiveness, peace, and ultimately unity with him on ways we can’t even imagine. They are all ours for the asking, all by His generosity.
In this Lenten season, we mark that generosity and that sacrifice, and remember that we need not settle for “good enough.” When it comes to the love of God, we can accept no substitutes.
Heavenly Father, thank You for having given us the best, even when we are slow to recognize it. Thank You for giving us better than we can deserve, and for giving us Your love. In the name of Your Son we pray, Amen.