This week in the youth GRACE groups we started a lesson and discussion on salvation, starting with an in-depth look at atonement. In Leviticus 16, God lays out explicit instructions on how Aaron (and subsequent priests) were to approach him each year so Israel could be cleansed of their sins. This involved a number of animals and rules that were so important the priest would be killed if he didn’t follow it exactly. This was required once a year to pay for the sins of the nation of Israel.
If you get a chance, read Leviticus 16. If you have a little more time, read through the book of Hebrews too. The author of Hebrews says, unlike other high priests, that were numerous because they were limited by death(Heb 7:23), Jesus holds his priesthood forever (Heb 7:24). He is one who sympathizes with our weaknesses (Heb 4:15) and made one sacrifice that accomplished what no other sacrifice could ever do — take away the sins of his people (Heb 10:11-14). Matthew 1:21 tells us “he will save his people from their sins.” We are a people that have been cleansed of our sins, not by our own efforts, but by the atoning work of Jesus Christ; we can add nothing to it.
What does this mean for us today? That we can and should approach God with confidence when we fall short (Heb 4:16), not with an attitude of guilt or shame because our debt has already been paid. Praise God!
Will you choose to walk in God’s abundant love, grace and mercy this week?