Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Better...

I've been going through Hebrews with the IF: Equip reading plan lately and had a few thoughts I wanted to share with you. IF is basically a collaboration of a bunch of really wise women who are asking the question "IF God is real, if His Word is true, what should my life look like?" You can read more about their mission here and check out IF: Equip here. I'd love to know we were all doing it together :)

This is from my reading earlier this week, based out of Hebrews 7:21-8:13, and I thought I'd share because when I read it I wanted to just happy-dance around and get a kitten and go hug people.  So here it is for you, gentle reader. Take a gander....

 

1. Jesus is our Better Hope.

26 Such a high priest (Jesus) truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.

     Jesus is our better hope for intimacy with and righteousness before God the Father. Under the Law- the Old Covenant- God was behind the curtain, separated from all but the high priest who was himself still a flawed human. The priests offered shadows and copies of the real sacrifice needed to purify us. Jesus gave Himself as the perfect sacrifice once and for all and did away with all that curtain, separation business. (Can I get an amen. Mmhmm.)

2.  Jesus is the Guarantor of a Better Covenant.

"but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:
 “The Lord has sworn
 and will not change his mind:
 ‘You are a priest forever.’”
  22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.
  23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely[c] those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

     Guarantor (is a real word) and is one who gives a promise, assurance, or pledge, usually relating to quality, durability, or performance (per the freedictionary.com definition). Jesus promised that the new covenant, now written on our hearts and minds rather than on tablets of stone, is of utmost quality, is everlasting, and testifies that "The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind." (Psalm 110:4). Boom.

3. This New Covenant is Built on Better Promises.

10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel
    after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
    and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.

11 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
    or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest.

12 For I will forgive their wickedness
    and will remember their sins no more.[c]


     I can't say it any better than the author did. He has put His laws in our minds and has written them on our hearts. We all get to know Him, from the least to the greatest, and He has looked on us with compassion, not remembering our sins anymore and forgiving all our wickedness.

     Austin Stone worship has a song that I think is particularly relevant and that was stuck in my head basically the whole time I was reading over these verses. It's called "Jesus is Better," aptly enough. Give it a listen!

     In other news, my background is now some vintage washing machines. Which is a little random. Thanks for sticking with me while Art and Soul undergoes these necessary, weird changes. Blog puberty, y'know. Are you creeped out that I referenced - yep.

note to self: puberty references = awkward.

AND ALSO. I'm trying to figure out if most of you read on your cell phones or on an iPad/desktop computer. I understand the phone formatting looks a little wonky. Please feel free to leave comments about what you'd like to see more/less of, if there's anything in particular you'd like me to post about, or if there are any unforgiveably awkward features on the blog. Thanks!

xo,
Cate



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