This Day in History: 0000-11-19

November 19 – Hebrews 13:10-16

We have an alter from which the priests in the Tabernacle have no right to eat. Under the old system, the high priest brought the blood of animals into the Holy Place as a sacrifice for sin, and the bodies of the animals were burned outside the camp. So also, Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make His people holy by means of His own blood. So let us go out to Him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace He bore. For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.
Therefore, let us offer through Jesus continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to His name. And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.

We are no longer living under the law. The blood of Jesus set us free from that old system which could never really make anyone right with God. He bore the shame of the cross, and He asks us to simply come out to Him upon that alter, and offer our sacrifices there. He’s no longer asking for the blood of animals, though. Rather, the sacrifices that please Him now are our continual praises to Him, and our generosity poured out on others.

Does the sacrifice Jesus made compel us to offer to Him our praise? Do His never-ending blessings drive us to generosity? I hope so, but if not, may we take the opportunity to examine our hearts. What’s getting in the way? Is it selfishness? Is it pride? Is it ingratitude? Is it a lack of trust in His provision? What causes us to hold what He’s given tight, in clenched fists?  What causes us to grumble in dissatisfaction?

Whatever is at the heart of our failures, may we rest in the assurance that He is waiting for us at that alter. We don’t need to stay where we are. We can always run out to Him and surrender the obstacles there. He is always quick to forgive and welcome us back into His open arms.

So let’s rejoice. Let’s praise Him with all that we are right now!