Read: Hebrews 9:27-28

Love – Fully Defined

With verses 27 and 28 being the last two of Hebrews 9, I wanted to start at the beginning to understand the full context of the chapter. Through this I saw a different view of the love Christ showed for all of us through his death on the cross. Starting in verse 11 and reading through the end of the chapter, I was reminded of the Old Testament sacrifices that were needed to be offered daily for the forgiveness of sins. Verse 22 states that almost all sins that were committed needed be purified by blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. In the Old Testament, there was no one sacrifice that would cover all sins for all times. As long as sin was committed, sacrifices had to be made to atone for those sins. The sin/sacrifice/forgiveness cycle was never-ending.

God’s love for us is certainly is seen with the provision of sacrifice and forgiveness, but His unending love for us did not stop there, it was redefined when He sent our savior to be the final offering for our sins, “to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (vs. 26). Christ would be the complete and final offering. His shed blood would be the final shedding of blood for all mankind.

As I think through the story of Christ during this season, I am overwhelmed by the love shown to me through Christ dying for me. To help me hold onto the significance of this sacrifice, I picture what my life would be like now if I rejected the saving grace of Christ. I get overwhelmed thinking about decisions I would make only to please me. The people that I would have hurt in my pursuit of getting ahead at the expense of others. My selfishness growing to the point where the only person wanting to be around me would be me. Praise God that while I was still a sinner, Christ died for me!

I cannot put to words my thankfulness the love of love Christ provided for me. I am a new creation, my sins have been forgiven, my salvation is secured for eternity: this is love defined.

-Paul Carlson

Part of the Advent: The Coming King, Devotional Guide in 2017