Once and for All

How many things in life do I wish I could just do once and be finished forever? The list is endless but it definitely includes taxes and laundry. Knowing that I have to do any task again and again greatly diminishes the satisfaction of completion for me. Did I mention laundry?

Can you imagine the thrill of Jesus’ Jewish disciples when they realized that His death and resurrection was a “once and for all” sacrifice?” No more repeat sacrifices at the temple. Sin was forgiven forever through Jesus’ incredible sacrifice!

Isaiah 52:15 says, “so shall He sprinkle many nations….” I recently read that the Hebrew word for sprinkle is “yaz’zeh.” This same Hebrew word for sprinkle is used in the book of Leviticus for sprinkling sacrificial food (from The Complete Jewish Study Bible, pg. 579). This was really good news for the Jewish people! The good news for the rest of us is that Jesus’ sacrifice extended to all nations – forgiveness to anyone who would receive His free gift!

“For by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”

Hebrews 10:14

We are all able to join God’s chosen people and become one His children if we repent and believe in Jesus’ sacrifice. If you are not a believer in Jesus (or “Yeshua,” His Jewish name!), then it may all sound too good to be true. The truth that Jesus’ sacrifice offers forgiveness for our past, present, and future sins is hard for any of us to believe! In fact, even many of us who have been believers in Jesus for decades, still find ourselves in the rut of trying to earn God’s forgiveness. Once we have surrendered our lives to Jesus, the Holy Spirit sanctifies us and changes our hearts.

Can you imagine if we all accepted this astounding gift and let the truth sink down deep into our hearts? Love, joy, and peace would replace our guilt and shame.

Jesus summed it all up on the cross when He said in John 19:30, “It is finished!”

For further reading see Hebrews 10:1-23.

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Ultimate Light Bulb Moment

Have you ever been asked the question, “If you could have a conversation with anyone, from any period in history, who would it be?” 

Without hesitation, my answer would be, “I want to be with Jesus, on the road to Emmaus, as He explains the Scriptures to me.”

“Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.”

Luke 24:27 (NASB)

Jesus’ disciples were all Jews who knew the Scriptures and were looking for the promised messiah. Before Jesus came to earth, God spoke to His people through prophets, telling them of a messiah who would come and rescue them. These prophecies, found all throughout the Hebrew scriptures, pointed God’s people to a time when He would make a new covenant with Israel (Jeremiah 31:31-34).

For these Jewish disciples, this particular conversation with Jesus had to be the ultimate light bulb moment! The disciples said “…’Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?’” Luke 24:32 (NASB)

The good news for the rest of us who were not on that road to Emmaus two thousand years ago, is that the New Testament (or the New Covenant) opens up the prophecies to us. As people living after Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection, we have the privilege of reading God’s Word and having hundreds or thousands of our own light bulb moments. 

As we read Isaiah 53, written over 700 years before Jesus, we see that God promised He would send a servant who would be pierced for our transgressions, take the penalty of our sin, and account many righteous (the best kind of accounting!). Jesus fulfilled so many Old Testament prophecies that it would be statistically impossible for it all to be a coincidence. With His arrival to earth, Jesus suddenly illuminated the Old Testament (or Old Covenant) Scriptures. “The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.” John 1:9 (ESV)

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 1:14 (ESV)

The Bible reads as one book, although written by forty different authors over a period of fifteen hundred years (see Reliable Truth by Richard Simmons). So, each time I read, I get to discover more fulfilled prophecies for myself. Jesus told His disciples that although He (the Word made flesh) had to leave them, God the Father would send the Holy Spirit to help them.

  “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John 14:26 (NASB)

When we trust Jesus for our salvation, God gifts us the same amazing gift of the Holy Spirit. Because of this gift, I get to have my own road to Emmaus experience with Jesus.

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*Photo credit: Clay Clark