Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Proclamation of the New Covenant - A Deal with no strings
 Hebrews 9:11-22
 John C Thomas

St. Thomas MTC, NY

15 For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant.

Every day, especially during this Christmas season, we are offered deals.  Whether it be black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas deals, New Year deals, we are bombarded over social media, emails, television and radio that we must act immediately to make sure we don’t regret missing out on these “once in a lifetime” deals.  
We are also always cautioned that many of these deals are “too good to be true.”  You never get something for nothing.  If it’s a great sale price, usually that means that the item was overpriced originally or a newer version is coming out soon.  If it’s those shopping websites where they promise you great items for 99% off, they forget to tell you that the .01 that you are bidding is a set amount of money. Thus, they are getting more than the actual retail price. Every reward point deal is predicated on us spending more money than the “reward points” we get.  See in all of these deals, someone is trying to make a profit.  They are running a business, and the goal of a business is to make money not lose it. Therefore, whether it be by misleading ads or fine print, each of these great deals carries with them a hidden cost. Thus, getting “something for nothing” in this world does not exist.
However, Hebrews 9 lets us know that God, through the sacrifice of His son Jesus, has established a new covenant with us His children.  Today’s passage contrasts the Old Testament covenant where priests offered sacrifices of blood to the Lord to offset the sins of the people (Verse 7).  But that was not enough (Verse 9).
Yet, when Christ came, a new covenant was established.  Christ by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for all (Verse 12).  There were no strings attached to Christ’s ultimate sacrifice.  No money to be gained, no profit margin to be enhanced, or no scam to be rendered unto gullible people.  God the Father through Christ the Son wanted to provide the way for all of us to obtain eternal salvation - free of cost to us despite the great sacrifice of Christ (verse 12).
God does not demand anything from us to accept this new covenant. All He requires is for our hearts to be surrendered to Him and Him alone.  Verse 14 reminds us that Christ offered His blood to cleanse our consciences so that we may serve the living God. As we celebrate this Advent season, can we open our eyes to the greatest “gift” ever - the Risen Lord Christ Jesus?  Can we recognize that this Advent season is an opportunity to fully embrace the covenant God and Christ extended to each and every one of us?
Verse 28 reminds us that Christ’s return is to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him. There is no sign up program, no waiting in line for hours, or time limit on this “deal”.  Christ, out of His boundless love and mercy for you and me, is waiting this Advent season with His arms wide open to welcome us to everlasting salvation.  Will we look back at Advent 2015 as the season when Christ took over our life and we accepted the greatest “gift” ever?  

PRAYER

Father, we praise You for the greatest “gift” ever . We thank You for Your Son, Jesus Christ who through His blood established a new covenant between You and us - Your people.  Enable us to use this Advent season as an opportunity to fully accept this covenant and become servants of Yours.  Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
 
The Greatest Gift is not found under a Tree. Rather if we accept the covenant, He resides in our hearts.