February 6 - 11
Monday, February 6 – “For the life of the creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.” (Leviticus 17:11) Atonement is satisfaction or reparation for wrong or injury; amends. You need to make amends with God for the sin in your life. Prior to Jesus, the nation of Israel made annual animal sacrifices, in order to make amends with God. Jesus came and sacrificed his life as the atonement for all sin. His death made amends, paid the price, once and for all. No need for more sacrifices. You are made right with God through Jesus.
Tuesday, February 7 – “He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once and for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.” (Hebrews 9:12) If you don’t know the history, the blood of Jesus being shed, for the forgiveness of sins, sounds pretty strange. Noah was the first to offer an animal sacrifice to God, way back in Genesis. An offering of thanksgiving for his salvation from the flood. Later, God required animal sacrifice as an offering to atone for human sin. When Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross, he paid the ultimate and forever price for the sins of the world. For our relationship with God, life has always been found in the blood.
Wednesday, February 8 – “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57) There is one significant word in our verse for today – “gives”. Through Jesus, God has given you forgiveness, salvation and the peace of knowing that your relationship with God isn’t based on your performance. Your relationship with God is based on the death of Jesus on the cross. Through the death of Jesus, you have been made right with God. “Thanks be to God!” For now, all you need to do is go out and live like someone who has a right relationship with God.
Thursday, February 9 – “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” (Hebrews 10:14) Used to be that one would have to go to the Temple in Jerusalem, once a year, to offer an animal sacrifice; in order to be forgiven of their sins. Now, because of Jesus, not only do you have forgiveness of sins, you have been made perfect, in the eyes of God, forever. The sacrifice of Jesus didn’t just carry out the old covenant, obeyed through animal sacrifice. Jesus made a new covenant with all people. You have been “made perfect” through Jesus. Now you get to go out and live as someone being “made holy” through your faith in Jesus.
Friday, February 10 – “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:28) Didn’t Jesus die on the cross to pay the price for the sins of all people? Yes. Why then does today’s passage say “many” as opposed to all? A gift never received is the same as a gift never given. The power and pleasure of a gift is found in both the giving as well as the receiving. Through Jesus, all people have been given the same gift – forgiveness of sins and a right relationship with God. Yet, not all people will receive this gift. For not everyone will believe in Jesus.
Saturday, February 11 – “It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:4) Even in the Old Testament this was true. For you would have to offer an animal sacrifice over and over again, year after year, in order to stay forgiven. An animal sacrifice never took away sin. It merely forgave you of past sins. Through Jesus, one sacrifice for all, forever, is the truth. Jesus doesn’t have to die every year, in order for you and I to remain forgiven. Jesus paid the price once and for all. Instead of animal sacrifice, we remember the sacrifice of Jesus, through the celebration of communion.