23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
I grew up going to church my whole life, but looking back I can see that as a child and teenager, I really didn’t understand much of what the Old Testament was about. When I heard about the ancient priests offering animal blood sacrifices to deal with sin, I was left wondering what that was all about.
As I grew older and left school, I was fortunate enough to do some focussed study to learn more about the Bible. I learned about how amazing and intricate were these rituals and the specific imagery that was designed to point us to the ultimate blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, dealing with the penalties of sin once and for all.
More recently I completed the C3 Bible College online course, and found the subject on the Old Testament to be especially helpful to further my understanding. Right throughout the Old Testament, God has deposited messages and narratives preparing the world for the coming of Jesus to help us understand what His sacrifice and death means for us.
I’m impressed with how far in advance God worked to prepare us for the coming of Jesus, and with the level of detail involved in bringing about His plan of saving the world. This gives me great confidence in a) God’s planning abilities, and b) in how much He loves us that He would go to so much trouble!
Thank You God, that we matter so much to you, that You would put in so much effort and ultimately so much personal pain to restore us to relationship with You. And thank You that I can rest in your amazing planning abilities.
Written by Shelley Witt