Sunday 8 April, 2018

Hebrews 13:7-16

7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so. 10 We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. 15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

This Easter I am worshipping God for sending his Son to suffer and take the punishment I deserved. What else should be my response to Jesus’ suffering for me.

The opportunity “to share in the abuse of Jesus” (v13) is such a privilege. This comes from a changed perspective – what is here and now is not all, there is a City coming v14. The new heaven and earth, where God is in the centre. This new perspective is captured in Paul’s statement “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

The sacrifice of Jesus calls for sacrifice in my life. I want to praise him, I want others to know how much Jesus has done for me, how he never lets me go, how he found me when I was doing my own “religious” thing. I didn’t really know the depth of his love and sacrifice for me back then. That’s when others showed sacrificial praise and introduced me to Jesus the person, who became my Lord.

Sacrificial praise from my lips is more than surrendering my life to him, it is speaking up for Him, witnessing to his life-changing power, in the good and the bad. Maybe it’s sacrificing my anonymity as a Christian in my work place for example, going from a comfortable place to being exposed to criticism and rejection. I remember Jesus too was criticised and rejected, when he did not deserve it. He surrendered, even to death. He brought me freedom at a great price, no sacrifice of mine ever comes close to saying Thank you.

Jesus give me the strength to share in your abuse as I show your love to people around me. Thank you for suffering in my place. Amen

Written by Claire Moore

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