In Today's Reading:
Christ, the High Priest; appeal to believe; priestly order of Melchizedek; Aaronic priesthood inferior to Christ's priesthood
How thankful we are that mercy is an attribute of God, for it is one of our greatest daily needs. Mercy is an expression of His willingness to forgive sinners and deliver them from eternal hell. Mercy involves love and is a practical demonstration of compassion.
Because God is also holy, He must enforce the penalty for sin without respect of persons (I Peter 1:17), and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). In the Old Testament, a sinless lamb took the place of an Israelite and was slain in his place for his sin. The devout Jew was continually reminded that it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul (Leviticus 17:11). But, the need for numerous sacrifices ceased when Jesus, the sinless Son of God, died on the cross for our sins and became the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29).
He became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him (Hebrews 5:9). By His own blood He entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats . . . sanctifieth . . . the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot (defect) to God, purge (cleanse) your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (9:12-14).
Since we so often fail to be all that we should be and rightly deserve the judgment of God, it is His mercy that gives a Christian assurance of a continued relationship with Him. In turn, the true believer will express mercy in his relationships with others because the Spirit of God dwells in his heart. We have His promise: Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy (Matthew 5:7).
Put on therefore, as the elect (chosen) of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies (heartfelt compassion), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another . . . even as Christ forgave you (Colossians 3:12-13).
For Hebrews 5:5: See Psalm 2:7. Hebrews 5:6: See Psalm 110:4. Hebrews 6:14: See Genesis 22:17.
6:17 immutability =b> unchangeableness; counsel =b> purpose, will.
Pray for Staff: Al Joslyn Jr. • Government Officials: Rep. Anna Eshoo (CA) and Gov. Tom Vilsack (IA) • Country: St. Vincent and The Grenadines (120,000) in the Lesser Antilles of the eastern Caribbean • Major languages: English and French patois • Religious freedom • 50% Protestant; 17% Roman Catholic; 2% spiritist • Prayer Suggestion: Give thanks and praise to the Lord (Psalm 92:1).
Memory Verse for the Week: Hebrews 12:15