Have you seen those desks that are supposed to promote health and increased metabolism? They’re missing one key element: a chair.
Old Testament priests were pioneers in this field; there weren’t any chairs in the temple. Imagine entering the tabernacle to find your priest reclining in a La-Z-Boy with his feet up, watching Netflix. You’d assume his work was done.
Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices… - (Hebrews 10:11)
A priest’s work was never done, so he never sat down. This makes Hebrews 10:12 even more remarkable:
But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God… For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. - (Hebrews 10:12, 14)
Jesus finished the work, and to prove it, He sat down. There is nothing we can add to His work – not sacrifice, nor confession, nor good works.
I know many people struggle with this. They’re convinced confession is a spiritual discipline that keeps intimacy with God intact. They even have Scripture to back it up:
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. - (1 John 1:8-9)
So who is right, Hebrews or John? Is there work for us to do, or is the work finished?
John’s letter tackled a heresy that permeated the early church – Gnosticism. Gnostics refused to acknowledge sin. And by denying sin, they denied the need for a Savior. John challenges gnostics to acknowledge sin, confess sin, and become purified from all unrighteousness.
If unbelievers accept John’s challenge, then Jesus completes their salvation, just as Hebrews says.
Stop putting effort into moving along a scale of perfection that doesn’t exist. In Christ, you’re stationary – a perfect 10. Every unrighteous act is consumed by Jesus’ one righteous act on the cross. You can sit alongside Him because the work is complete.
Lord, I release the work I’ve been doing – sacrifice, confession, or good works – and rest in Your lap as You rest by the Father. Amen.
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