Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our Epistle this week, from Hebrews 10:11-25, takes us in a direction that makes many uncomfortable. Because Jesus has given himself as the truly adequate sacrifice for sin, there’s no need to make any more offerings for sin (v. 18). For this reason, we are bold to approch the Lord, not on our own recognizance, but through Jesus. Why would this make us uncomfortable? There are two basic ways it can be a problem. Having a certain forgiveness we may neglect to live a holy life. With freedom to approach the Lord, we may neglect the need for Jesus as a mediator.
What of the constant demands of Scripture that Christ’s people must live a holy life? Doesn’t that negate the statements that our sin is completely taken care of? not at all. Why would we live a life of good works? Simply because they are good works. God has created some things so that they work toward the good of the world, of society, of our neighbor. We live those out because they are good, they are pleasing to God, and they are of great assistance to our neighbor. While we confess of ourselves that we have failed to do good in ways that would be pleaseing to God, at the same time we realize that those works are the fruit of salvation, not the cause of salvation. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus. We don’t earn or maintain that salvation by any of our works. We simply live a life of good works because they are pleasing to God.
What of the neglect of Jesus as mediator? People in pop Christianity seem obsessed with seeing the Lord face to face, receiving directly from God, having no mediator, just going into the bare presence of God. This is not a biblical good. When we approach God without a mediator, we are confronting a consuming fire. If we were to see God in His glory without a mediator like Jesus, we would be consumed, or at least so terrified and grief-stricken at our own unrighteousness we could live no more. Why do we want to approach God without a mediator? Why are we not content to find God where He has promised to be in His mercy, through the Word which creates faith in us, through the Sacraments which are enactments of His Word.
Jesus is the mediator. He is the one who has made an approach to God for us, through His blood. He is the one who makes us able to see God in his mercy and grace. Thanks be to the Lord. We are made partakers of His glory so we can live a life which is compatible with his promises and his way of blessing the world.
If this brief meditation was helpful to you, I hope you will check out the other materials on our website at www.WittenbergCoMo.com and consider supporting us.