“If that animal blood and the other rituals of purification were effective in cleaning up certain matters of our religion and behavior, think how much more the blood of Christ cleans up our whole lives, inside and out.” Hebrews 9:13 (The Message Bible)
The members of the Altar Guild and janitor in my church would not appreciate cleaning up after the annual rite of purification we read about today. The author of Hebrews explained to Jewish converts how the sacrificing of the blood from a goat or calf on the altar was only a ritual cleansing of behavior. The birth of Jesus went above those rituals when his blood was spilled to save us from our sins—inside and out.
Because I have the universal “O” negative blood type, every now and then I get a call from the blood bank requesting me to donate blood. I have gone and donated, but on many occasions I’ve selfishly declined—“I don’t have time…sometimes I wait and then get rejected.” If everyone used these excuses, there may not have been the two precious pints I received after stomach surgery nearly twenty years ago. How easy it is to forget our blessings and how to pass them on to others.
Dear Lord, thank you for the reassurance of forgiveness through the sacrificial blood of your son. Amen.