“How much worse punishment do you think one will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God, who has regarded as profane the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:29)
In today’s reading of Hebrews, I am reminded of my experiences teaching young children. If I wanted to promote good behavior in students, I learned to accentuate their positive behavior. If some kids were being loud or rambunctious, I would pay attention to the other children who were sitting nicely and being polite and helpful. If I got careless and started yelling, “Don’t run” or “Don’t yell,” it seemed like these young children only heard the last word of what I said. So instead of kids walking and talking quietly in the classroom, they went crazy.
So today’s Bible reading passage is entitled, Warning Against Deliberate Sin. The focus of the passage isn’t on the negative aspects of what happens when we ignore God’s truth, when we choose to willingly disobey God, and what results from these undesirable actions. Let’s focus on the unique sacrifice that Jesus Christ offered by being crucified on the cross, giving up his life for our sins so that we could have eternal life with God. Jesus took all of our sin, guilt, and suffering. He bore it upon Himself and died a criminal’s death, even though He was sinless and blameless. Romans 5:8 says, “But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We don’t deserve God’s love. We can’t earn God’s love. Jesus dying on the cross for you and me is the greatest act of love throughout history. We need to always remember Christ’s love for us, especially during times when fear and doubt creep into our thoughts and lives.
We also need to remember that Christ’s sacrifice was unique and extraordinary. In the Old Testament, the Israelites started to lose the impact of how sin affected their lives and their relationship with God. Instead of feeling sorry for their sin, they continued to live in sin and thought the action of sacrificing an animal was just a ritual and would appease God. God desired “heart change” for His people but they didn’t respond and continued to sin. God loved us so much that He sacrificed His one and only Son, Jesus, to pay the price for all the sins we committed before, now, and in the future. Let’s respond to the Holy Spirit by acknowledging what Jesus did for us. Let’s live changed lives as a way of showing our appreciation for Christ’s unique sacrifice.