Daily Devotional

Taking Time to Be Thankful…

Hebrews 10:11–12 - “Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. 12 But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.“ (NLT)

This year as we come to the month of November, I want to set aside more time to reflect on God’s goodness in my life and to be thankful.  In the United States, we have set aside the fourth Thursday of November to be a day of giving thanks.  I would like you to join me in making this November a special month of giving thanks to the Lord.  We should be thankful every day, but I think it is also important to set aside time to reflect in a deeper way on the many things for which we can be thankful.

One specific area in our lives we can give God thanks is for our salvation.  I think of the words of the writer of Hebrews when he contrasts the difference between the Old Testament sacrificial system and the one sacrifice of Christ for our sin.  Under the Old Covenant that was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai, a sacrificial system was put into place that would cover sin but not take sin away.  Priests would stand daily at the altar, offering the blood of animals for the sins of the people of Israel.  These sacrifices could never take away sin.  I don’t know about you, but I am so thankful that I don’t have to bring animals to be sacrificed for my sin.  None of us would want to watch an animal die for the sins that we commit.  As we read in Hebrews 10:1, even though these sacrifices were repeated over and over again, “they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship.”  The writer of Hebrews goes on to say in verse 8, “You (God the Father) did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them.”   God had planned something far better.  He planned to give His Son as a once for all, sacrifice for sin.

Since God was not pleased with all the sacrifices given for sin under the Old Covenant, God the Son took on a human body in order to offer the one sacrifice needed to take away sin for all time.  God the Son said, “…I have come to do your will.” (Hebrews 10:9) He was willing to leave heaven’s glory to become a man and offer Himself a sacrifice for our sin.  God the Son was willing to do all this for us.  He offered a “single sacrifice for sins, good for all time.”  It is totally amazing the love God has for each of us.  Truly we can be thankful!

The writer of Hebrews goes on to say that the Jesus Christ, “sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.”  When Jesus died on the cross and rose again from the grave, He also ascended to be seated at the Father’s right hand.  In the Old Testament, the priests would continually offer sacrifices that could only cover sin.  In the tabernacle and later in the temple there were no chairs to sit on.  This symbolized that the priest’s work was never done.  He never sat down.  But Jesus offered the one perfect sacrifice and sat down, indicating that His redemptive work was done and that there would be no further sacrifices.  The writer of Hebrews says it this way, “For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.” (Hebrews 10:10) I am so glad that Jesus accomplished all that was needed for us in our salvation.  We have been purified once for all time and the feelings of guilt have disappeared.  We have a perfect standing before God because of what Jesus Christ did on our behalf.  We have been blessed above all people and have a standing with God that is second to none.  Join me in giving thanks to God for our great salvation!

Prayer:  Thank you, Lord Jesus, for being willing to take my sin to the cross and die in my place.  Your once for all sacrifice gives me a perfect standing with the Father.  It is wonderful to live each day knowing I have been perfectly cleansed from all sin and all my guilt is gone.  Amen  
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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