google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html Highlights in Hebrews 7
Highlights in Hebrews
Highlights in Hebrews
(with Roger Kirby)
Part 7 - Hebrews 2:17
Jesus atones for us

For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.

A few days ago, as I write, Liverpool football club took on Real Madrid for the Champions of Europe cup. The game is remembered for two awful mistakes made by Loris Karius, the Liverpool goalkeeper. They might still have been beaten but he made sure they were. He threw the ball out far to close to an opponent who was able to score easily from it, then he let a very catchable ball slip through his hands into the goal. One can only imagine what he felt like in the changing room afterwards. He must have sat in a corner and wished the ground would open up and swallow him! Nothing he could do would remedy the situation. Nothing he could do would atone for his awful mistakes. They had lost and that was that. He will have been the outcast of the team. He will have been lucky if anyone was prepared to say anything kind to him. He will not have been at-one with the rest of the team. (Only much later did they realise he may have been concussed in an earlier incident.)
We too have made some awful mistakes. Nothing we can do will make us winners who can appear before the great Lord God. Although we may not have broken any of the greatest laws of mankind such as murder or adultery, we have failed to love the Lord our God with all our hearts and souls and minds. We have lost the game of life.

But we are not as Karius. We, amazingly, have been put at-one with the Lord God. Not through anything we have done or could possibly do, but because of what Jesus has done for us. Jesus has made at-one-ment for the sins of the people. He has done that by his death on the cross; by giving his blood as a sacrifice for us. Later our writer categorically announces that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (9:22) The reference is, of course, to the blood of animal sacrifices made for the forgiveness of sins. Why that should be is never completely clear but it is a fundamental background understanding through scripture. The writer to the Hebrews is going to go on to explain this background in great detail though he only uses the word ‘atonement’ once more in his book.

Rejoice then! We have been accepted into the favour of the Lord God through the action of Jesus. Charles Wesley’s great hymn starts, ‘And can it be that I should gain an interest in the Saviour’s blood’
Its answer is Yes, Yes, and Yes.

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