23 January 2017
Christ brings a new covenant, as the mediator, only so that the people who were called to an eternal inheritance may actually receive what was promised: his death took place to cancel the sins that infringed the earlier covenant. It is not as though Christ had entered a man-made sanctuary which was only modelled on the real one; but it was heaven itself, so that he could appear in the actual presence of God on our behalf.
And he does not have to offer himself again and again, like the high priest going into the sanctuary year after year with the blood that is not his own, or else he would have had to suffer over and over again since the world began.
Instead of that, he has made his appearance once and for all, now at the end of the last age, to do away with sin by sacrificing himself. Since men only die once, and after that comes judgement, so Christ, too, offers himself only once to take the faults of many on himself, and when he appears a second time, it will not be to deal with sin but to reward with salvation those who are waiting for him.
The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were saying, ‘Beelzebul is in him’ and, ‘It is through the prince of devils that he casts devils out.’ So he called them to him and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot last.
And if a household is divided against itself, that household can never stand. Now if Satan has rebelled against himself and is divided, he cannot stand either – it is the end of him. But no one can make his way into a strong man’s house and burgle his property unless he has tied up the strong man first. Only then can he burgle his house.
‘I tell you solemnly, all men’s sins will be forgiven, and all their blasphemies; but let anyone blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and he will never have forgiveness: he is guilty of an eternal sin.’ This was because they were saying, ‘An unclean spirit is in him.’
Death took place to cancel the sins
I have been in a long-distance relationship for the past three years and it is going strong. There have been countless ‘hellos’ and ‘goodbyes’ at the airports. We come and then we go, spending a period of time together and then we look forward to the next trip. With our Lord God, time seems to be of an infinite nature. He does not count the years or by when that He has to achieve a milestone, or perform a miracle or sending a saviour to us. In His time, God sent Jesus to suffer and die for our sins. Jesus, of flesh and blood, living among us to be crucified and to have the sins from generations past forgiven through His passion on the cross.
With such an act of love, how do we as children of God respond and give ourselves back to God in love as well? Today’s reading and Gospel tells us of how God removes the evil in our lives. We are reminded of his power to expel evil and also the sins that we commit in our daily lives. Surely we do not take all these for granted. We respond by showing acts of love to those around us; the persistence of maintaining unconditional love to others, beginning from home, to family members and to those who are in need.
Jesus came and died for our sins, the Holy Spirit came down upon us to grace us with the gifts to do good. Are we prepared to meet and welcome God in the second coming? It was only about two thousand years ago that Jesus lived among us. Week after week, we are given all the opportunities to do God’s work. Let us not get caught up with the materialism of this world, but to be aware of the good that we have to do, so that we are to be rewarded by our Father in heaven, to save us from all temptations, to be ready and welcome His second coming.
(Today’s Oxygen by Austin Leong)
Prayer: Oh Lord Jesus, please continue to guide us in doing good. We can be filled with hatred and disappointments day after day; be with us so that we know that Your greater love can make us conquer the little things, for the greater good in life.
Thanksgiving: I am grateful for your son Jesus Christ, let us sing a new song to the Lord for he has worked wonders.