Hebrews 9:1-14 - Clean

Hebrews 9:9-10 - The temple system was imperfect, temporary and was only in place until a better, more perfect way could be established.

Hebrews 9:11 - I imagine that the Most Holy Place in the temple was a place of awe and much curiosity among the devout. It was where God lived, so holy and pure that only the High priest may go there, only one per year and never without a sacrifice. It was the most perfect place on this Earth and I imagine many devout Jews dreaming of what it must be like.

Yet, when Jesus came and when he appeared as High Priest, it wasn't good enough for Him. It was the best Earth could offer, but the job he had to do, the best we have wasn't good enough. He demanded the perfection that could only be found in the true temple in heaven.

Hebrews 9:12 - Not only was the earthly temple not sufficient, the sacrifice required for once and all justification could not be accomplished by goats and calves. It demanded purity only found in God, only in Jesus' own blood.

It should not be shocking that our failings should demand such a sacrifice, rather it should be shocking that He would agree to it.

Hebrews 9:13 - The old sacrifices were enough to purify the flesh - for a time. But Jesus' blood is able to purify all the way to our consciences.

It brings to mind that scene in MacBeth where Lady MacBeth continues to wash her hands, in her mind never quite cleansing them of the blood that was spilled. Surely, the water did remove the actual blood from her flesh, but the stain on her conscience remained. No amount of water would remove that.

It is the same with the sacrifices offered in the temple, or our own penitent acts of sacrifice, be they the proverbial 'Hail Mary' or the promise of devotion made to God in a moment of desperation. They may heal for a moment, but the guilt remains on our soul. Jesus' blood, however, cleanses through and through, no guilt remains. We are clean, completely and thoroughly in a way that is so foreign to our thinking as to be almost incomprehensible. If we do truly understand it, we are likely to dismiss it as too scandalous, and not just for we pay nothing for our sins. But that is the amazing in Amazing Grace, it is completely unfair and we get away, in some cases literally, with murder.

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