Jesus Christ, ‘the Lamb without blemish’, has ‘made atonement’ for sin through the shedding of His ‘precious blood’ (1:3-5; 1 Peter 1:18-19). Christ is the real thing. Israel’s sacrifices are only ‘copies of the heavenly things’, ‘a shadow of the good things to come’ (Hebrews 9:23-24; 10:1,5-10). Christ’s sacrifice covers every sin. No matter what your sin may be, you can bring it to Him for forgiveness. ‘If any man sins’ - Take your sin to Christ: He has ‘made atonement for sin’ (5:1). Christ’s death speaks of both holiness and love. In holiness, God pronounces His judgment on sin. In love, He provides forgiveness for sinners. As we read about the sacrifices, rejoicing in Christ, the perfect Sacrifice for sin, let us bring our sacrifice of ‘thanksgiving’ (7:12-13,15). ‘Let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God’ (Hebrews 13:15). Let it be ‘a living sacrifice’, the sacrifice of our lives - this is ‘our spiritual worship’ (Romans 12:1).
‘This is the thing which the Lord has commanded to be done’ (8:5): For us, it must be ‘as the Lord commanded’ (8:4). God calls us to serve Him (Hebrews 5:4-5). Obedience to God, love for God - These are to be our priorities (1 Samuel 15:22; 1 Corinthians 13:3). Christ is to be our ‘first love’ (Revelation 2:4). Washed, robed, anointed (8:6-7,12): Our robes washed in the blood of the Lamb, we have this anointing - ‘to preach the Gospel...’ (Revelation 7:14; Luke 4:18-19). Ears, hands and feet: Consecrated by the blood of Christ to hear the Word of the Lord, do the work of the Lord and walk in the way of the Lord (24), we must pray for a change of heart. God sees only two types of people: ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’. Are you cleansed, forgiven, born again, saved, committed (1 John 1:7,9; John 3:7; Acts 16:31; 2 Timothy 1:12)? Or, are you still in your sins, guilty of neglecting God’s great salvation, not far from - yet still outside of - God’s Kingdom, almost persuaded but still uncommitted (John 8:24; 9:41; Hebrews 2:3; Acts 26:28)? Before the call to holiness (11:45), there is the call to salvation. Give your heart to Christ. This is where holiness begins (Mark 7:14-23). Holiness is not our own achievement - ‘God is at work in you’ (Philippians 2:13). Our holiness is grounded in His redemption (11:45).
How can I be made clean (12:8)? – “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). We read about skin disease. Remember: there is also the sin disease - and we're all suffering from that!. Sin is a deadly 'cancer' for which there is only one treatment: We need to be “washed in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). You can get 'dry rot' in people - as well as houses (14:34; Hebrews 12:15)! Sin is like 'a wasting disease' (Psalm 106:13-15). It will only get worse - unless something is done about it! Sin spreads. and spreads, and... Can anything be done about this sad situation? Look into yourself, and you will find that the situation is hopeless (Romans 7:14-20). Look to Christ, and there is hope: 'where sin increased, grace abounded all the more' (Romans 5:20). God is 'holy'. We cannot 'draw near' and 'come' to Him without a 'sin offering' (16:1-3). We cannot bring 'a sin offering' to Him. We can only bring our sin: Our righteousness is 'like filthy rags' (Isaiah 64:6). There is a 'way' for sinners to 'draw near' to God: Christ is the true and living Way (John 14:6; Hebrews 10:19-22). We are to be devoted 'to the Lord' (17:4-6,9): We confess our sin, acknowledging that 'without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins' (Hebrews 9:22). With grateful thanksgiving, we rejoice in our Saviour, 'the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world' (John 1:29).
Holiness and love - the two belong together (19:1,18,34). God calls us to live a life of holiness, a life of love. Through His Spirit - the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of love - , He enables us to live this life. The life of holiness is not an expression of our own moral virtue. It is an expression of the holy character of God being reproduced in us: 'I am the Lord who sanctify you' (20:8). We are sanctified by the Lord (21:8,15,23; 22:9,16). It is His doing - God's call to holiness is founded in His gift of holiness: 'the Holy Spirit...has been given to us' (Romans 5:5). Moral conduct is to be grounded in divine redemption (24:38,55). We do not begin with the questions, 'How can I live a godly life? How can I serve the Lord?' We begin with the question, 'What must I do to be saved?' God's answer is clear: 'Believe in the Lord Jesus ...` (Acts 16:31). 'Every devoted thing is most holy to the Lord' (27:28). We are loved by the holy God. We are precious in His eyes. In love, He has reached out to us - through the Cross of Christ (Romans 5:8).