Grace For Your Day August 8

Webster’s Dictionary defines religion as “the belief in or worship of God.” It also describes it as “any system that assists mankind in the belief in or worship of Him.” In other words, it is the purpose of religion to bring mankind to God. It is its goal to help normal people come to Him through various means which is why the religions of this world are so different. This explains why they are all so diverse. For example,
  • The Roman Catholics come to God through the 7 sacraments 
  • The Muslims come to God through the 5 Pillars of Islam 
  • The Buddhists come to God or their gods (or Nirvana) through the 4 Noble Truths 
  • The Sikhs come to God through the teachings of the Guru Granth Sahib 
  • The Hindus come to their gods through the teachings of the Bhgavad Gita 
  • The Jainists come to their gods through the teachings of the Agam Sutras 
  • The Taoists come to their gods through the teachings of the Tao Te Ching 
  • The Shintoists come to their gods through the teachings of the Kojiki 

However, Judaism took a different approach from all of this. The Old Testament taught the Jewish people to come to God through the sacrifices of animals. They were supposed to enter God’s presence through the assistance of a priest or high priest who would take the blood of an offering and present it to God in order to pardon their sins. Hebrews 5:1, 9-10 refers to this when it says:

For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins … And [Jesus] became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, being designated by God as a high priest . . .
As he is writing to a group of Jewish Christians, the author of the Book of Hebrews gives them an image that they would all be familiar with when he says that Jesus is our high priest. He is the one who brings you into the presence of God. Just as the high priest of Israel took the blood of an offering and presented it to God, so Jesus took His own blood and did that. He saved you by giving God the sacrifice of Himself.
Verse 2 also says that He “can deal gently” with you. In other words, He does not save you in a begrudging manner. He does not do it harshly. Instead, He saves you with tenderness and love. Verse 5 also says that He does not glorify Himself, either which means that there was nothing selfish about His death on the cross. It was done entirely for your benefit and the glory of God.  

The point is that Jesus has come to give you so much more than the Old Testament had to offer. This was an important lesson for the Jews to learn because they were constantly being tempted to return to the old way of life. They were continually being pressured to go back to the old priesthood and the old offerings and the old sacrificial system. However, this passage says that there is no need to do that now because Jesus is all you need which is what we are going to be talking about this week at Grace Fellowship Church.

Have you ever been tempted to go back to your former way of life? Like these Jews, have you ever wanted to return to your former religion or way of thinking?  
Have you ever wondered what makes Jesus so special? Have you ever asked yourself why He is so unique among all the other spiritual leaders in the world? 
Have you ever looked at all the religions that out there today and wondered if you chose the right one?  

I want to tell you that you did. You picked the right Savior in Jesus because nothing else in the world compares to Him. He came to do what no one else can because He came to give you an “eternal salvation” and please join us on Sunday morning at 9:30 as we consider that. The sermon will be recorded and livestreamed on our You Tube Channel for all those who cannot make it in person.

– Jeremy Cagle