Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 22 March 2017

 In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood.  Hebrews 9, verse 16-18.

Perhaps this is the answer I was looking for a few days ago.   I’ll admit:  I’m still iffy on the actual transaction, but these verses seem to shed a little light – and some blood – on just why God requires blood to atone for our sins.   Our inheritance couldn’t be bought as long as the sacrifice was alive.   Purchasing that inheritance requires a death, because God had decreed way back in Eden that the penalty for sin would be death.   More, He had decreed that the penalty for unrepentant sin would be eternal death, eternal separation from Him and His beautiful design for our eternity.

Only He who could not die could take sin onto Himself and make that sacrifice.   Only one who is eternal and infinite could restore balance to creation by dying the temporal and finite death for all.   His blood would have to flow; His blood would have to go cold.

How does that miracle occur?   Answer:   don’t ask me!   I’m still in the dark on that one!   Yet even in my intellectual darkness there is the saving light of shining faith.   It makes that darkness flee with the simple explanation of “don’t worry, baby.   Everything will turn out alright.”   Thank you both Jesus on the cross and Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.

Don’t sweat it.  The death has been died.   The blood has been shed.   The eternity has been restored to us.   The deed is truly done.  “Don’t worry, baby.  Everything will turn out alright.”

That’s comforting in a world where death threatens every day.   Every day, terrible things happen to good people and we’re left wondering why.   Just this week, I found out that a friend of mine has inoperable cancer.   He’s in treatment and is hopefully responsive.   I haven’t seen this man in years, and we’ve only kept in touch remotely, occasionally, yet I found myself floored by it because it was so out of the blue and was happening to someone I know and admire.  To be honest, his prognosis sounds dire but I have no idea what his doctors are telling him other than to continue treatment.

Yet in the face of a disease that’s trying to kill my friend there are dozens, hundreds of people praying for him.   If you don’t believe in Jesus, that means “so what” to you.   If you believe, however, you realize that hundreds of people are involving the Lord’s infinite power – and then themselves – in my friend’s fight.  We’re part of it, imploring God for healing, whatever form that healing takes.   We’re rooting for him, volunteering to help in what way we can.  The cancer may win, but if my friend comes to faith then cancer’s win is moot.   Or God may bestow physical healing and death will be turned back to lurk on a later day.   Either way, death is challenging and real people are really fighting back by backing off for God to do the fighting.

That fight has real power, real medicine, because Jesus’ covenant of salvation was put into effect by the shedding of His blood.   As a result, the power of the Almighty is involved in guiding our lives towards inheriting an eternity He willed and won for us.   As a result, when you surrender to Jesus, you become a part of eternity now.   You can let go of the guilt over sins that bothered you.   You can go directly to your Creator Savior and tell Him everything that’s on your heart.   You can receive His caring forgiveness – as well as His occasional rebuke when you stray – every day and feel real peace in your conscience.   You can live in ways that reflect His Spirit working in your life, acting out of kindness, patience, caring, and hope.   When cancer comes for you – and it will come for one of two men and one of three women in America at some point in their lives – you can fight it back knowing you’ve already won no matter how the battle turns out.  Don’t worry.   Everything will turn out alright.

For further reading:  Exodus 24:6-8.

Lord, thank You for Your comfort, Your saving medicine.  Heal those who are sick, help those who are hurting, love those in need.

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