Through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
–Hebrews 9:12

In Isaiah 59:1-2, we learn that our sins have created a wall of separation that divides us and God.

The Old Testament Jews had a clear understanding of this wall of separation because it was illustrated every time they went into the temple. The temple was crafted in such a way as to remind people of their separation from God. You could only go so far toward the holy of holies where God dwelled, based on your status. The priests could go into the holy place, but there was a huge veil that separated it from the holy of holies. In that holy of holies, there was the ark of the covenant, and on top of the ark was the mercy seat and a replica of two cherubs, called cherubim. It was thought that God dwelled between the cherubim, and when God looked down into the ark, He saw the Law of Moses that was continually being broken.

The ark of the covenant was a reminder of God’s judgment. Once a year, the high priest was allowed to go into the holy of holies. After he had made a sacrifice for his own sins, he would take the blood of an animal and sprinkle it on the mercy seat. When God looked down on that sacrifice, He no longer saw the Law that had been broken by His people but He saw the blood of that innocent lamb covering the sins of the people. Only one person could make that sacrifice–the high priest. But first, he had to atone for his own sins. Not only that, he had to go in year after year with the blood of animals.

That was a picture of what our High Priest Jesus Christ would do on the cross for us. Hebrews 9:11-12 tells us, “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” Jesus did not have to atone for His own sins because He had no sins. He went into not a man-made temple but into the presence of God. He did not come with the blood of animals but with His own blood. And He made the sacrifice for our sins once for all, having obtained eternal forgiveness for you and me. Isn’t that great? That is what our Savior has done for us.

You ask, “How do you know God accepted Jesus’ payment for my sin?” That is what the resurrection proves. Romans 1:4 says Jesus was declared to be the Son of God with power by His resurrection from the dead. If Jesus had remained in the tomb, it would have meant that He didn’t die for our sins; He died for His own sins. But the fact that God raised Jesus from the dead proved that Jesus’ gift was acceptable in the presence of God.

***

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Three Reasons the Resurrection Matters” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.