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The Ultimate Sacrifice (Day 24)

Lenten Devotion – The Ultimate Sacrifice
Day 24, 12 March 2024
“But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself… (and) will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” Hebrews 9:26-28

When I was still in school, I was certainly a goody-two shoes. I always had my green and white polka dot uniform well below my knees, my socks right up to my calves (keeping it above my ankles was clearly just not enough for me) and honestly, I never incurred so much as a library fine.

So, you can imagine that anytime I did make a mistake, it would devastate me.

Now, despite being perfectly demerit-point free, I was, unfortunately, terrible at my schoolwork – especially math.

One day, when I was 9, I just knew that my 2/100 maths test had hit the lowest of all lows and I knew I couldn’t show it to my parents.

So, in the line for the school bus that day, I decided to forge my mum’s signature, later lying to her and (somehow) managing to convince her that there was never a test to begin with and that there were no results to show (at that point I think even my parents wanted to believe I didn’t have a math test grade they had to face).

From that moment on, I was a wreck. I prayed and prayed that God would forgive me and even remember going to church that week and thinking that I absolutely didn’t deserve to be there because I had lied and done something horrible. How could I think of facing God and how could He possibly forgive me for doing such a thing?

But that isn’t who God is and when we read Hebrews 9:15-28, we see that so clearly.

The writer of Hebrews paints a picture of Jesus as the bridge between us and God. While in the days before Jesus, people needed to go to the priest and sacrifice an animal as a sign of repentance and seeking forgiveness, Jesus, in His one singular loving act, allowed himself to be killed on the cross and forgave all our sins – past, present and future (yes, even my forged signature 18 years ago).

Not understanding this fundamental truth, I used to feel the need to earn God’s forgiveness by saying sorry over and over again and yet never truly being certain that God has or could possibly forgive me. But the truth is, Jesus’ sacrifice changed everything.

And it’s not just about forgiveness. Jesus’ sacrifice goes beyond that. It cleanses our hearts and minds, making us right with God in a way that no ritual ever could.

I am many years past that forged signature and thankfully, for the good of the general public, I don’t have to do math as a journalist today.

But the lesson holds true. We are loved and forgiven by God and we can look forward to the future with hope, knowing that Jesus has taken care of everything and that when we repent genuinely, he will forgive us.

Today, hold on to this truth: Jesus’ sacrifice means freedom and deliverance from the sins that plague us. It’s something we should never stop being grateful for.

Camillia Dass 🙏🏽