March 17, 2005 - Thursday in the Fifth Week of Lent

“And when Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is not of this creation, not through the blood of goats and calves but through his own blood He entered once for all time the holy place having obtained eternal redemption.” (Hebrews 9:11-15)

In the name of Jesus.  Amen.  Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for your sins.  He did not offer gold or silver, nor did He offer the blood of a goat or calf.  He offered His own holy precious blood and innocent suffering and death.  He gave up His life for your life.  He shed His Blood for your sins.

That is what it means to say that Jesus is your High Priest.  Jesus made the sacrifice, once and for all for your sins.  On the Cross, the High Priest sacrificed Himself for the sins of the world.

All the other high priests offered up the sacrifices of animals’ blood.  Luther said that the forgiveness that was delivered in the sacrifices required even more shedding of blood.  More sacrifices to cleanse more sins, as we sinners sin daily and much.

“Not all the blood of beasts On Jewish altars slain Could give the guilty conscience peace Or wash away the stain.  But Christ, the heavenly Lamb,  Takes all our sins away; A sacrifice of nobler name And richer blood than they.” (TLH 156, v.1-2)

Jesus offers His blood as a sacrifice for the sin of the whole world.  He is the victim, He is the High Priest.

The blood from the sacrificed animal was sprinkled on the people, delivering the forgiveness of sins to them.  Our High Priest delivers His-Cross-sacrificed Blood to you at His Supper.

The Lord’s Supper isn’t a re-sacrificing of Christ.  How can it be?  In the Lord’s Supper, Christ delivers to us the forgiveness that He won for us on the Cross.  There will never be another sacrifice for our sins!  Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross is once-and-for-all-time.

No other sacrifice for sins is needed to reconcile us to God.  There need not be any more bloodshed.  Christ offered Himself on the altar of the Cross – His Blood for your forgiveness.

The High Priest offered His Blood on the Cross – one sacrifice for all time.  Take and drink, the Blood of Christ shed for you for the forgiveness of all your sins.  In the name of Jesus.  Amen.

“Jesus, my great High Priest, Offered His blood and died; My guilty conscience seeks No sacrifice beside.  His powerful blood did once atone, And now it pleads before the throne.” (TLH 220, v.1)

Higher Things Reflections are written by Rev. George F. Borghardt III, Assistant Pastor at St. Mark Lutheran Church, Conroe, TX.