Funny how on Labor Day most of us welcome the opportunity to cease from labor. Been hovering over Hebrews 9 this morning . . . thought I’d take a “less-labor” approach to sharing something to chew on. Re-posting some thoughts from 2008 . . .
I was recently proof-reading a cover letter for a job application. In it, the writer contended that, among their many qualifications, they also possessed “limitless energy.” While I appreciated that they were truly as enthusiastic a person as I’d ever known, I did provide the feedback that they might want to steer away from such words as “limitless.” No one, I pointed out, has limitless energy. There are just some words that are “so big” you need to be careful how you use them . . . what might be intended as a descriptive attribute to be appreciated, can quickly become an exaggeration which is ignored or dismissed. I came across another word like that this morning in my reading in Hebrews . . . in fact I encountered it three times . . . and the wonder of it all is that the word is used without an ounce of exaggeration.
“But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, . . . Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”
(Hebrews 9:11-15 NKJV)
Eternal redemption . . . eternal Spirit . . . eternal inheritance. Oh, to pause for a moment and consider the implications of these three realities in my life . . .
Ok . . . so first of all, try wrapping your head around “eternal.” Not the easiest thing for mortal man to grasp . . . from the time we are born, we begin to die . . . we don’t encounter a whole lot that’s eternal on this earth. But “eternal” is what we’re dealing with here . . . perpetuity of time . . . that which always has been and always will be . . . never to cease . . . everlasting . . . forever . . . without beginning and end. It’s trying to fathom the unfathomable . . . to understand the incomprehensible . . . to know the unknowable. But, it is ours to possess . . . ours to pursue the appreciation of . . . ours to live in the reality of . . . that which is eternal.
And it’s about eternal redemption. The price paid . . . our sin atoned for . . . our souls purchased from the marketplace of sin . . . once for all . . . and forever. It’s not a redemption that might fail at some point . . . not a price that might be determined to not be quite sufficient for “that sin.” It is a ransom paid that redeems for eternity . . . that has secured the possession for the Purchaser such that nothing can separate us from the love of God. I can’t fully grasp it . . . but I sure do like thinking on it. It’s beyond my full comprehension, but I understand enough to rest in my long term future . . . and rejoice in God’s amazing grace shown to me.
It’s also about the eternal Spirit. The Third Person of the Godhead . . . the One who is fully God and who is the active agent in God’s dealings with men. It was through the eternal Spirit that Christ offered Himself without spot to God . . . the Spirit being active and present on the cross. That same Spirit was in the beginning when God created all things. And, that same Spirit indwells me even now . . . at this very moment. He sealed me at salvation as a guarantee of eternal things to come. He now indwells me such that His eternal power might work its work of sanctification, conforming me to the image of Christ. And one day, He will deliver me into the very presence of the Father and the Son! What a thought . . . what a reality . . . the eternal Spirit of God inhabits me.
And finally, there is soon coming a day when I will receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. What will that be like? To be surrounded by the incorruptible and the imperishable and the unfading . . . to dwell in eternity itself . . . before the eternal God. And to think, it is my inheritance . . . as a joint heir with Christ, the eternal King of kings and Lord of lords. The things we think are long lasting on this earth don’t even compare to what awaits those purchased with eternal redemption, those possessed by the eternal Spirit.
Father, thank You for that which is without end . . . for that which is mine . . . my redemption . . . Your Spirit . . . my inheritance. Help me to live in light of their eternal reality . . . to respond in praise and worship . . . to react with a desire to faithfully follow You . . . that I might bring You limitless glory . . . without an ounce of exaggeration . . . amen.