On Second Thought

The verses assigned for today were "no brainers."

"In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness" —Hebrews 9:22.

All believers know that these verses combine an Old Testament ritual with a New Testament truth: To satisfy God's requirements, blood must be shed and Jesus Christ replaced once and for all, the need for the continual sacrifice of lambs when He took our place on the cross and died there, atoning for our sins. His blood made it possible for those who believe to receive forgiveness.

Then something else came to mind.

The Apostle Peter wrote: "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps" (1 Peter 2:21).

In the context, Peter is referring to suffering for the cause of Christ. But I got hooked on the idea of shedding blood as paving the way for forgiveness.

Most of us believe that when someone hurts us in any way, the offender has the obligation to make things right before he or she can receive our forgiveness. Christ's example teaches us the opposite. He shed His blood and provided for forgiveness "while we were still sinners…" states Romans 5:8.

How can I, the offended, "shed blood" in order to pave the way for the one who has offended me to come and ask for my forgiveness? Christ left that example, but how do I follow it? And if I refuse to "shed blood," do I make my forgiving of the offender impossible?

I'm still thinking about this. But if you have a suggestion as to what the implications of the answer might be, let me know. Let's discuss it.

Comments

  1. The life is in the blood. Giving of our life, in some way. Much to ponder.

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  2. God is not depending on your sacrifices for someone to receive salvation. He 9:22 "Under the law, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." However, the law in Christianity is the law of Righteousness and Christ is our Righteousness(Je 23:6, 1Jn 2:29). He 9:26 "He has appeared once for all time to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." Any amount of suffering we do will not affect anyone's salvation. Jn 3:16 . . . whoever beleieves in him shall eternally live. Christ has suffered once for all. The suffering of righteous persons for Chist is commendable and has credibility as a witness of Truth, however, the gift of salvation is of God regardless of human action.

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  3. I'm not talking about salvation here. It's true—the salvation of another person is an act of God independent of my actions. What I'm asking is if, and how, our inability to make sacrifices might hinder someone from asking us for forgiveness when he, or she, has offended us. If Christ had not died, we would have been prevented from ever having access to heaven. He had to make that sacrifice even though we were the ones who had offended Him. Let's see if an example helps. Someone has offended me. By natural inclination, I insist that the one who has offended me must make the first move, must come to me to ask my forgiveness. After all, he, or she, is the one in the wrong. I will make no "sacrifices" to pave the way, to make it easier for that person to come to me. I may even make things more difficult by refusing to speak to that person, avoiding them etc. But if make the first move, put my hurt behind me, reach out in some way to love that person in spite of what he, or she did, though it cost me to do it, am I then, in a very small way, paving the path for them to come and ask my forgiveness? Am I then modeling in a very small way, what Christ did?

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