Hebrews 13:10,12-14--We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle do not have a right to eat . . . Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the gate, so that He might sanctify the people by His own blood. Let us then go to Him outside the camp, bearing His disgrace. For we do not have an enduring city here; instead, we seek the one to come.
Can you see the early Christians trembling? What could they offer to counter the religious leaders of their day with their Mosaic laws centered on the altar? The author of Hebrews wastes no time in dealing with this crisis. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit he reminds his fellow believers that they had the final perfect altar—the cross! Jesus Christ made the ultimate sacrifice for mankind on the cross. Once for all sin was dealt with forever. But it is not the cross that is to be worshiped. It is the risen Savior we follow. And this must challenge us to an excruciating depth!
Whom do I serve? Is my citizenship in the Nation of Pride? Is my home in the State of Carnality? Which county holds my life certificate: Pleasure, Power, Prestige, Possession? Where exactly is home—98765 Fleshly Dr.? If so, I serve myself. The city of Sin is never easy to leave but I must walk outside it if I am to follow the Lord.
Whom do I serve? The people around me are not stupid. It is not my business card that reveals who I work for but rather my character/action card. They know who rules the city and the cost it takes to leave. The same Lord I follow has often called them to leave.
Whom do I serve? I’d rather be foolish in the eyes of the world for believing only One Way to the city to come, then compromise my faith on the altar of religion. Call me a fool for avoiding Sin City to seek an unknown heaven managed by an unseen God. Just let me be a worthy idiot in His eyes. If mocking is the price, what a pittance compared to the eternal glory of worshiping Jesus. “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, so that you won’t grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3).
The scrutiny of our Lord’s words brings the tide of enthusiasm suddenly to the test. Many of us have come to the altar for service, but are we willing to bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar? The altar means fire—burning and purification and insulation for one purpose, to detach us to God. Along with the sense of the heroic, there is a base element of selfishness, a lurking desire to fix the scenery of our own martyrdom.—Oswald Chambers in So Send I You
©1997 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the "Click here to receive weekly devotionals" box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)