In him we have……

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us in all wisdom and insight…

Ephesians 1.7-8

I wonder if you have ever paused to consider the huge barriers that OT people had to cross, to have peace of heart and mind with regard to the breaking of God’s Law. In other words to have sin (trespasses) dealt with.

It involved at least, all of the following:

Cost – A sacrifice had to be made, blood had to be shed, and the animal had to be taken from one’s own flock, thus loosing food provision, or purchased from elsewhere.

Death – It has been pointed out that Jerusalem at the time of Passover, that major festival of thanksgiving and remembrance, would have been like a massive abattoir.

Travel – for some festivals the offerings had to be made at a specified place, possibly involving an arduous journey.

Repetition – the realisation that the whole event would have to be repeated time and again.

Lack of assurance – could this sacrifice really make me right with God? If so why did it have to be repeated again and again?

This may all seem somewhat remote to us living as we do in the UK in an increasingly urban environment and where trespasses and sins do not figure high in our thinking. But unless we read our verses today in the light of the OT we will miss the surpassing wonder of them.

In him (The Beloved, Jesus) we have redemption through his blood.

Deep in their hearts the  people of the OT would have realised the truth of what the writer to the Hebrews says in Chapter 10 v.4.

 
‘It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins’

for the sacrifices had be made again and again but as the writer goes on

When Christ came into the world, he said,

Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’  When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.”  He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (emphasis mine). v.5-9

The contrast could not be greater. Gone are the demands and costs listed above. In their place we have:

Redemption –  being purchased from sin by the blood of Jesus

Forgiveness – of our sins

Grace

Grace lavished upon us

In all wisdom and might, the heart of which we will unpack a little tomorrow.

But today and everyday reflect on the blessings you have in Christ.

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