I know we’re in ordinary time now, but I’m trying to hold on to the Christmas feeling a little bit longer, and today’s reading helps me with this. I think the most amazing thing about Christmas is how the birth of Christ changed everything-- for the better. Today’s reading from Hebrews also talks about how Christ changed everything for the better.
The tents were very holy places. The one, the Holy Place, was kept sacred for the bread of the Presence. The one behind was more sacred yet holding the ark of the covenant and things so holy they could not be spoken. The high priest entered the Holiest of Holies once a year taking animal sacrifices for the people’s sins. These were the holiest that could be made on Earth, made by human hands. They were kept holy and sacred. But with Christ everything changed for the better.
When Christ appeared as high priest he came through a tent not made of human hands. The tents were the best and holiest that people could make, but what God can do is above what people can do. And when Christ makes a sacrifice it is also above what people can do. The priest sacrificed calves and bulls and goats offered for himself and for the people for their people’s sins. The sacrifices were to purify the flesh, and were the very best the people could do. But Christ sacrificed himself. Christ offered up his own blood to purify. Christ gave himself for the people’s sins. If the blood of the animals could sanctify and purify, how much more could the blood of Christ sanctify and purify.
Before Christ, the people did the very best they could, but when Christ came everything changed for the better. He made a sacrifice the people couldn’t and the high priest couldn’t. He gave everything for the redemption of the people. The animal sacrifices were the best the people had in the past, but with Christ the people have the ultimate sacrifice.
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