Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Does the world even care what Jesus is doing now? Many Christians don't seem to. But nothing in heaven or earth is more important! And whatever He is doing requires the understanding and cooperation of those who believe in Him.
The common idea is that He is a Construction Contractor, building palaces or "mansions" for those who arrive in heaven (an immature reading of John 14:2). "Preparing a place for you" is a far bigger idea than celestial construction.
Hebrews 9 and 10 describe His High Priestly ministry as cleansing the hearts of His people, "putting away sin," "purging the conscience," preparing a people to "receive the promise of eternal inheritance," "purifying" hearts and minds and lips, to "make the comers thereunto perfect," to render obsolete any "conscience" or "remembrance of sins," to "take away sins," to "perfect forever them that are sanctified," to write His "laws into their hearts ... [which are] sprinkled from an evil conscience," to "provoke [motivate] unto love and good works," to "believe to the saving of the soul." Big job!
First, He naturally wants His people to understand why what He is doing is so incomparably important, and second, He would appreciate our cooperation because He can accomplish nothing without it. Not that you in any sense become your co-savior, but cooperation means you stop interposing a rebellious will to counteract what He is seeking constantly to do for you!
In other words, through the Holy Spirit, Christ as High Priest is constantly pressing upon His people the conviction of sin buried deeper than they had imagined it to be; and when the conviction is welcomed and the sin is gladly surrendered and put away, the heart is more closely reconciled to Him. This process is called "atonement," or becoming at-one-with God. In Romans 5:11 it is "receiving the atonement" or "reconciliation." Thus the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary is a "final atonement."
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: December 4, 2009.
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