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Hebrews 10:10-18, Is Sacrifice Still Relevant?

Key Verse

For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
— Hebrews 10:14

RCL Daily Devotion for Thursday, December 20, 2018

RCL Daily Devotions written by Daniel D. Maurer from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

Crucifix wooden.

The theory of atonement of blood sacrifice proposes that we make ourselves “right” with God by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Since we no longer live in a culture whose spiritual practices include blood sacrifices, I often wonder whether this image is still relevant in today’s world.

Certainly, within the public perception of Christianity, many would relate to the phrase: “Jesus died for our sins.” Yet, we often forget that, for many, this makes no sense.

Today’s reading in Hebrews is an exposition of the complexities of sacrifice, and basically states that Jesus dying on the cross has made further blood sacrifice unnecessary.

Ok, cool. What’s this got to do with us today?

First, I think it’s important for us to recognize that the substitutionary sacrifice is only one theory of atonement.

Second, knowing, too, that not all scripture is going to speak to everyone! I think this actually shows God’s genius in Holy Scripture—that many things speak to different people.

What do you think? Does Jesus dying for your sins make sense to you? What other theories of atonement speak to you more clearly?

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Full Daily Reading for the Revised Common Lectionary

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Hebrews 10:10-18 (NRSV)

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Earlier Event: December 19
Luke 7:31-35, People of this Generation
Later Event: December 21
Hebrews 10:32-39, Confidence in Faith