The last several days I have been writing about Easter, the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and the events that happened in the days following the resurrection. After all, these are things that we, as Christians, rarely think about in our hectic lives. Tonight’s post represents another facet of the crucifixion that we know intuitively, but not intellectually. Namely, that the sacrifice of Jesus was once, for all of us, for all time.
How do we know this? After all, all throughout the Old Testament there were rituals and procedures to make sure that the priests were “clean.” There were sacrifices of animals and all kinds of offerings. These sacrifices had to be repeated from time to time as the substitutionary blood atonement only lasted for so long before the process had to be repeated – another life sacrificed. That’s why there were so many sacrifices on the alters.
But with Jesus, all that changed. Did you ever consider that after the resurrection of Jesus, the repeated offering of animals was no longer required? Why? Because Jesus took on the sins of all mankind and made a one time sacrifice on our behalf – that is, one death, finished and complete for all time. No other spilling of blood was necessary after the death of the perfect lamb – our Savior, Jesus Christ. How do we know that the one time sacrifice of Jesus was enough? Animals had to be sacrificed almost continually – so why is it any different after Jesus?
Once again, we can turn to the Greek for assurance of what we have been taught. While we have the present, past and future tenses in English, the Greeks used several tenses we don’t have in the English. Probably the most important of them for our purpose this evening is what is called the “perfect” tense. In simple terms, when something happened in the past, but has continuing consequences into the present, Greeks would use the “perfect” tense. One event, done and over, but with continuing consequences all the way up to and including the present.
And you know what? The crucifixion language in the Bible is all written with the “perfect” tense. That means that Jesus died on the cross, done and over, but with continuing consequences and impact for us through the present. So the other sacrifices aren’t needed. Jesus did it all – and we are still covered by Him for our sins.
One other interesting point about the “perfect” tense is that salvation doctrine also uses the “perfect” tense. When you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you don’t need to keep doing it. Because that one time action – done and complete – has continuing impact into the future. So not only is the death of Jesus still covering our sins today, but everyone who accepts the offer of salvation and eternal life need only do it once. That’s all there is to it. You’re good forever – you don’t need to keep accepting or even professing your faith, for that matter. You’re on the bus…
The verse for this evening is a simple one that every Christian can recite. We are told by the apostle John, in John 6:69, “We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? My encouragement this evening is that God and His Son did all the work of providing a way for us to enjoy eternal life with them. Death on a cross, once and for all, paved the way for all of us. My prayer is that you will contemplate the true sacrifice of Jesus and know that your acceptance of Jesus has continuing positive consequences forever. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…