SOAP Devotional 2014-01-30
Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer
We have an altar from which the priests in the Tabernacle have no right to eat. Under the old system, the high priest brought the blood of animals into the Holy Place as a sacrifice for sin, and the bodies of the animals were burned outside the camp. So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood. So let us go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he bore. For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. (Hebrews 13:10-14 NLT)
This passage states another reason why Christian Hebrews should not return to Jewish practices or by implication any teaching different from the gospel of Jesus Christ. Instead, the old system just gave an example of what Jesus fulfilled. He is the priest, the sacrifice, and the altar was the cross. Just as in the old system, blood was shed in the camp, but the body was destroyed outside the city, so was jesus' blood shed at the scourging in the city, but his body hung outside the city. This salvation is of no benefit to those who choose to remain under Jewish customs and laws. Just as he was outside the city, we too, leave the legalism of the Jewish law and follow after His teachings. Our world is not any system of earthly inheritance as the Hebrews would have claimed Jerusalem as their real home. This place is temporary and our home is in heaven to come.
Because Christ fulfilled the old Jewish law in his death on the cross, we need to move on. We are no longer to observe Jewish traditions, we accept the free grace and merit of his sacrifice, we embrace being separated from other doctrines by not being ashamed of the cross, we conform to him through self denial, and we look forward to a city that is built for us to live in eternally outside and after this world. By extension, we need to make sure that other doctrines do not become the legalism of today that distracts from the message of the cross. People want to add to our message new traditions or doctrines. We need to stick to the teachings of Christ and his apostles.
Father, I am not distracted by those who would try to lure us into Jewish practices as the Hebrews did at the time this passage was written, but their are many new teachings abounding today. Do not let me be misled by others that would take my attention away from the teachings of you and your apostles. Help me to come out of the city spiritually and to be able to endure any approach that may come my way from associating with you.