The old system under Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship.
If they could have provided perfect cleansing, they would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared.
But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy. [NLT]
When I worked at Outreach, Inc. with homeless youth, I adopted this mantra I had received from a training: “You can talk to me, even if you fail.” This was a good reminder for me and what I wanted to be for these very damaged street kids. One of the main things I tried to instill was that they could come to me with anything, even if it was awful in their eyes, whether it be failing a test, not showing up to class, beating someone up. This was a basic need, in my opinion, for working with these youth.
This is one of the ways I think we can most be like God to people. By being openly available no matter what. God has cleared the way for relationship with Him by lovingly removing all obstacles. So it’s really on us to recognize, accept, and live into this beautiful reality.
Some of my kids did not come to me when they failed. Though I was open armed to them, they were either ashamed, wanted to do whatever they were doing and not face it, or just didn’t believe me. So this hurt our relationship of course. It’s hard to blame them, for they’ve suffered abuse, manipulation, and being lied to most of their lives. Why trust this long-haired dude? And yet, that did not change the fact that I wanted relationship with them no matter what. I’d tell them we could work through anything, if they just come to me honestly. Sure, there may be some consequences for their actions, but coming to someone who is in your corner, who cares for you and is willing to fight for you is nite and day better than the isolated alternative.
The ultimate was my guy who confessed to murder. He felt safe to tell me of even this level of crime. Yes, he is locked up for a while, but he and I are in relationship as opposed to his living a lonely life on the run, not only from the authorities, but from his own conscience. He told me two weeks ago that one of his motivations for turning himself in was the fear that if he didn’t, he and I could not be friends since he would be on the run. That’s pretty heavy.
Sometimes we cry out for God and want Him to do something, and I hear Him say, “I already have.” Will we exercise our free will to embrace what God has done–cleared the path for relationship with Him so that we may live in concert with Him? Once you truly wake up to this reality, your life is one that is characterized by appreciation and love of others.
In the Name of Jesus,
Soli Deo Gloria