Thankful for a clean conscience!
Scripture reading for November 9th: Hebrews 9:11-28
The priests under the old covenant were doing daily sacrifices of animals in the earthly tabernacle for the sins of men. Under the old covenant, the sacrifice of animal blood could cover the sins of men but could not really cleanse them from sin. The Law of God could reveal the sins of men, but could not remove that sin from them. But now a God-appointed High Priest was seated at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. Jesus Christ had offered His own blood as the perfect sacrifice for all man’s sins, once for all.
Under the old covenant, the sacrifice of animal blood could cover the sins of men but could not really cleanse their consciences from sin. God has placed a conscience inside of man. A conscience is a basic understanding of what is right and what is wrong, a knowledge of good and evil. When we do wrong, our conscience brings conviction to us. When we respond properly to the conscience, we confess or take responsibility for the wrong that was done and ask God for forgiveness. We also should seek reconciliation with those wronged if possible. This process is call repentance.
As a Jew under the old covenant, sacrifices were laid out for sins committed in ignorance. All forgiveness before God must come through a blood sacrifice. “In the same way, he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” The Jews were thus taught that their sins required the death of an innocent animal to bring about forgiveness before God.
“The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” (Hebrews 9:13-14) Under the new covenant, we have a better sacrifice. The blood of Christ can actually cleanse our consciences and enable us to serve God without fear of death or punishment. Aren’t you thankful for the new covenant and a clean conscience!