Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this: . . . “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.
Stop Working So Hard
There are some tasks that never seem to be done. No matter how often we brush our teeth, we always have to brush them again. No matter how many times we clean the house, the dust keeps reappearing. No matter how much time we spend working on the cars and lawnmowers, there’s something that will need to be fixed, tweaked, improved, or replaced before too much time goes by. Day after day, task after task, our work is seemingly never done. “When,” you might ask, “have I ever done enough to feel perfectly satisfied that my work is done?” With many tasks, the answer may simply be—never.
Do you ever ask the same question about your life? When do you have the right to feel perfectly satisfied with yourself? Have you done enough to love your spouse? Have you taught your children enough about God and his Word? Are you faithful enough at work? Have you dedicated enough time to serving others? Have you walked away from that temptation enough times to feel good about where you are in life? Day after day, task after task, in every area and relationship of life, there is seemingly more work that must always be done.
This was true also for the priests in the Old Testament. Their work was never done. Day after day, again and again, they offered sacrifices.
When we evaluate our lives according to how closely they model God’s will revealed in his Word, there is always more that must be done. That truth might compel us, then, to work harder and to sacrifice more of our time and energy to do better.
But that’s not what Scripture tells us to do. We are told, rather, to stop looking at the quality of our work and of our life and look instead at the quality of the work and life of Jesus. “By [his] one sacrifice, he has made [us] perfect forever.” The sacrifice of his perfect life was enough to cover over every sin and, therefore, enough to compel God to declare that “Their sins . . . I will remember no more.”
And if God does not remember your sins; if God already feels perfectly satisfied with who you are in Christ, then you can as well. You can stop working so hard to find what has already been given to you in Christ.
Dear Father in heaven, let us forever find rest in the sacrifice of Christ, so that we will be free to use our time and energy to sacrifice for those around us. Amen.