“…it is impossible for the blood of bulls & goats to take away sins… we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” Hebrews 10:4,10,14
Sunday morning I preached my Father’s Day message from the passage above, and while it may seem like an odd passage for such an occasion, it is really very practical for fathers, wives, and children of all ages.
Right now, you may be asking “How?”
Father’s day can bring up a great deal of emotions for people. There can be grief and joy remembering the loss of good dad. Yet, a sense of bitterness or anger can arise over a cruel or absent father. Sadness exists for some over a wayward father. Father’s day even causes a lot of us who are dads to take stock of “how we are doing” or “how we need to be doing.” Research has shown that the father is the most important person in a child’s life because the father will essentially determine how we view God & how we view ourselves. No pressure. Right, guys?
The truth is that none of us measure up to what we should be—(men, women, or children). We are all flawed, imperfect people, and God requires blood sacrifices for us to be forgiven & enter into relationship with Him. “Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness for sins (Hebrews 9:22).
What’s more, the Old Testament system of animal sacrifices could not take away sins, it could only serve as a reminder that we were sinners (see above). Alec Motyer states it this way: It is the very heart of our sinfulness that we sin b/c we want to. Because of this, no animal can do more than picture the substitution for sin. Only a person can substitute for a person. Only a consenting will can substitute for a rebellious will. (Alec Motyer, The Prophecy of Isaiah).
A person had to die—the Old Testament law merely pointed forward to what would eventually take place. Jesus would willingly lay down his life for rebellious sinners. He willingly took our place, and in His body, He sanctified (made perfect) those who would come to God through His sacrifice. In fact, “by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”
For those who have come to faith in Jesus Christ, He has made you (positionally) perfect in God’s sight. Yes, we are being sanctified (made more like Jesus experientially), but because of Jesus’ sacrifice we will NEVER be condemned for our sins. WE HAVE BEEN MADE PERFECT IN GOD’S SIGHT. This is what God’s Word says about you!
Pastor Tim Keller said this about our position in Christ: The Christian Gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me. Yet, I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility & deep confidence at the same time. It undermines both swaggering & sniveling. I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone. The gospel calls us to neither think more of ourselves, nor less of ourselves. Instead, it calls us to think of ourselves less. (Timothy Keller, The Reason for God)
Dads, do you see yourself as mostly a failure as a father & husband or do you see yourself as someone who is perfect in Jesus, who longs to be made more like him? Can you forgive yourself for your failures, knowing that you are already forgiven in Jesus?
Children, do you hold your dad’s sins against him or are you more grateful for who he is as a Christian? Yes, he’s a flawed human being, but if he is a Christian he is perfectly accepted in the eyes of God. Can you accept him & forgive him though he has flaws just like you?
Wives, you know your husband more intimately than anyone else & could probably rip him to shreds over his failures to you & your family. Can you see Jesus in him? Do you know that as sinful as he is, if he is a Christian, then he is perfect in God’s sight? Can you forgive him? Can you pray for him? Can you seek his welfare? Will you measure him against the Law of YOUR STANDARDS and accept him based upon what degree of success he has in measuring up? Or will you accept him based upon the standard that God uses & has used—the measure of the perfect righteousness of His Son—that has made your husband perfect.
Trust me on this. If you had or have a father or husband who has been a monster toward you and your family, and he never comes to know Christ, God will avenge the sins done wrong to you: Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord” (Romans 12:19). Yet, if you have a father or husband who is a Christian, all of his sins have already been paid for IN FULL by Jesus on the Cross. God will always do what is right.