Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Solid Rock"1 (Lyrics)
As an avid reader, I have always been a fan of the great detective, Sherlock Holmes, the literary creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I eagerly read — and watched film versions — of how he observed, made deductions, and uncovered crimes that others had overlooked. His greatest criminal adversary was Professor Moriarty, whose criminal activities had been thwarted by Holmes so often that Moriarty had to eliminate Holmes once and for all. The struggle ended in Doyle's story, The Final Problem, published in December, 1893, in which Moriarty tracks Holmes to the Reichenbach Falls, and in the ensuing struggle, both fall into the swirling waters of the ravine and are lost, together.
The idea of a problem being finally solved is an attractive one. For instance, when one comes to Jesus for salvation, the sin problem is solved forever, as we accept His forgiveness. After all, He met every demand of God for a perfect, righteous sacrifice, and we are free of sin's punishment forever. When reading Hebrews 9, though, the telling of Jesus' victory over sin is more entrancing than any merely literary tale ever written!
Hebrews 9:24-28 – Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself now to appear for us in God's presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (NIV)
The things of heaven needed a perfect offering in the person of Jesus. He now stands in God's presence as our mediator and High Priest forever, not only to solve the final problem, but to be Himself the final solution. Previously, imperfect offerings had to be made over and over to cover the people's sin, but Jesus had to die only once, for that was the final goal of His ministry and death. It doesn't end there; in His resurrection and second coming, sin is no longer the topic; the rescue of His people is the solution.
I pray that each of us will feel the love that God extends to us. He sent His own Son Jesus to die for us, to rescue us from sin and to enable us to enjoy fellowship with God forever. He does not intend for us to atone for our sins by doing good things, but for us to believe that pardon is extended to each of us. Let's allow Jesus' final solution to be enough for us today.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for Your perfect solution for the forgiveness of our sins. "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name." Amen. (Edward Mote)