New Way — January 17, 2014 (Friday)

Today’s Verses:

Hebrews 10:19-23

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

The Most Holy Place, or the Holy of Holies, was behind a curtain in the innermost part of the tabernacle. (Exodus 26:31-34) God himself was present in the Most Holy Place, and it could only be entered by the Jewish High Priest one day a year, the Day of Atonement. On the Day of Atonement, the High Priest would make reparations for his and the Israelites’ sins by sacrificing a bull and a goat. Thereafter, the High Priest would lay his hands on a live goat, confess over it the sins of the Israelites, and send it away into the desert. (Leviticus 16:1-34)

Today’s Questions:

Compare the duties of the High Priest on the Day of Atonement with what this passage says Jesus did when he died.

What is “the new and living way” that allowed us access into the Most Holy Place, or, into the presence of God?

What two things happen to us as we enter into the presence of God through Christ?

How do you see the last sentence of this passage relating to the prior sentences?

Today’s Prayer:

Father, thank you for making a way. Thank you for this once-and-for-all sacrifice. Thank you for providing the scapegoat. I don’t pretend to understand it all Lord, I’m still learning. But I think I forget some days that my sin has been placed fully on Jesus and carried away forever. Why do I live so many days with such doubt or like one whose hope rests on empty promises? I know who you are: You are a promise-keeper. I know what you’ve done: You have fulfilled your promises. God, let my gratefulness and assurance be reflected in the thoughts I think, the way I speak, the work of my hands, and the expanse of my love.

Go A Little Deeper:

Review Exodus 33:7-23 to read about Moses’ experience in the presence of the Lord.

New Way — January 16, 2014 (Thursday)

Today’s Verses:

Isaiah 43:19

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.

The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls
because I provide water in the desert
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.

In this passage, the word “new” in Hebrew is “chadash,” which means repair, renew, or restore, and refers to something never before done.

Today’s Questions:

What is the new thing God says he is doing?

Have you been through a season of life that you might describe as a desert or a wasteland? When? What was happening?

As you look back on that season, can you identify a way that was made that led you out of the situation or experience?

Are you in what feels like the desert or a wasteland now? What is your prayer? What is your expectation about finding your way out?

Today’s Prayer:

Oh, Lord, there are days I feel totally hopeless and directionless, like I have lost my way. I don’t know what happens but I wander off and the next thing I know, I can’t find the path back. Father, help me to stay on course. Bring to mind your promises of restoration and repair. Redeem my waywardness and destructive choices. Remind me of the things that pull me away from you and divert my attention from your purposes so that I choose the way you have set before me that leads to life, truth, and wholeness. Remind me, Lord, of the way, the truth, and the life.

Go A Little Deeper:

Review Jesus’ words in John 14:5-7 about “the way” God made for us.