Once for All, Times Two

But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption… He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant…  For Christ has entered… into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly… But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified… Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 9:11-12,15,24-28; 10:10-12,14,23

The gospel is good news. Good news that breaks bright on a dark day, that penetrates wrangling uncertainty with assurance, that shines hope into desperation. Jesus came once for all, times two. He paid the penalty for sin with death once for all, proclaiming It is finished! to the yearly sacrifice for sins, and He won Calvary’s victory once for all who would come, all who are called by His name and are now being sanctified. Twice good news! (John 19:28-30)

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This hope we can receive by faith and claim as ours for good is that Jesus died instead of me, and He died for me. Just as His once-for-all substitutionary death fulfilled the annual sacrifices made by priests, it is also the full recompense for my sin. I am free to surrender self-effort at winning God’s favor and live unshakably secure because Jesus, in immeasurable love toward me, achieved forever my favored place with Him through His blood.

Believing His once for alls also stirs great motivation to spread the good news. Held-fast confession becomes resounding, glad profession: Come, all who are weary and burdened! Jesus offers freedom and spiritual rest! Come, all who thirst! Jesus satisfies with living water! Blessed are you whose transgressions are forgiven! He came and did all for you, and He lives to redeem all of you who come! (Psalm 32:1-2,5; Isaiah 55:1; Matthew 11:28; John 4:10,14)

Lord Jesus, may I faithfully proclaim your glorious once for alls with word and deed.

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