Hope for Eternal Glory - 31 January 2020
“I depend on God alone; I put my hope in him.” Psalm 62:5 (GNT)
If, says Paul, our hope in Christ is in vain, we are more to be pitied than anyone else in this world. Paul was speaking to the Corinthians about the resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15) Some of the Corinthians were saying that the dead would not be raised to life.
If this was true, Christians are indeed in a sad state. Committing one’s life to Christ is taking a decision to lead a life that will glorify God. If there is nothing after death, no home to go to, no God to welcome one, then the Christian is indeed in a pitiable state. But such is not the case.
In Old Testament times until the fall of the temple in Jerusalem, the High Priest would carry out a special ritual during Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
He would take two goats and present them at the door of the tabernacle. By lot, one would be chosen as the Lord’s goat and sacrificed. Its blood would be sprinkled on the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies.
The other goat would be the “Azazel” – the scapegoat – on who the High Priest, after confessing the sins of the Israelites to God, would figuratively place the sins on its head. This goat would then be driven into the wilderness to perish.
The blood of the Lord’s goat atoned for the sins of the Israelites and the “Azazel” goat took the sins away.
Jesus Christ, our High Priest, is the Lamb of God who through his sacrificial death on the cross atoned with his blood for our sins and put us right with God.
Paul did not leave the Corinthians in any doubt about the resurrection; “But the truth is that Christ has been raised from death, as the guarantee that those who sleep in death will also be raised.” (1 Corinthians 15:20)
That guarantee is valid for all who die in Christ. We will pass from death to glory. Hallelujah! What a Saviour!
Prayer: Oh God of our salvation, strengthen us by your Holy Spirit that we may glorify you. This we pray in Jesus name.Amen