Never Again

There are many rhythms to life that over time just seem normal. From an early age we come to expect them to remain the same. The days and seasons go through their cycles, and so do we. We get up in the morning, spend our day in the usual way, and go to bed.

Day and night, repeat (hopefully you get at least one meal each day).

Sunday through Saturday, repeat (I hope you bathe at least once in there somewhere!).

January through December, repeat (if you’re really lucky, you may get a vacation at some point throughout the year).

Spring, summer, fall and winter, repeat.

We brush our teeth, and have to repeat. We clean our home and have to repeat. We pay the bills and repeat. In all of the repetition, we can become comfortable. We know what to expect; we know on a certain level what’s coming. The cycles are familiar and safe. We lose sight of the amazing, and it becomes ordinary.

There are moments that break the patterns: the death of someone we love, losing a job, serious injury or illness for ourselves or a close family member who needs our care, moving our home, losing close friends…

But even following these stress-filled crises, there comes a new normal. Days, weeks, months and years continue repeating as they did before. We find ourselves again becoming familiar with the cycles, even though things may never again be the way they were before.

The Jewish priests of old had a pattern that they followed daily. Hebrews 10:11 tells us, “Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins” (NLT). But God had a defining moment planned from the beginning of time to change that! When Jesus died on the cross, the need for daily sacrifices ended. He was the ultimate sacrifice, perfect and without blemish.

“But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy” (Hebrews 10:12-14 NLT).

Aren’t you glad the cycle of daily animal sacrifices was broken? I cannot even imagine the sights and sounds we no longer have to experience in order to be right with God. Today, thank Him for His sacrifice that opens the way for you to boldly enter the throne room of heaven. You can be at peace with God in spite of all of your shortcomings, and live a new “normal” kind of life in the knowledge that you are beloved and accepted by Him.

“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood” (Romans 3:23-25 NLT).

Easter is coming soon, when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But without his death, there could be no resurrection! This Easter, don’t be lulled into complacency by the familiar. Be amazed again at His infinite love and compassion, and spend time thanking Him for the once-for-all sacrifice He made for you. The cycle has been broken, praise God!