Outside of the city

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Hebrews 13

10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.

 

You are going to have to think with me on this one.  When the sin offering was brought to the temple and the sin of the people was symbolically transferred from the people to the sacrifice lamb, that lamb, filled with the sin of others, was to be taken outside of the camp and burned.  It was not to be eaten by the priests but taken out away from all others.  In this passage today we learn that Jesus, once filled with our sin, was taken outside of the city suffering apart from others.

The writer of Hebrews then makes a careful analogy for us: As Jesus did not belong in the city because of our sin upon Him, so we bearing the reproach of Christ do not belong in the city of this world.  Those crucifying Jesus did not want Him crucified inside their city; crucifixion was a nasty work to be done outside of their “fair” town.  Jesus suffered away from the crowds He cared for as He bore their reproach and ours.  In essence, Jesus did not belong in the city; He did not fit there.  He was too righteous for them and they wanted Him out.

We, those who have given Christ our sin, now bear His imprint upon our lives.  We no longer fit in the city of this world.  Our lives, imitating Christ, are a reproach to the people of this city. We are OK with this because we are looking forward to a heavenly city, our eternal home with Christ.  Are we OK with not being a part of the city of this world?  Are we OK being outside of the mainstream of society as we identify with our Savior?

Pray for a neighbor of the church who is having cancer surgery this week.  Pray for my friend Tom who is undergoing cancer treatment.  Pray for the souls of those around you who need the Savior.  We must, as light-bearers, be aware of the darkness in other’s souls and care for them. 

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

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