Pastor Schreiber's Devotions

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"Jesus Did It All"—Hebrews 7:23–28

I have a coffee mug that someone once gave me. It says: “Old pastors don’t die; they just go out to pastor.” I don’t know if that is true, but I would like to think it could be. I am reminded of my own humanity and the brevity of life every once in a while, and the fact that there is so much I have yet to accomplish with the Lord’s help.

This feeling is why I am drawn to our text. It speaks directly to our Lord Jesus and His omnipotence (all powerful) and eternity (without beginning and without end). He is God Almighty. He is lives forever.  He is the personification of perfect love. He offered Himself once for all people of all time as the perfect and absolute sacrifice for all sinners. When He took on human flesh and blood as the babe of Bethlehem, lived a life of poverty and hard work, offered Himself on that Roman cross as the only sacrifice capable of saving sinners from hell, and when He rose victorious even over death and the grave to ascend back into His heavenly home to prepare homes for all who would love and trust in Him for forgiveness of sins, Jesus did what we needed done! This is exactly what the writer to the Hebrew said in chapter seven, verses 23-25:

The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

Here is why this is so important for us:

For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever. (Hebrews 7: 26-28)

Jesus did what no mere human could do; and He did it for us!

So we pray: Oh! Give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good! His mercy endures forever. Amen.

"Without Sin"—Hebrews 4:14–16

There is one verse in this reading that hits me right between the eyes. Describing Jesus, the writer to the Hebrews said in chapter 4, verse 15: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Jesus was able to sympathize with human pain, fear and uncertainty, frustration, anger, joy and love, and every other emotion such as is common to our race. We know He loved little children. He cared for the sick and injured, the elderly, the stranger, those who were hungry and thirsty, the frightened, the lonely, and those who mourned. Yet, He never sinned; and this is what allowed Him to make that perfect sacrifice on Calvary’s cross. He experienced the emotions (and probably the fears) that we experience. Jesus was tempted as we are tempted, “yet without sin.

Jesus’ love for sinners like ourselves brought Him into this world as that poor baby and to be carried to and from Egypt as an infant refugee so that His enemies couldn’t kill Him. He grew up in a humble Jewish home, learn a trade carpentry, and attend worship at the local synagogue or the great temple in Jerusalem. And then, as He embarked on His teaching and miracle-working career as the Christ or Messiah the jealousy and hatred of His enemies the brought Him before the Roman governor where He was tried and condemned to the cruel cross of Calvary. Yet He never sinned. Instead of cursing God and those who betrayed Him He prayed for them. He was without sin!

This Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He gave His life as God’s perfect sacrifice to redeem all sinners from the curse of sin, death, and everlasting condemnation in hell. He came, lived, and died for you. Now Jesus lives forever in heaven, where He is preparing everlasting homes for those who confess their sins and love and trust in Him for that full end free redemption!

So, we pray: Lord Jesus, thank you for being our Savior from sin. Help us to always remember this and share this message with our families, friends, and even the stranger on the street and our enemies! In Your name we pray. Amen.

"We Share in Christ!"—Hebrews 3:12–19

We could easily call it pride, stubbornness, or simply stupidity. I referring to is the penchant to hold grudges far beyond any useful purpose. I mean, it may be alright for a person to become angry or to feel great disappointment in something another person said or did, but too often we sinners keep dredging up the muck and mire of past conflicts or wrongs suffered. I have seen this in families, congregations, and in politics. I have listened while people vented, “Pastor, I can forgive him, but I will never forget what he did.”  Perhaps you have experienced such wrath as well.

Can you imagine what it would be like if this were God the Father’s attitude toward sinners? I mean, such an attitude would be frightening! God could easily recall any of my sins of thought, word, or deed and then say, “Depart from Me! I never knew you!” He could rightfully hold up His commandments and then I would stand convicted and condemned as a sinner. I would have no hope. There would be only hell-fire and damnation for me.

The writer to the Hebrews said it well:

Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. (Hebrews 3: 12-14)

Far too often we see or experience this strange and frightening attitude in the church as we sinners struggle with our own sinfulness. The final words of this passage remind us about Jesus and His cross-bought salvation. Jesus is the reason we can stand together as brothers and sisters in faith, knowing that our own sins are forgiven, and that in Jesus we can forgive others. May this be our heritage and our legacy!

We pray: Lord Jesus, you died that we might live in you! Help us to forgive others as freely and completely as you forgive us! In your name we pray. Amen.