Verse: Hebrews 9:24-28
24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
When Jesus breathed his last on the cross he proclaimed, "It is finished" (John 19:30). It is amazing how important those words were for him to say as we reflect on them some 2000 years later. How often do we find ourselves trying to add to his work on the cross?
How often do we feel like we need to beat ourselves up in penance after we have sinned or fallen short? How often do we battle shame after we fall again in an area of repeated sin in our lives? How often do we disqualify ourselves from service to God, or using our gifts, or even enjoying his presence in worship, because we feel we aren't worthy?
All of these and more are tantamount to us arguing with Jesus and saying, "Actually, it isn't finished. I know you did good work on the cross, but I still have work to do."
This is a natural human reaction, but it flies in the face of Scripture. These verses in Hebrews attest to the truth that it is finished. "Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many." "He has appeared once for all...to do away with sin." These are the promises of the good news of the kingdom. Jesus Christ died and rose again, paying for our sin, so we don't have to. He bought our freedom from sin, shame, and condemnation.
So next time you or I try to revisit the old grounds of shame and condemnation, let's remember—let's tell ourselves and the enemy—that IT IS FINISHED. No amount of penance or shame or beating ourselves up can add anything to what Jesus has done for us. His work is perfect, and therefore perfectly complete. All we have to do is receive his great work. Allow his forgiveness to truly change your life, liberating you from the power of sin and shame.
Thank you, Jesus for the freedom and healing you have purchased for me on the cross. I am so grateful. Help me to turn away from shame and condemnation any time it tries to find it's way into my life.