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Devotional - week of March 4, 2012


LET US GO OUTSIDE THE CAMP

 

Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.  Hebrews 13:12-13

 

Verse 12 speaks of Jesus dying outside the camp. This thought is introduced by the previous verse which says that on “the great day of atonement,” the bodies of the sacrificed animals were burned outside the camp. Following the statement about Jesus there is an encouragement that believers go outside the camp.

 

We know that outside the camp for the animal sacrifices was beyond the borders of where the Israelites camped during their journey to the Promised Land. For Jesus, outside the camp was outside the city of Jerusalem where “He was numbered with the transgressors,” viciously abused and crucified as a criminal.

 

“Outside the camp” for Hebrew readers of the Book of Hebrews was their rejection of the Old Covenant beliefs and ways of worship. The reproach they were receiving for doing so was tempting them to give up their New Covenant life and returning to Old Covenant life. 

 

Where is outside the camp for today’s believers? It is being anywhere God leads leads us to go and doing anything God leads us to do that results in reproach. In recent years being outside the camp for some is nothing more than bearing the name Christian.  

 

In light of Hebrews 13:12-13, we are advised to go where God leads and do what God says in spite of the possibility of reproach.   By the grace of God we can do it. The second chapter of Hebrews closes with:

 

Therefore, in all things He [Jesus] had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest…. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.