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Devotional - week of December 25, 2005


WHEN JESUS CAME INTO THE WORLD

 

… when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. … Then I said, 'Behold, I have come … To do Your will, O God,’”  Hebrews 10:5, 7

 

The author of the Book of Hebrews presents the words of Psalm 40:6-7 as a prophecy of Jesus. Using the words in those verses, Jesus tells His heavenly Father that He realizes He was not pleased with sacrifices and offerings and, therefore, had prepared a body for Him. It was in that body He, Jesus, would do the will of the Father.

 

Jesus knew that in the body the Father had prepared for Him, He would take the place of sacrifices and offerings. He also knew that that would mean the shedding of His blood for the sins of others.

 

The author of Hebrews adds the following statement about the crucifixion of Jesus.

 

By that will we have been sanctified through the body of Jesus Christ once for all.  Hebrews 10:10

 

Sanctification for a believer means being set apart to God. There are two ways the New Testament explains sanctification of believers. First, at the time of conversion, God sets apart to Himself every new believer so that God might live through him.

 

Sanctification is also used to describe the believer’s continual increase in availability to the Father.

 

In John 17:19, Jesus, speaking of believers, says to the Father:

 

And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

 

The sanctification of Jesus, on one hand, means that Jesus set Himself apart to die so all believers can be set apart to God by becoming Christians as they hear the story of His death.

 

On the other hand, Jesus sanctified Himself to die as the “Last Adam.” Because Jesus is the “Last Adam,” at the time of our conversion, the Holy Spirit baptized us into the death of Jesus. We were crucified. When we hear and believe the truth of our crucifixion and choose to experience it, we will experience it. Through a day-by-day experience of our crucifixion, we increasingly are fully available to God.