As a priest, Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process. (Hebrews 10:11-13 The Message)
So many times we go about life trying hard to perfect what God has already declared perfect! We try to "pretty up" our lives, only to find that God has done that already in the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus. We are challenged by the struggle between what God "declares" us to be and what we see when we look in the mirror!
I find comfort in these verses quoted above. Look at what God has said to us:
1) One sacrifice was made - that was it! No other sacrifice is any longer necessary to satisfy the "standard" God requires to bring about righteousness in our lives. Try as we might, we can do nothing more than what Jesus has already done!
2) Jesus is in a position of waiting for his enemies to "cave in". What that suggests to us is that Jesus is in a position OVER our enemies, but that he has not eradicated them! That means that Satan and his gang are still around, being "influences" in today's culture. Try as they might, they won't win! It is a real struggle on the part of God's enemies to overtake what Jesus has OVERCOME. It just won't happen. What God has declared DONE is DONE. That means that when God declares us his kids, under his care, it is a DONE DEAL!
3) A perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some pretty imperfect people. Whew! Those are a whole lot of "perfects"! Jesus was that perfect person - and if you have not figured it out yet, we are those imperfect people in need of a perfect sacrifice to perfect us! The fact is, we are perfected in Christ. No other relationship has such significance in our lives. No other pursuit or alignment with any religious effort will do what that one sacrifice does!
4) Our part in this whole thing is to "take part" in it. That's it! Nothing more, nothing less. In other words, we take the steps God asks of us - steps of obedience as he reveals them to us. Nothing more. The most amazing thing to me is that even when we struggle with obedience, God has already made a way for us to overcome that struggle! That way is found IN CHRIST.
When God "declares" us righteous, he is making an "official" statement about our lives. He is "going on record" that we are indeed in right standing with him. We may look in the mirror, see the old character traits still evident in our lives, but in Christ, God only sees our perfection. That is good news! As we take the steps of obedience God desires - sometimes these are baby steps - we begin to see evidence of what God has declared! Our "mirror image" begins to change! We begin to reflect the character of Christ instead of the character of a sinner.
Just some thoughts about "mirror images" today. What do you see when you look in the mirror of God's Word? Do you see yourself as God sees you? If not, perhaps it is time look a little closer at what God has declared about you in his word. He has made you a new creation! All things of the old life are passed away - all things are made new in Christ. Embrace the freshness of the image God sees when he looks at you! Imperfect people made perfect in the perfect image of his perfect Son!