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     But he [Jesus] has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 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. Heb. 9:26-28

Dear Lord Jesus, there are so many convincing reasons why you are singularly worthy of being loved, praised, trusted, and served. But as I begin this day, I want to recount some of those many reasons out loud. For any of a number of pseudo-gods, wannabe-gods, and demigods will be clamoring for my heart’s attention and affection today. Help me love you today with focused abandon and unwavering allegiance.

Lord Jesus, according to this Scripture, you came into the world of time zones and molecules, beauty and brokenness, longings and rebellion… at the “culmination of the ages”—at the precise time appointed by the Father, not a day too soon or a second too late. And you expressly came to “do away with sin”—to take away the sins of your people, which includes my sins. My heart trembles and dances before this most glorious news. I’m simultaneously humbled and gladdened.

The price was of so great a salvation was your life of perfect obedience—including obedience to death on the cross. May I never think or speak of your offering glibly, mindlessly, presumptively, or with a yawn; for the implications of your sacrifice are astounding.

Of these things we can be certain: Lord Jesus, you’ve exhausted the penalty of our sins. Your cross was our Judgment Day. Though I’m still destined to die, I’ve already been delivered from judgment because of your once-and-for-all sacrifice. Oh, the freedom, joy and peace this gives me…

And you’ve broken the power of sin in my life. Sin’s dominion has been destroyed in my whole being. I’m no longer under law, but under grace—no longer condemned, now cherished. You’re the boss, and the reign of grace is secure and is expanding.

And when you “appear a second time,” you’ll rid my being and the entire cosmos of the very presence of sin. I will no longer even me temped to sin—better than that, I’ll no longer even be capable of sinning. Hallelujah, many, many times over! That Day has never looked so attractive.

Lord Jesus, there is no other Savior like you. You’ve borne sin and you’re bringing salvation; you’ve borne our sin and you’re bringing us salvation; you’ve borne my sin and you’re bringing me salvation! Love you? Indeed! Wait for you? Like a much-loved bride longing for her much-anticipated wedding day. Even so, Lord Jesus, come! So very Amen we pray, in your merciful and matchless name.



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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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