The anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:20 Understanding our wretched condition apart from Christ is profoundly helpful for us as we pray for and long for unbelieving friends and relatives to come to Christ. Think about a father and mother who have been grieving...
[The sacrifices] were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. Hebrews 9:9 (NIV)
The problem with sacrifices in the Old Testament is that they “were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper.” These sacrifices pointed to something greater: the work of Jesus Christ. But in and of themselves, they could not cleanse the conscience.
“[Jesus Christ] did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean” (9:11-13).
“How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” (Heb. 9:14).
What an amazing promise! God cleanses our consciences from acts that lead to death! How does he do it? By the blood of Christ, because on the cross he offered himself unblemished to God! He offered himself—his unblemished, perfect life—as a sacrifice to God for us on account of our sins. Therefore, he alone is able to cleanse our consciences through his blood.
Through the blood of Jesus Christ there is washing, forgiving, restoring, and renewing for you. The blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin. You can be washed today. You can be cleansed.
Are you finding rest in this promise? Or are you looking to some other sacrifice (your good works, etc.) that can never truly cleanse your conscience?