“…how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!” (Hebrews 9:14)
While to quote above starts mid-thought, it points to a new way of living and being transformed by what Christ has done for us. The “how much more” is contrasting the blood shed by Christ with the sacrifices that have been used before. The old sacrifices were useful but in a limited way. This thing that Jesus has done is something radically different and it is of eternal value. It is also transformational!
The transformation that comes from this is a freeing one. The author of Hebrews senses that we were on our own before God and had to measure up. We couldn’t and the fact that our work was always tainted with some burden to prove ourselves before God meant that we were still trapped in a way of life that felt more like death than life sometimes. These “dead works” would never be enough to accomplish what we hoped for, but they were all we could produce.
In Christ, the new life transforms us and reframes everything we do. If life was always shaped in part by a guilty conscience without Jesus, then this new life never needs to be framed by guilt. Now Christ’s work purifies our conscience – it is not up to us to be innocent. Christ cleanses us and sets us free.
That means that all we do in response to this gift is connected to helping us “worship the living God!” Rather than rituals and sacrifices in the physical sanctuary, now all of life is a sanctuary and all that we do is an act of worship. Once we recognize that Christ’s work declares us loved and precious to God, everything becomes a chance to honor the God who does that for us. Loving our family, caring for our neighbors, working at our jobs or as volunteers in the community – these are all places we now work in new ways out of gratitude and with a freedom and joy that is a gift from Jesus.
So go out and live your lives. Do so free from guilt. God has declared us loveable and Christ has died to show us how far God will go to love us. Live with joy and gratitude. Everywhere you go is part of God’s sanctuary and everything you do is now an act of worship.