Hebrews 10: The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Sometimes you hear Christians today speak of the Lord’s Supper as if it were one of those oft-repeated sacrifices of the Old Testament. You hear it in comments like these. “Wasn’t it nice that he was able to receive communion just before he died?” Maybe I heard comments like that when I was a child. I remember thinking of forgiveness as if it were something that needed to be refreshed often if I were going to make it to heaven.
Forgiveness is not an on again, off again thing. If you believe in Jesus, then you are forgiven all the time, because Jesus made just one sacrifice, which was good for all time. I am forgiven when I am awake or sleeping. I am forgiven even before I confess my sins to God, even while I am still sinning (though I will never use forgiveness as an excuse to keep on sinning). I am forgiven, even when my conscience is weak, because a small faith is still a saving faith.
I rejoice that my forgiveness does not depend on the quality of my confession, or the strength of my faith, or the frequency of my attendance at the Lord’s table. I am forgiven in Christ, who died for my sin once for all.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, when my conscience accuses me or my heart doubts, then point me to your sacrifice on the cross for my sins. Remind me that every sin I committed, small or grievous, has been forgiven forever. I ask this in your name. Amen.