“Then Solomon offered up burnt offerings to the Lord on the altar of the Lord that he had built before the vestibule, as the duty of each day required. Offering according to the commandment of Moses for the Sabbaths, the new moons, and the three annual feasts, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Booths.”
-2 Chronicles 8:12–13
In these verses from 2 Chronicles 8, it’s really important to see, so this is the dedication of the temple, the start of offerings and sacrifices there. And that’s kind of the point. Here in this place where the glory of God dwelled among his people, God’s blessing was clearly attached to sacrifices made before him, according to his word. All the blessing of God among his people would hinge on them making sacrifices for sin.
The blessing of God is attached to his sacrifice, to all who trust in the sacrifice of Jesus on a cross.
And when we see this picture in the Old Testament, specifically in the temple, and then we open the pages of the New Testament, and we see that Jesus has come, what we celebrate at Christmas, that the temple is here. The glory of God dwelling in our midst. And when we see him die on a cross and the curtain of the temple torn in two, we realize that where the people of God in the Old Testament needed to make daily sacrifices and annual sacrifices for their sin, Jesus has offered the full and final sacrifice for the sins of all who trust in him. And the blessing of God is attached to his sacrifice, to all who trust in the sacrifice of Jesus on a cross, him giving his life for us. Which is the reason he came to die for sinners.
This is his name. When in Matthew chapter 1 the angel tells Joseph, “You will call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” He will be the sacrifice for their sins. Like 2 Chronicles 8:12-13, just beckon us to look again to Jesus today, as the sacrifice for our sins. To praise him and to realize that it’s in Jesus that the blessings of God are open to us. It’s in Jesus, that we have the privilege of coming before God, even right now in prayer. It’s in Jesus that we see the glory of God face to face, and that we have the privilege of walking with God, of experiencing life at every moment as the temples of the Holy Spirit, living in worship to God.
So we pray, Jesus, all glory be to your name. In a fresh way today, we give you glory. We will do this for all of eternity. We give you glory, for your life, your death, your resurrection from the grave, your ascension on high, your authority as Lord over heaven and earth. We praise you. We praise you for loving us enough to die on a cross for us. We praise you as the supreme sacrifice. And we praise you for opening the door to the blessings of God in our lives. For right now, the privilege we have of communion with God.
God help us never to treat this lightly, this privilege that Old Testament saints could have only longed for as just one high priest would go into your presence to offer a sacrifice in the annual Day of Atonement. The fact that we right now get to experience communion with you, that we get to walk with you all day long, that we can speak to you, be in your presence, that our bodies are the temples of your Holy Spirit, all because of the sad sacrifice of Jesus. God, we praise you for pouring out your blessings on us, through Jesus. Jesus, we praise you as the center of our lives. You are our life. You are the way, the truth, and the life. And God, we pray that you would help us to make the good news of the sacrifice known today.
God, I think about people I’m sharing the gospel with in my life right no–13w. God, we pray that you give us boldness today to share the good news of Jesus’ sacrifice. God, we pray that many people would come to church at our invitations, especially here at Christmas. And they would hear the good news of why Jesus has come. And they would believe, that they would trust in him. And they would experience the blessings of God.
God, we pray for so many people we know who need to know your blessing through Jesus. God, we pray for so many people around the world, hundreds of thousands of Fezzan Bedouin in Libya, God please open their eyes to your grace in Jesus. God, please cause the gospel to go to this Muslim people group, that they might know that Jesus is God in the flesh, that Jesus has died on the cross for their sins to make away for them to experience your blessing in all of eternity.
So, O God, as we go into the rest of our day, the next day, all week long, help us to live in your blessing, to walk in the blessing that you have made possible, Jesus, through your sacrifice on the cross for us, and the life that you have made possible for us, the peace, the joy, the hope that we have today through you, Jesus. All through you. Now we pray all these things in your name. According to 2 Chronicles 8:12-13. Amen.