Day 11

New Covenant Ministry

from the Hebrews reading plan


Hebrews 9:1-28, Leviticus 16:6-19, 1 Timothy 2:5-6


About four months ago, a hospice nurse estimated that my mother would be lucky to live another two weeks. Since then, my wife and three kids have prayed earnestly that my mom would come to know the Lord Jesus before she takes her last breath. 

To the present day, my mom has been staunchly anti-religion. When she agreed to let hospice come to administer basic checkups and palliative care, her primary stipulation was that anyone who might come to visit should avoid the topic of religion altogether. In light of my mother’s resistance to Jesus, I have cycled through seasons of numbness, despair, and anger as I consider the likely reality that, upon her death, my mother’s soul might be eternally separated from the presence of her Creator. 

Today, something new happened: for the first time ever, my mother allowed me to talk about Jesus. 

When I arrived, I sat on her bed as she held my arm and wept. When the Spirit stirred, I shared the gospel with her, read scripture aloud, and sang a few hymns. At the end of my visit, I encouraged her to ask God to enter her heart. I made it as simple as possible: call on the name of Jesus and ask Him to meet you in your suffering. For the first time, I felt like my mom may have been saved by the blood of Jesus.

I was simply able to invite her to call on the name of Jesus as the essential requirement for salvation. Imagine if I had to read Leviticus 16 and explain to her, “Ok, mama, if you want God to save you, I’m gonna have to get a priest to bring a bull and some goats in here, and, fair warning: it’s gonna get messy.” I don’t mean to disparage the original covenant between God and His people; far be it from me to denigrate the system He instituted. But, I certainly am grateful that in the precious conversation I had with my mom today, all I had to explain was the sufficiency of Jesus.

It is not the shedding of an animal’s blood that my mother needs to stand at peace in the presence of God; it is only Jesus. It is not a complicated series of steps that must be followed by a specially trained priest that would actuate atonement for the sin and looming death in my mother’s life; it is only Jesus. 

“But Christ has appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come” (Hebrews 9:11). In my own life, one of the “good things that have come” is the previously unimaginable possibility that my mom would call on the one name in heaven and earth that has the power and authority to redeem her soul and usher her from this life to the next, where she can finally rest in the arms of her faithful Savior. 

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