Chapter 13: 7-17
7 “Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them. 10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate.
13 “Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. 15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. 16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”
Last week we talked about spiritual doctrines and disciplines. The Gospel has not changed, and the Lord’s churches are not ‘progressive.’ We are not to tamper with God’s ways and rules; we are to simply make them known, and then people can, of their own free will, decide to obey and submit or defy God.
Today we will look at a part of Christianity that is not very popular; that is being the outcast. We all want to be popular; we all want to fit in and blend in. But if we are to be true to Jesus and His Word, we are most often not going to fit in; we will be at odds with the culture. Today, our society gets further and further from God, calling good evil and vice-versa, and we will be at odds more and more.
- The Old Testament Pictures of Jesus, verse 11
There were millions of animals sacrificed before Jesus came along to be our one and final sacrifice. The vast majority of these animals, though killed in front of the altar, were actually burned outside the camp in the wilderness and outside of the city once the Temple was built. We find the reference to this in Leviticus 4:12 and Leviticus 4:21.
“all the rest of the bull – he is to bring out to a clean place outside the camp where the ashes are poured out, and burn it on wood with fire; where the ashes are poured out it shall be burned.”
“Then he is to bring out the bull to a place outside the camp and burn it as he burned the first bull; it is the sin offering for the assembly.
There are many other verses that tell us that the bull and other sacrifices were burned outside the camp. This was a picture that Jesus would be killed outside of the city of Jerusalem. Just like the sacrifices, He would be treated the same way. This brings to mind a conversation that Jesus has with the Pharisees, and He says these profound words, John 5: 39:
“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.”
The Old Testament scriptures testify about Jesus. He is prophesied about and promised from the very first book in Genesis 3:15, all the way to Malachi. Jesus is the story of the Old Testament.
- The New Testament: see the Fulfillment of the Old, verse 12
Jesus suffered outside the gates to fulfill the pictures shown in the Old Testament. This was not just a picture of the sacrifice, but we are told that this is how we are sanctified. We are sanctified with His own blood that was shed outside the gates. Jesus was hated by His own people; He was hated by family, friends and foes alike.
In verse 13, we are reminded that as a part of the sanctification process, we will have to learn to be hated like Jesus was. We are to bear His ‘reproach.’ We will never fit in here, and if we do, it is because we have compromised the person and the teachings of Jesus. We have chosen others over Jesus. We have chosen to give in to be friends with Jesus’ enemies. The truth of Jesus; the truth of total and utter depravity; the truth of Heaven and Hell; the truth of our need for a Saviour; the truth that Jesus, and ONLY Jesus, is the Way of salvation causes more and more separation than it does unite. If we always feel the need to fit in, we will have to compromise Jesus and His ways to do so. Look at Matthew 10:34-37:
“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
This is the part of the spiritual conduct that hurts — the part that separates friends and relatives, the parts that make us choose Jesus above all. This is not always easily done, and sadly, we all, me included, make a lot of bad choices. God is gracious. But if we are to grow, mature, and become useful in the Kingdom, we must be ready to bare the reproach of Jesus and His Gospel. A Gospel that required Him to be hated, forced out to the hill of the Skulls, and killed for you and me. Let us not be ashamed of Jesus; He will often be all we have in this life.
God bless you,
Dr. Sean Gooding
Pastor of Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church
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