Monday, February 20, 2012

Outside the Gate

At the creation of the world, God made our bodies in His own image.  He pronounced them very good and indeed they are, but He made them good, not holy.  Our bodies require sanctification. We look like Him, but we do not bear His perfection.   

We might come eventually to wear His glory, but we must endure the fire to do so.

The High Priest carries the blood of animals to the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp--Hebrews 13:11
God told His people to separate the useful parts of a sacrificial animal from the bad; meat, fat, and blood came into the holy parts of the temple for dedication.  They separated hair, and skin, and entrails for burning at a place away from God's presence.

The rest of the bull he must take outside the camp to a place ceremonially clean where the ashes are thrown and burn it on an a wood fire on an ash heap.--Leviticus 4:12

God's people, to honor Him, separated what belonged to God from what did not, then sacrificed the first to Him and burned the rest.

God taught us to subject ourselves to the fire, to spend our own bodies in His service.

In fact, He did this Himself.  He demonstrated how to separate what we must spend from what He will save when He walked away from the temple out of the gate, up the hill, and stepped up onto His cross.

And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through His own blood.--Hebrews 13:12  

Our body houses a perfection God placed in it, a perfection He distills until it can stand beside His own.  This is why we endure the separation and intermittent burning away of what He cannot own.  This is why we bear our sufferings patiently because, as we follow His footsteps up the hill, we come to resemble Him.  And, in the process, He makes us beautiful.

Let us, then, go to Him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace He bore.--Hebrews 13:13


  1. We gave up some foods that we felt were not in our bodies best interest. There are other habits that are also harmful. For me -- Oh Me - I need to go to bed earlier. God is telling me this and I know it as well.

  2. Well done. I'm finishing up a study of 1 Peter right now. Peter stressed that we find hope and endurance in our suffering by looking to Jesus as our example and suffer as He did.

  3. "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know when your faith is tested your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow! When your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." James 1:2-4

    That perfection only comes through enduring trials. Thanks for this reminder!

    1. I like this translation..."Let it grow!" So full of life!