After the Scriptures talk about the dedication of the wall, and then the gathering of the singers, the next verse, Nehemiah 12:30, talks about purification. “Then the priests and Levites purified themselves, and purified the people, the gates, and the wall” (NKJV).
The Hebrew root word for “purified”, thr, means to be clean, to be pure, and it is used in many contexts in the Old Testament, including those with the idea of being morally pure and clean before God.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:7-9, NIV). What does this text teach us about 1 human nature, 2 God’s forgiveness, and 3 God’s power in our lives?
The Temple and its services were crucial components of the religion of ancient Israel. But the Temple and its services were a means to an end, not an end in and of themselves. And that end, of course, was to lead the people into a saving relationship with their covenant God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and to know His cleansing power in their lives. And it’s the knowledge of what God has done, what the Lord has saved us from, that leads us to love Him and to worship Him. That’s one reason why, over and over, the ancient Israelites recounted what God had done in their past. It helped them to know the goodness and love of the Lord, which was central to the joy and thanksgiving that was to permeate their worship experience.
For us today, the experience and appreciation of forgiveness for sin should come out of gratitude to God and a sense of hope and joy. Then it is easy to praise the Lord and express appreciation for the beauty of His character. And what greater revelation of God’s character can we have than seeing Jesus on the cross, bearing the punishment for our sins so we don’t have to bear that punishment ourselves?
|Regardless of your past sins or your present character, at the cross you can have complete forgiveness- and right at this very moment, too. Why not claim the forgiveness that Jesus offers you right now?|