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"Jesus died for our sins"

I was raised a Christian and so have heard the above quote a lot. But hearing it and repeating it and believing it to be true, never fully clarified what it actually means...At the end of the day, the words "Jesus died for my sins" were abstract at best, even though I wholeheartedly believed it to be true. Yesterday, reading Hebrews 7 (not the most thrilling passage of the Bible I must admit), I had a revelation. Before Jesus came, the Jewish custom since the time of Moses, was to have high priests who acted as a 'go-between', between man and God. The high priests offered sacrifices - blood offerings - to God twice a day, once for the forgiveness of his own sins, and again for the forgiveness of the sins of the people. When Jesus came, he came as the final high priest, the last 'go-between' between man and God. Jesus died on the cross to be the final blood sacrifice, and because Jesus is "holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, [and] exalted above the heavens", he had no sins to atone for, his blood sacrifice on the cross was for the atonement of the sins of the people. Jesus died on the cross as the final high priest's blood sacrifice not for his own sins because he didn't have any, but for YOURSELF and MINE. I always thought how horrible it was that Jesus was crucified, of all the ways to die, why like that? And the answer is, for you! He spelled his own blood to end the tradition of offering animal sacrifices, to end the division between common man and God (the one 'filled' by imperfect and corrupt high priests), so that we have a close and personal relationship with God, one in which we apologise for our sins, and we are forgiven. Because Jesus came as the final high priest to sacrifice himself as the final blood offering, YOU can have a relationship with the almighty God, a personal one, a close one. Because Jesus did that, WE can come before God and be declared His children, and like a father, God forgives our sins. Because Jesus did that, even though we fall short day after day, we can come before our Heavenly Father and apologise and be forgiven! "Jesus Christ died for YOUR sins!" - and though that may sound abstract, its incredible!

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