An altar is any structure upon which offerings are made. The term is also used to describe something given great value, especially at the cost of something else. Altars are an important feature in the stories of both God and man. All of Israel’s patriarchs built altars. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob each celebrated and remembered God’s promises through the construction of and sacrifices upon an altar. We all have our Altars. These are the seasons, days, or moments when we are awakened to the reality of God at work in our lives.
Hebrews 13:8-10 (NLT) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them. 10 We have an altar from which the priests in the Tabernacle have no right to eat.
Do You Need Forgiveness?
Who will trade for you? Who will cover the mistakes and missteps of your past and give you a new life? Jesus’ death was part of an incredible plan of redemption. God’s plan will grant forgiveness to all who repent, believe and follow Jesus.
The One Altar to Rule Them All
The Cross Frees Us All From Our Past (Hebrews 9:1-28)
Jesus came to accomplish what Israel could not. When in His wilderness, He did not complain, He simply waited upon what He knew the Goodness of His Father would provide. He always trusted, never rejected, sometimes asked for clarification but always surrendered. That is how a Son of God behaves.
His Victory was Enough for All of it!
Our persecutor is beaten. Our bondage has ended and our past is once and forever removed. Our rebellion and weakness and the power of sin over us is dead.
Hebrews 9:28 (NLT) so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for Him.
Come To The Altar
Release Your Past
Our actions apart from Jesus are terrible and corrupt and they aren’t just mistakes. If they were, you could correct them, but you can’t. They are sin. There is no way to escape them in your own power. Own it, and then let it go. Whatever happened, happened.
Philippians 3:13 (NLT) No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,
No matter how troubled our past may be, God sent Jesus to die on our behalf. No matter how many times we have falsely believed that God doesn’t love us, God’s Son died for us! No matter how many times we have lied and said that God doesn’t care about us, God’s Son died for us.
Romans 5:8 (NLT) But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
Crucify the Rebel, the Liar
The flesh you were born and lived in is not good. He/she cannot be reformed and God has no plans for his/her redemption. God’s plan was for that mortal being to be crucified with Christ. What God put Jesus through on that cross is exactly how He feels about that old broken and condemned you. The old you must go to the cross and the new you must come out of the resulting tomb.
Galatians 5:24 (NLT) Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.
Enthrone the Lord Jesus
Move away from sin and the belief that “I am God”. Move into salvation and the knowledge that God is God. Only those who have had this kind of awakening which produces a changed life are “saved” or going to heaven. Who is in charge of your life? Is it you?
Romans 10:9-10 (NLT) If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.
Have You Repented of Your Past and Sins and Made Jesus the Lord of Your Life?
Jesus’ death was part of an incredible plan of redemption. God’s plan will grant forgiveness to all who repent, believe and follow Jesus. There is only one way to become a disciple of Jesus. Lay down your agenda, life, control and take up His cross. If you are not living as though Jesus is Lord of your life, it’s time to fix that. Today’s Altar is that of forgiveness. Will you receive it? Then let go of what fills your heart so that there is room for this pervasive forgiveness.
2 Corinthians 6:1-2 (NLT) As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. 2 For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.
Talk About It…
- What are your first thoughts regarding today’s topic? Please share with the group.
- Read Hebrews 13:8-10. What do you think of when you think of an altar? Please Share.
- Do people need forgiveness? Why do people need forgiveness? What are the benefits of forgiveness?
- Read Romans 5:8. How do we know that God loves us? Do we need any other proof that God loves us? Why or why not?
- Read Galatians 5:24. How do we do what this verse teaches? What do you think the verse means?
- Discuss Romans 10:9-10. Would you share with your small group your experience of “declaring Jesus as Lord” in your life?
- Do you believe that you have been forgiven for all of your past? Why? Why not?
- Is there anything in today’s topic that you would be excited to share with a friend?
For The Kids
- Check out our Partner site – PursueGodKids.org
- Here is a great one for today
- At the bottom of the page, there are teacher packs for each age group.
- Select the one appropriate for your children’s ages.
- There are activity sheets in the teacher pack.