(see text below)
I grew up with the ill-conceived notion that if I didn’t ask for forgiveness just before I died, those sins not covered by my last confession would work against me. Timing was critical to this theory. That’s a heavy burden for anyone, let alone a child.
The writer of Hebrews tells us that our salvation isn’t dependent upon our repeated and numerous confessions. The sacrifice of Christ, once and for all, has made us right with God. Not that we don’t humbly stand before God, recognizing that we often fall short. We should and do. But the piece of real estate we stand on is at the foot of the cross, grateful that God sees us through the “once and for all” sacrifice of Jesus. That’s a generous God!
Loving God, we stand at the cross, seeking your mercy. Forgive us for all the times and ways we have let you down. Thank you for seeing us through your son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Hebrews 9:24-28 (NRSV)
24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.
25 Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own;
26 for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself.
27 And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment,
28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
Philanthropic Adviser, Luther Seminary
Master of Divinity, 1980