Changes, events bring about new norms in our lives

Published 8:25 am Friday, April 10, 2020

Some events are monumental and life altering. These events burn into our minds and hearts forever. Some of you reading remember the heart-breaking assassination of a handsome young American president riding along in a celebratory motorcade with the beautiful First Lady seated by his side, and many of you will never forget the sight of watching the soaring Twin Towers smoke and then fall under the backdrop of a bright blue September sky. These events altered the course of history. I know we are living one of these events at this very moment. This COVID-19 pandemic is not something we will forget any time soon if ever. We will never forget social distancing, closed restaurants, businesses, churches, parks, and schools nor the wearing of gloves and masks. We won’t soon forget how difficult it was to buy common household goods like toilet paper. I know that within the past month my life and views have completely changed. I hope many of these changes will be for our betterment as a society and as a church. We will have a new normal once this event is just a memory. I have given the term “New Normal” a lot of thought lately. The Urban Dictionary describes the term this way, “The current state of being after some dramatic change has transpired. What replaces the expected, usual, typical state after an event occurs. The new normal encourages one to deal with current situations rather than lamenting what could have been.” The Word of God is filled with “New Normals,” but I want to share the greatest one in the history of the world!
A world was filled with darkness, doom, and sin was running rampant. The sacrifices of sheep and oxen were not enough to appease God and for Him to forgive the people of their sins. The high priest laid blood of these animals upon the mercy seat of God, but the sins were only pushed back for another year. The sins from generation to generation was insurmountable. It seemed all hope was lost, but then God sent His only begotten Son to come to this earth and live as a sinless human. Jesus Christ would then become the ultimate sacrifice once and for all for the sins of every generation of humanity. The Apostle Paul states in Colossians 2:14, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;” Jesus took our place and nailed our sins to His cross. Isaiah 43:25 says, “I, [even] I, [am] he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” God says here that he blots out our disobediences and chooses not to remember our sins because of the sacrifice of His precious Son. Once Jesus endured the beating and carried his cross up Golgotha’s Hill, they nailed down a sinless perfect sacrifice and every drop of His blood was shed for all humanity. There was one minuscule drop of that powerful stream of blood that had my name on it. I am so glad that on January 8, 1989 that I claimed my drop of His blood that washed my sins away. Jesus cried out that it was finished, and he yielded up His Spirit into the hands of his Father. It was at that moment that the veil in the temple was torn in two pieces from the top to the bottom. The Holy of Holies was now completely exposed, and all humanity had access to God the Father through Jesus Christ becoming our High Priest.
The writer of Hebrews says it this way in Hebrews 9:11-14,24-26, “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
24-26 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: 25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; 26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Jesus, the flawless Lamb of God, had laid His own blood upon the mercy seat of God His Father, and the world immediately had a new normal. No longer would a High Priest have to go and pray for the forgiveness of the people once a year. Now the people had direct access through Jesus, and the complete law had been fulfilled. The cross of Jesus changed everything!
Joseph of Arimathea begged the body of Jesus and he placed the body in his new tomb, but on that third and glorious morning, the stone was rolled away, and the tomb was found empty. Death, hell, and the grave had been defeated. In fact, here is what the Apostle Paul says in Romans 8:11, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” So death just lost his hold on all humanity, and we have hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ! Now that is a game changer. The world before the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus was a far different place than the morning that our powerful Savior stepped out of the tomb! There was a “new normal” where a person could begin a relationship with Jesus Christ by having his blood applied to his or her, their name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and the hope of being with Jesus forever in Heaven. Praise the Lord for the “new normal!” This event was anything but easy especially for our Lord, but out of His travail came the birth of salvation for all humanity! Things had completely improved forever for the better. I believe in my heart that this current pandemic is also going to create change for the better. I know none of this has been easy and we all are ready to move past this, but God is using this event in a mighty way to construct a “new normal” that will be far better from the life we were living before this all happened. God is faithful and just. We must be patient! The “new normal” will make us see, hear, speak, and act differently than before if we will allow it! If you desire to hear more about this change God is creating in all of us, please check out our April 12 online worship at 11 a.m. at or on our YouTube channel.
(The Solution Column is provided by Pastor Brandon Young of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church and his associate, David Odom.)

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