It’s my first time to visit Melbourne and the first item on my itinerary was to attend Hillsong service and go to mass. Today’s experience was extra fabulous ’cause I got to spend it with my wonderful co-cabin crew.
They just asked me what my plans were and when I told them I wanted to attend Hillsong worship, they immediately said they wanted to go with me! I honestly feel so blessed. This is another first — to outwardly talk about worshipping the Lord and being supported for it (in this setting, at least).
Anyway, today’s service dabbled on the significance of BLOOD in the bible. The first scenario used was when Adam and Eve sinned against God and how a lamb was used as sacrifice when God came to find them in order to allow them to reconcile with Him.
The pastor pointed out how it was necessary for blood to be shed; for the spotless lamb to be offered as sacrifice, so the sins of man (in this case, Adam and Eve) would be erased and instead be transferred to the lamb, offered in front of God to signify forgiveness.
Two other scenarios used from the Old Testament to point out the importance of BLOOD was a) the Passover and b) how people in the olden times appointed a High Priest to atone for the sins of the nation he represented. These two scenarios made use of the blood of unblemished lambs, with the blood in (A) being dabbed on the doorposts to announce to the angel of death their allegiance to the Lord and (B) when the High Priest would offer a lamb as offering on the altar, and another lamb to whisper the sins of his nation to.
It was all metaphoric and shady back in the Old Testament, apparently. People didn’t know where they stood with God until that time of the year when the High Priest would atone for their sins. Eventually, they became complacent since God kept forgiving them, and in the 400 years that passed before Jesus’ coming, humanity became more and more distant from God. Humankind became even more sinful that offering up lambs just wasn’t enough anymore.
So God sent the Ultimate Lamb — Jesus Christ. The one who sacrificed His life on the cross to atone for our sins. The one who shed His blood, who took all our sin and shame and guilt upon Himself in order to save us. The Lamb of God Who took away the sins of the world.
My dad and I had this conversation a few years ago. I remember asking him why God had to send down His Son to take away our sins. I honestly did not understand the need for it when He could just have easily killed off the world and started again from scratch. Or, He could have sent someone or something else, anyone else, not His friggin’ Son, to go through all that suffering. But He didn’t. WHY?!
It’s just now that I seriously understood. It was necessary for Jesus to be sent ’cause that’s how it had always been — a sacrifice had to be made, a lamb had to be offered. And it HAD to be God’s Son. It had to be drastic, lest the people would never learn.
He sent His only begotten Son because He loves us. That reason’s more than enough. But if we were to give proof of His grace and mercy: when Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, He was still the one who came after them; cared for them and clothed them before sending them on their way (Genesis 3:21). Like, WHY?!?! THEY HAD ONE RESTRICTION, LORD, NOT TO EAT FROM THE FORBIDDEN TREE! YET THEY DID AND YOU STILL CHOSE TO CLOTHE THEM, SRSLY?!?!?!
But then, that, ladies and gents, is grace. And just goes to show how utterly amazing and kind and marvelous our Father is.
Thank You, Lord. Thank You for never abandoning or forsaking us. Thank You for reminding us of Your kindness each and every day.
Ended service by purchasing this to further my goal of being the best servant leader He has called me to be. 🙂
Honestly excited to go home and watch this already, and hopefully share it with people in our community. 🙂
After Hillsong service, A and I walked to St. Patrick’s Cathedral to attend mass. Our other companions wondered why we still wanted to attend mass after attending Christian service. It was basically “the same”, “why don’t you just switch”?
They are, “basically”, but I don’t see the need to.
Incidentally, this Sunday’s gospel theme is about traditions and commandments. In my head, I was laughing while listening to the priest’s homily as it was just so apt.
There are currently so many religion-related issues as it is and I don’t want to add on to them anymore. What I reflected on today, though, was this: there are definitely major differences between these two kinds of believers with regards to their approach to worship, and I am glad I can have the best of both. We believe in the same things, the same God, definitely. Just little technicalities here and there, but still essentially the same. I don’t see the need to “switch” because I’m not doing this out of convenience. I like where I am and where I was born into. And that’s the thing I think people should consider first before using the S word — do you want to because you feel that attending mass requires too much effort? Or because it’s “boring”? Or because you feel you aren’t growing? If so, it isn’t much the religion than it is your thirst to know more about the Lord. You have already been given the essentials and it’s just up to you to make do of what you have. If you’re just looking for something fun to do, maybe you should think long and hard first.
I realized I like that I have a mix of the traditional and contemporary. Being exposed to the contemporary helps me question the basis and need for the traditions I’ve grown up with. It pushes me to approach my faith in such a way that I always want to know and understand why (i.e. why we have certain traditions and do certain things). This eventually leads to my learning more about Him and achieves the goal of having more of Him and less of me. And I can and will continue to do this from where I am. 🙂
Today was a good day. Thank You, Lord. All I want is to know more of You. Thank You for all the opportunities to do so. 🙂