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October 27, 2015

THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 27 October 2015

The ministry of Capitol Commission demands much mental and physical energy (and, of course, all divine grace and provision), yet it is also the most joyous of ministries in which I have ever served. Nevertheless, as with all of us, I do find the need for rejuvenation, and thus, I have found cooking to be one means of relaxation. Cooking is enjoyable and relaxing because generally all I need is basic ingredients to cook either “comfort food” or even something considered gourmet. My kids love to cook with me, but being of elementary age, they are quite limited.

Recently, my wife (also my sous chef) and I purchased a cooking set called “Cook It in a Cup!,” which our kids absolutely love. The set was designed by a chef, and is great not only for basic cooking, but also for understanding basic chemistry and math. The easy-to-follow instructions include appetizers, miniature entrees, and desserts. Of course, the cooking set was designed to teach basic skills, and no adult would anticipate to be wowed by exceptionable taste. “Cook It in a Cup!” is a miniature representation of true cooking, and the food is only a pale imitation of food prepared with all the capability and potential of a kitchen. Truly tasteful food requires all the design and gadgetry of a kitchen, not from colorful silicone baking cups (yet, in all fairness, the novelty is to inspire kids to desire true cooking).

The gifts and sacrifices of the earthly tabernacle were like “Cook It in a Cup!,” that is, they were “a copy and shadow of the heavenly things” (Heb 8:5). The cultic rituals of the Old Testament could never permanently remove sin. The offerings could make the worshipper ritually clean before God. The law, by its ceremonies and rites, was a “tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith” (Gal 3:24).

The sacrificial system in the tabernacle represented only a copy of the work of Christ “at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Heb 8:1). True forgiveness of sin is received on the basis of faith/trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ upon Calvary’s cross. Hebrews 9 reveals how Christ’s remedy for sin affects the conscience, provides forgiveness to sinners, and never needs to be repeated (Heb 9:23-28).

Hebrews 9:15-22 prove that the old covenant demanded the shedding of blood for purification. External things demand cleansing by external means; however, the hearts of believers require a special type of purification. The mention of “heavenly things” is to symbolize the spiritual realm in which believers enjoy the atoning work of Christ. The one whose conscience is cleansed by the Lord Jesus can approach God in heaven. The notion of cleansing is a symbol of the purification of believers within the presence of God.

Have you ever forgiven your favorite sports team for losing, or perhaps a candidate who did not get elected as expected or who failed to meet expectations? Your act of forgiveness was likely made with jest and maybe some degree of sincerity. However, the work of Jesus to secure forgiveness for those who trust in Him was entirely genuine! Jesus provides permanent forgiveness, which cleanses the believer’s conscience. God’s grace richly blesses those who seek Him with trust in the Living Word (Jesus) and the Written Word (the Holy Bible). How will you express that trust today? How can you encourage others to do likewise?

By God's Grace and for His Glory,

Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia


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