A healthy approach to looking at the whole of the Bible is to see it as an unfolding drama of redemption in five acts: creation; fall; Israel (and the law); Jesus; and, the church. We are, obviously, in act five, the church age. The previous four acts were all important in leading up to this final act, just as the scenes in a play all build upon one another. So, then, Israel and the law had their place in this drama of redemption. But we are no longer in that act. This is one reason why we do not hold to all the ceremonial and sacrificial stipulations of the old covenant because it has been superseded by the new covenant.
The previous act of the law had its limitations. It was never designed to completely clear the conscience of the worshiper. Its purpose was to be a reminder of sins that points forward to a better time when the sin issue would be settled once and for all. That time has come. The person and work of Jesus has completely cleared the conscience of the worshiper because his sacrifice has ended all sacrifices. Yes, it was that good and total.
Therefore, there is no longer any need to languish in guilt as though we were stuck in act three of God’s redemption drama. We do not need to be reminded of our sins any more. Instead, we are to be reminded of Christ’s finished work on the cross, and his blood that has washed away our sins. So, we are to remember rightly, and have Jesus before us continually. The redemption we have is not temporal, but permanent. Taking some time each day to remind ourselves of this new reality and enjoy act five of the drama is both sage and necessary in order to live a successful Christian life.
Saving God, you sent your Son, the Lord Jesus, to take care of the sin issue once for all through his blood. I give you unending thanks for your grace. May your Holy Spirit press this new reality of forgiveness and clarity of conscience firmly into my mind and heart so that I will always live for you in all things. Amen.