From Contamination to Purification

This is a tool for you to use if you lead a Sabbath School (SS) class or small group. It is keyed to the Bible texts used in the current week’s Adult SS Lesson and includes a brief story from current news you can use to introduce the discussion and then a series of discussion questions in a relational pattern designed to build fellowship and spiritual reflection.

 

For use: Feb. 23 – 29

Texts: Daniel 8; Daniel 2:38; Genesis 11:4; Leviticus 16; Hebrews 9:23-28

 

For weeks, the coronavirus has landed one of the lead story spots in the news. Our attention has been captured as we daily hear of new developments in the magnitude of this virus, and we are wrought with more questions than answers.

The questions, “How did the virus begin? What exactly is it, and how can we avoid it?” have undoubtedly crossed our minds. We want to know when something will happen and how it affects us. We want to have the questions answered, the who, what, when, where, why, and how. But in this case, no answers are making us feel safe from something that has spread across continents. [1]

Talk of a vaccine brings little peace because of the time involved for development. [2] All we can do is pray for an end to the contamination.

This week we study about God’s plan to do more than contain the contamination of sin. The study reveals a plan to eradicate it forever.

While studying this 2300 day, or 2300 year, prophetic message, we see the what in God’s judgment. A sanctuary in heaven, that the earthly one was patterned after, will be cleansed. We see how it is accomplished through the sacrifice of Christ, through blood being shed from a sinless Savior. We know why because we understand how much God loves us. But, we are a bit uncomfortable because we don’t know when this all ends. We think in terms of definite timelines. Before we begin a trip, we want to know how far the journey is, how long it will take us, and what we may encounter along the way. In this instance, we aren’t sure. In thinking in terms of importance, the when is not as important as what Jesus is doing–judging us justly and being the sacrifice for us so that sin can be eradicated. Then the journey from contamination to purification will be complete.

 


For Reflection

Connecting: Think of a time when you had a huge job to do involving clean-up. Maybe it was a remodel on a house, a part of your job, or even cleaning up after a child’s inventive activities. Pair-share how it felt when the job was ahead of you and how it felt upon completion. Ask for two or three volunteers to share with the whole group.

Sharing: According to Hebrews 9:23-28, what happens during this judgment?

  1. Christ enters into the presence of God for us. This is not done daily as it was in the earthly temple.
  2. Christ enters the Most Holy Place every year, placing blood on the altar as was done in the earthly sanctuary.
  3. The sacrifice made by Christ on this earth is not enough to fully cover our sins.
  4. Sin can never be fully put away and Christ must therefore continually enter the Most Holy Place throughout eternity.
  5. The blood of animals in the earthly sanctuary was more effective than the heavenly sanctuary where animals are not offered as sacrifice.
  6. Other:

Applying: What do you think of as you ponder this judgment? Do you think it might have been easier for Israel to understand than it is for us because they could see the temple and the sacrifices? Read again the words in Hebrews 9:28 where we are reminded that Jesus “will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting. . .” (NLT).

Valuing: Hymn #19, “O Sing a New Song to the Lord,” ends with the thoughts that God will “judge the world with righteousness . . . with equity.” When you think of this time of judgement, do you rejoice that God judges with righteousness and equity? As you pray, confessing your own sins, thank God for the gifts of forgiveness and acceptance that are already available in abundance.

~ Joy Veverka