By Joyell Nevins – CFFM Blogger
Have you ever felt frustrated with your actions or felt like you couldn’t measure up to the standard? We are citizens of heaven, but we’re still slogging through an unholy world and fighting selfish impulses.
But no matter how good we are, or how badly we make a mistake, that’s not how we are judged. Our stamp of approval comes from something else entirely.
The Red Stamp
I saw a powerful reminder of this truth when I was flying on Frontier. At the time of this writing, Frontier makes you pay for each individual bag – checked and carry-on.
When I originally bought my ticket for a weekend trip, I purchased a checked bag. I usually carry a lot of luggage (light packer, I am not), so I figured I would want to check the suitcase.
As the trip approached, however, I realized that I needed to carry on my bag instead, due to the shortness of the jaunt and the need to have my luggage accessible.
Let’s Get Complicated
I thought it would be no big deal to switch my bag from checked to carry-on.
First, I tried the airline’s website and online chat. Nope, I could only purchase another bag.
Then, I tried calling customer service. After an interminable hold time, the service representative told me he could change the bag status, but the price he quoted me was significantly higher than the same price I was looking at online (apparently, there’s a phone fee).
So, now, it’s the day of the flight itself. The kiosk at the airport wouldn’t allow me to change the status to carry-on either, which I needed to do before I got my boarding pass.
I finally spoke to an agent at the front counter (Frontier’s media kept warning its customers that we had to pay for any face-to-face time with an agent).
This young lady was the first helpful person I had encountered in my interactions with the company. She said it was no problem, printed me out boarding passes, and stamped in red ink “carry on approved.”
I had two legs of my flight, and both sets of gate agents hassled me about my suitcase and what is supposed to be a NINETY-NINE dollar fee to carry on a bag at the gate (actually, the second gate agent questioned me, but without an attitude).
But, that little fuzzy stamp enabled me to still pass through the plane doors with my bag fee-free.
Our Stamp of Approval
It amazed me that three short words in what looked like a child’s stamp gave me the authority to get where I needed to go. I could stand with confidence in the gate agents’ interrogation because I had already been approved.
We have a spiritual red stamp of approval, too, that allows us to stand with confidence before a holy Father God.
“Let us approach [the altar of God] with a true heart, in full assurance of trust, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from an evil conscience, and having our body washed with clean water” Hebrews 10:22 REV
What cleanses us from an evil conscience? What are our hearts sprinkled with? If we read a few verses before, we find out.
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter into the holy places by the blood of Jesus…” Hebrews 10:19 REV
Under the original guidelines God set for His people, LINK sacrifices were made to atone (or get out of trouble) for sins using the blood of animals like goats and lambs.
There were certain times and certain sacrifices required depending on the situation. But, even after the sacrifice, it was always a temporary solution. There was no once-and-done option.
“But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year after year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” Hebrews 10:3-4 REV
That changed with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is called the Lamb of God for a reason.
“He [Christ] did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves, but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption [forgiveness from sins].
How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death [useless rituals], so that we may serve the living God!” Hebrews 9:12-14 HCSB
We are stamped approved by the blood of Jesus Christ. Instead of priests using the blood of animals over and over again, our High Priest Jesus used his own sinless blood, once and for all, to atone for our sins.
“By that same will [of God], we have been made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all.” Hebrews 10:10 REV
Image by Tony Melena
Just as a little red stamp let me stand approved before the Frontier agent, so that red stamp of Jesus’s blood, that he sacrificed by his own choice, allows us to stand approved before our Father God.
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 NKJV