Our heavenly citizenship
So let us go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he bore. For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. Hebrews 13:13-15 NLT
The writer of Hebrews continues to go back to this theme of heavenly citizenship. Once again, he reminds the readers that because of their relationship with Jesus, their permanent home is with Him. This is why he calls on to these believers to “go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he bore.” There is nothing wrong or we should not find it shameful when we are persecuted and ridiculed because of our faith in Christ. Christ was crucified outside of the city of Jerusalem on Golgotha. In the old system, sacrifices of dead animals were done inside the temple in Jerusalem. But when Jesus came, He provided the ultimate atoning sacrifice offered so that sin will be forgiven. “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). His death at the cross paved the way so that those outside of the old sacrificial system can now have access since the love of God is made available to all. “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Every institution established by man in this world will fall apart and only what God built will remain. Let us resolve to go with our Savior and “bear the disgrace he bore.” Once we do, all the more we will experience His sustaining grace for His grace abounds. “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16 ESV). Our life founded upon faith in Christ has a purpose. We are no longer merely existing in this world but we are living out His purpose. As we live this life He gave us, every act then becomes an expression of our worship. It shows what is our priority in living; “a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name” (Hebrews 13:15). We just don’t say, “I love Jesus,” for what He wants from us is to proclaim that love in the way we live for our allegiance is no longer of this world but to Him and our citizenship is heavenly.