…Outside The Camp
“We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through His own blood. Therefore let us go to Him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.” (Hebrews 13:10-14)
What is it that’s out there? Outside the camp? Danger? The unfamiliar? Suffering? Reproach? Ragged, homeless, lost people? Death? Well then, I’m not going. It doesn’t make sense to me to take the chance. In here…in the gaited community amongst the tent-servers sounds good to me. What’s that you say? There’s one more thing to consider? There’s Another out there? Who? The suffering Servant, Jesus our Lord! And so the Hebrew writer says, reminscent of Captain Joshua, “I’m going to Him outside the camp! You coming?!”
And why would we be going out there? Because He went out there for us first. Because He went out there bearing our shameful reproach. I deserved it. But He took it. It would have killed me. I know because it killed Him. He became a prisoner that I might be free. He was lifted up that I might be drawn in wonder, gratitude and love towards Him. He took my reproach that I might lift up my head for the first time. He atoned for all my sins that I might be forgiven. He died that I might live. He went out there to suffer terribly…to die the most horrible death in all of history (I’m not speaking only of His crucifixion)…because that’s the only way He could provide what we most needed.
Let me ask you…where are you going to be when your beloved suffer? If it is in your power…if it can be humanly done…where will you be? In the days when scarlet fever killed many, the plague came to a little daughter. The doctor told the child’s mother to avoid all contact or risk the same death. But the little one couldn’t understand why her mother wasn’t kissing her…she kept asking her for a kiss. What’s a mother to do? What would you do? The mother sealed her fate by lavishing many kisses upon her dear daughter while life remained. What would you do? I know what you would do. And so our Jesus saw us miserable and suffering in our sins. But His kiss wouldn’t just be a token…it would be salvation for us…death for Him. What will He do? Love left Him no real choice…none that He wanted. It was a done deal as far as He was concerned, wasn’t it? What a Savior!
So He did it…and here we are today praising Him with all our hearts and lives because of it. But, help me with this…if you have the time to give it some thought…since Jesus isn’t out there on Calvary’s hill hanging on the cross right now, how do you think we can go to Him outside the camp bearing His reproach today? I would really love to hear your thoughts…if you’ve the time. His love is forever new…full of joyful surprises…and is seeing us all the way home to glory with rejoicing. Blessed be His Name!