Micah and Bethany recently got Samuel a Cocomelon sticker to put on his wall. He was absolutely thrilled with it. He started yelling, “Bus! Bus!” because he associates Cocomelon (or as he likes to say, “Coco”) with the video the two of us most often watch together: “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round.” After that, we usually watch, “Old McDonald Had a Farm,” followed by “The Bath Song.” Then we try to do something less passive and more cognitive, like reading books or playing in the yard.
Speaking of the yard, the flower beds are now mulched, and the Mother’s Day flowers are now planted. This year we’re trying geraniums (red and white) in the back row, and marigolds (burnt yellow) in the front row. For the ten hanging baskets, we’re going to give impatiens (multi-colored) a try. We’re also trying impatiens (purple and lavender) for my mother-in-law’s flower patch. We also planted tomatoes and peppers in the garden. Lots more to come, but it’s a good start to the new season. Such a joyful time to be alive. 💙 💙 💙
I was out of state last week teaching a doctoral residency (along with conducting another remote learning course, a prayer meeting, a variety of staff meetings, and even some dissertating). I couldn’t wait to get back and see our little Bubby. (Yes, and everyone else, too.) In fact, I got choked up on the flight home at the thought of reconnecting with this little munchkin and getting to make a “Samuel Sandwich” again.
What a joy to return to this adorable, pleasant, and wonderful little boy. His receptor language has always been good, and now he’s starting to talk up a storm. He said “Bible” the other day, which was another reason to get choked up. He was also the ring bearer at a wedding last week. He’s only 17 months old, but he made it down the aisle (with a little help)!
He’s the best Bubby ever, and every day I get a little more smitten. Below are some random snaps and video clips, in no particular order.
Out of gas, but resting up for tomorrow.
In addition to which…
Here are a few bonus pictures that didn’t upload the first time.
We took Samuel to the Twilight Acres Creamery & Bakery in Womelsdorf yesterday. It’s a charming little shop that makes for a great Friday Fun Day. The ice cream and baked goods are outstanding. We had a lovely time together, and the little guy still apparently remembers our date. (See video below.) Earlier on Friday Bethany and I went to Hobby Lobby and then had lunch at the Longhorn Steakhouse. Bubby charmed the whole restaurant. I may have gotten him a Cocomelon doll at the store because he kept saying “Co-co,” which charmed me.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus performs seven significant miracles that are referred to as “signs.” These signs form the backbone of the first half of the book, and each is meant to reveal something about the person and work of Christ. One of the interesting features of the fourth Gospel is that the author hangs its key by the back door. That is, John doesn’t give us his purpose for writing in the opening paragraph as Luke does. Rather, he saves his purpose statement for the end:
“Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30-31).
In short, Jesus did miraculous signs not to dazzle us but to deliver us. Consequently, John selects seven signs from a much larger number known to him to form the central core of Jesus’ ministry before his death, burial, and resurrection. They can be understood as divine endorsements of his authority, even as they clearly mark him out as “the incomparable Christ” who brings salvation to his people. The seven signs are:
Changing Water into Wine (John 2:1-11)
Healing the Royal Official’s Son (John 4:43-54)
Healing the Disabled Man at the Pool (5:1-18)
Feeding the Five Thousand (6:1-15)
Walking on the Water (6:16-25)
Healing the Man Born Blind (9:1-12)
Raising Lazarus from the Dead (11:1-44)
This series looks at the miracles of Jesus not merely to study history but to consider what God may be wanting to do among his people today. Believers can never command miracles to take place, but we can be open to them. As the Apostle Paul said, “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power” (1 Corinthians 2:4). A full and genuine demonstration of the Spirit’s power is what the church needs today.
It’s been an extra joyful week this week, so I just had to post one of these. (Our little Bubby stayed overnight last night, so I’m over the moon. Also, after completing all the translations and primary source analyses, I started writing chapter 1 of my dissertation!) Actually, I can’t remember the last time I did a Friday Fun post, so let’s see if I still remember how to do this. Samuel is smitten with his new Cocomelon school bus, and I’m smitten with this laugh-out-loud meme. Enjoy both! And have a great weekend.
We sang a lovely new (for us) song yesterday in church. It’s called “By Faith” by Keith and Kristyn Getty, which came out in 2009. (How did I miss that one?) We didn’t try to replicate the Irish pipes in the intro, but we did the rest as written. It’s structured like a hymn, but it feels more like a contemporary praise and worship song—my favorite combo, though I appreciate many kinds of music styles.
Currently we sing at least two organ-led hymns every Sunday with piano, flute, and trumpet accompaniment. We also sing at least two worship songs led by a piano, keyboard, flute, cahon, and two vocalists. We’re looking to add a guitar in the near future, and maybe some more vocalists. So, it’s an “ancient-future” approach to worship that we’re practicing these days.
Even when we add a second service, which will likely be band-led instead of organ-led, we’ll still retain the richness of our hymn heritage, albeit with some updated sounds. Regardless of music style, however, robust worship is an act of rebellion against the powers of darkness. That’s why we look for the meatiest stuff out there. What do you think of “By Faith”?
Yesterday we also sang Kari Jobe’s “Forever,” which always sends my spirit soaring. And, since we had a guest speaker from Gideon’s International, we also sang “Ancient Words” by Lynn DeShazo, a simple yet profound piece about the power of God’s eternal Word.
Whatever worship styles we use in the future, our church will always give significant time in the morning worship service to lectionary readings. As Paul said, “Devote yourself to the public reading of scripture” (1 Timothy 4:13). Too many churches read a short passage of Scripture before the sermon, and that’s it. But that’s not enough for our spiritual nutrition, IMHO.
Our two hymns yesterday: “God Hath Spoken by His Prophets” and “Take Time to be Holy.” It was a marvelous time of worship, and the congregation got a much needed break from me. 🙂
Audrey Hepburn once said, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” If that’s the case, my front garden has taken us back to the future again. It’s the same bunch of tulips every year, but I’m always thrilled to see them again. The combination of red, yellow, and apricot colors truly makes my heart smile. They are both radiant and delightful this time of year. I had to take some snaps today since they don’t last very long. Enjoy.
April 13. It’s my “Gotcha Day”! I’ll be forever grateful that Carl and Cherie Valentino hand-picked me out of an orphanage in Philadelphia many years ago and made me their own son. Yes, as I’ve indicated on several occasions, my adoptive father could be extremely harsh at times, and that harshness left a few skid marks on my soul and placed landmines in my path for years to come.
But mom and dad did a beautiful thing for me, and I am blessed that I didn’t have to languish for years as a neglected ward of an impersonal state. Besides, Dad was the child of two alcoholic parents, so he carried his own share of pain in life. In the end, he came to know Jesus—praise the Lord.
Holy Week was rich and meaningful this year, as always. Our church broke attendance records all over the place, but that was minor compared to the massive blessings we shared together. Even though many “free churches” today make little room in their calendar for these kinds of special observances, the worldwide church historically has felt compelled this time of year to align their focus to the Passion Narrative in Scripture.
As such, during these special days we cleared our calendar to focus exclusively on the events of Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection, which are at the very heart of our Christian faith. Meetings and ordinary business were not allowed. All our attention was directed toward the person and work of Jesus Christ as:
The triumphant yet humble King (Palm Sunday);
The Servant of God and Mediator of the New Covenant (Maundy Thursday)
The Lamb of God Who Takes Away the Sin of the World (Good Friday); and
Christus Victor—the Risen Savior of the Human Race (Easter Sunday).
The theological rationale for such a special week is how the Gospels themselves are laid out. In terms of sheer space allocation, the attention given to Jesus’ final week of ministry before the crucifixion, along with the 40-day period after the resurrection, occupies a significant portion of Gospel texts:
Matthew—8 of 28 chapters (29%)
Mark—6 of 16 chapters (38%)
Luke—5.5 of 24 chapters (23%)
John—8.7 of 21 chapters (41%)
All told, 28+ of the 89 chapters in the Gospel story (32%) are devoted to the period of time between the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and his ascension back to the Father. Yet this period is less than 1% of Jesus’ entire 3.5 years of public ministry.
In terms of literary style, this space allocation suggests that while the birth, life, teachings, and miracles of Jesus were important to the authors, it was the Passion of Christ (i.e., his final acts, sayings, trials, sufferings, and death) and the Resurrection of Christ (i.e., his empty tomb, post-resurrection appearances, and ascension) that were centrally important to their purpose for writing.
Martin Kähler, a late 19th-century German New Testament scholar, stated that the Gospels are “passion narratives with extended introductions.” While perhaps somewhat overstated, this assessment does strike at the ultimate goal of Jesus’ earthly career.
As noted before, I’m way behind on posting sermon summaries, so here’s a real quick look at where we were in the Word this past Holy Week:
Palm Sunday “Don’t Miss the Donkey” (Zechariah 9:1-11) If we miss the point of Jesus’ donkey, we will miss the point of Jesus’ death.
I think I shocked some folks when I asserted that the palm branches were the chosen symbol for this day by the people who misunderstood Jesus, not Jesus himself. The symbol Jesus chose was the lowly donkey. Big difference.
Maundy Thursday “Washed by God” (John 13:1-17) and “Fed by God” (Luke 22:14-23) Our God does feet. He also does souls. We need to give him both.
The shock here is that God in Christ came all the way down to give us what we needed most—himself. He cleanses us and nourishes us with his body and blood. May we never get over the jolt of these incredible truths.
Good Friday “A Really Good Friday for Barabbas” (Matthew 27:15-26) Jesus takes our place on death row so that we might live eternally with God.
Of all the Good Friday sermons I’ve done, I had never given one on the the release of Barabbas. This year, I felt a strong urge by the Holy Spirit to do so. Fascinating aspects of the story include: (1) the manuscript evidence for Barabbas’s first name being “Jesus”; and (2) the four failed attempts by Pontius Pilate to get rid of the case against the Nazarene. I stirred in some archaeology and Greco-Roman backgrounds to go with the theology and exhortation. My three main movements were:
Barabbas and Us—Everyone lives on spiritual death row.
Pilate and Us—Everyone will eventually deal directly with Jesus.
Jesus and Us—Everyone can be released from spiritual death row by trusting in Jesus.
Interestingly enough, I had a funeral on Good Friday—something I’ve never done before. That made for a tight schedule, but it was a special request from a special family, and I was happy to help. So, Wednesday night and Friday morning I was back in my old stomping grounds of Fleetwood, PA. The family’s home is on Main Street, and the funeral home is on Kutztown Road.
I was wondering what it would feel like to be back in the area. All was well as I drove around town and went down memory lane. I even found myself praying prayers of blessing over others, whether I thought they deserved them or not. Such is the amazing grace of God. Besides, as George Herbert once said, “Living well is the best revenge.”
Some chapters in life are better than others, but when you let the Author of life author your story (and stop trying to grab the pen yourself), the ending is always maximally great. Some of my favorite writers specialize in the surprise ending—Guy de Maupassant, Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, O. Henry, Charlotte Brontë, et al. Those little “Aha!” moments in literature point to the one great “Aha!” moment that’s coming at the end of the age.
Anyway, as per usual, I sobbed my way through Jesus of Nazareth during Holy Week, and then (part of) The Passion of the Christ on Good Friday. I only got to see part of The Passion this year because I had to finish writing my sermon. I just barely made it! 😊
Easter Sunday “It Doesn’t Sting Anymore!” (1 Corinthians 15:50-57) When the risen Christ returns, he will make a brand new you.
I had a lot of fun with this one. Hopefully I’ll be able to say more later, but here’s the outline for now:
The PRESENT LIMITATION of our bodies (15:50)
Your present body cannot endure on earth.
Your present body cannot enter into heaven.
The FUTURE TRANSFORMATION of our bodies (15:51-53)
The believer’s body will be changed in a moment of time.
The believer’s body will be changed for all of eternity.
The ETERNAL CELEBRATION of our bodies (15:54-57)
The prophecies of Jesus anticipated the swallowing of death.
The pardon of Jesus eliminated the sting of death.
After the church service (which featured a special light-to-dark opening), we had a big ham dinner with the whole family. Afterward I got to play with Samuel, which was pure delight. All of us probably had too much candy, so it’s probably time once again to mortify the flesh.
On another note, the nine long appendices of my dissertation are now complete, and I am ready to start writing the chapters. Sheesh, it was a lot of work playing around in (and translating many of) the ancient Near Eastern, Greco-Roman, intertestamental, and rabbinic primary sources. But, oh, how they illuminated my topic! I very much want to share some of my work now, but I’ll resist the temptation to do that and just provide the title:
TORN VEIL IN THE TEMPLE: GOD’S COMMENTARY ON THE DEATH OF HIS SON AND EPICENTER OF HIS NEW CREATION IN CHRIST
I hope you’re intrigued. My thesis is set, and I can hardly wait to share my findings and defend my conclusions. But—all in good time. I think a massive blog post series may be in the future.
Finally—note to self: No more doctorates after this one! 😊 Like the last one, this has been a great learning experience, but it’s been awfully time consuming, and I’m ready to get on to other things. It’s been a special period that needs to wrap up within the year.
Enya has been my musical companion whenever my academic stress levels spike. Her vibe is just so soothing. Speaking of Enya, I worked one of her pieces (“A Day without Rain”) into the Maundy Thursday pre-service playlist. It worked quite well to help set a tone for the evening. I think I’ll go for a walk now and play something of hers that’s a little more exuberant. Any suggestions? Most of her stuff is quite mellow.
Since several rabbinic writings I encountered mention angels being made by God from fire, I’ll leave you with “The Forge of the Angels” from Dark Sky Island.
A dear family friend got me tickets to see His Only Son for my birthday. We went to the theater yesterday afternoon, and I intentionally sat next to my son during the showing. Whenever I preach on Genesis 22, I place a picture of Andrew on the pulpit just to remind myself the story is historically true, not pious fiction. This event actually happened, and it’s no fair that preachers jump ahead to Hebrews 11:19 prematurely. We have to wrestle first with what God asked Abraham to do before coming to some sort of resolution.
Does it really need to be said that I sobbed though half the film? I would do a slight rewrite of the ending (as noted below), but other than that, the movie delivered. What exactly it delivered I’m still trying to process, but I sat motionless for a good long while after the film ended. Maybe it was the story more than the production that got to me.
Either way, it was a good start to Holy Week after a great Palm Sunday celebration yesterday morning. For the next three nights, as is my custom, I’ll watch Jesus of Nazareth, parts 1, 2, and 3. Thursday night is our Maundy Thursday service, and then on the following afternoon, we’ll watch The Passion of the Christ before the evening Tenebrae service. That will be Friday. But Sunday’s coming.
A Reflection on Genesis 22
In watching Jesus carry the wood of the cross to the place of execution, Christians naturally think of the story of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22. God said to the patriarch, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” Abraham obeyed God, and Isaac quietly carried the wood up the mountain, preparing to be slaughtered by his own father.
In many ways, the story is disturbing, repugnant, and infuriating. We want to know what it was that drove Abraham up the mountain to take the life of his beloved son. We want to know why Isaac was so passive and compliant in the whole affair. And we want to know why God intervened at the last possible moment, possibly traumatizing Isaac even further.
The entire episode is a bit more comprehensible when we understand that covenants often involved the exchange of firstborn sons. But sending Isaac to live in God’s household would necessitate his death. That’s hard to take. Likewise, for God to send his Son to live in Abraham’s household would necessitate an incarnation. That’s hard to believe.
In any event, it was precisely because Isaac’s life was on the line that something even more horrendous than child sacrifice was at issue—namely, the possibility that God could be a liar. After all, Isaac was the child of promise, so if he died, God’s trustworthiness would die with him. Isaac has to live—or be resurrected—if all nations of the earth are to be blessed through his line. Abraham knew this, as the New Testament tells us in Hebrews 11:17. Abraham was convinced that God cannot lie, so he raised the knife.
Just then an angel of the Lord called out from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham! Do not lay a hand on the boy. Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you revere God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Abraham looked up, and there in a thicket was a ram caught by its horns. He took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in the place of his son.
Genesis 22 is a story about the costly sacrifice of a father, the willing submission of a son, and the gracious provision of the Lord. “He will provide,” said Abraham. The Hebrew literally says, “The Lord will see to it.” (Notice the future tense in English, and the imperfect tense in Hebrew.)
A lost key to the story is that God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son as a burnt offering “on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” In some way, then—unbeknownst to us—God told Abraham something about that mountain. But what did God tell him on the journey to Moriah? What did Abraham hear? What did God show him? Did Abraham see the obedient Son of God bearing the wood of the cross to Golgotha—the incarnated Son for whom there would be no substitute this time?
It was a private conversation, and we’ll never know the details, but God gave Abraham enough information to go up that mountain and obey him completely. Jesus would be part of a similar story himself, and Abraham had gotten a preview of it. No wonder Jesus said to his contemporaries, “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56).
Perhaps if Abraham had been standing at the foot of the cross and had seen Jesus die right in front of him—and this would be my slight re-write to the movie’s ending—he would have looked up to heaven and spoken God’s words back to him: “Lord! Lord! Now I know that you revere me, for you have not withheld from me your Son, your only Son, Jesus, whom you love.”
The story shows how the hardest thing God could ever ask of us is the very thing he did for us—he gave us his only Son. That Son was a descendant of Abraham through Isaac, and all families of the earth are blessed through him. God kept his word. Again.
“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32).
Snip, snip here! Snip, snip there! Watch the barber cut your hair. It’s the perfect place to stop. Sneak a peek in the barber shop!
– From a children’s book I read to Samuel.
Our little Bubby had his first haircut today. He did well—no fear, no tears. Of course, it helped that he sat on daddy’s lap the whole time. 😊 He also went to a new park today, and he enjoyed it. All the swings were new to him, as was the merry-go-round. He had to think long and hard about whether or not he liked spinning around in a circle like that.
I can hardly believe it, but Samuel turned 16 months old today. Yesterday he helped me celebrate my birthday. Actually, I got him two presents. Nothing wrong with that, right? They’re riding toys, and he had a blast breaking them in. (As noted previously, I’m the softie. Haha! I enjoyed going back and looking at that post again.)
💙 💙 💙
Samuel got me a matching picture frame for his brother’s sonogram, and I adore it. One birthday anticipating another. I can hardly wait to meet Levi.
Between proffing, pastoring, dissertating, and Holy Week-ing, I’ve been really bad at posting lately. I’m massively behind on sermon uploads, too. My apologies! As somebody once said, the faster I go, the behinder I get. 😊 The pile has been high lately. (When has it ever not been high?) And then there are various birthday events this week. (I’m still not sure if I was born on the 30th, the 31st, or the 1st. My adoptive parents chose the 31st because if it’s wrong, it’s the least wrong. Good call on their part.)
Anyway, there are signs of life all over the place, and it’s so encouraging to the soul. It’s a nice diversion from the pain of social media and the latest school shooting. (The targeting of Christian children now by tranny-terrorists? And the corrupt mainstream media will never cover it accurately. Thank God for independent media.) But the new life to which I refer is, first of all, Levi. He’s due July 18, although they may revise that date. I’m banking on the 14th to the 21st, and the spoiling strategies have already begun! Below are some sonograms from his latest ultrasound. He’s smiling already!
The other new life is the explosion of color in our flower beds. The spring daffs and hyacinths have taken off, and the tulips are on their way. Best of all, our treatment plan on the cherry tree seems to have worked, at least in part. We finally have some characteristic pink flowering taking place. So, welcome to spring. But, please, dear season of newness, keep your allergies to yourself.
Oh, and it’s Opening Day, too. Heading to the store now to get some non-pareils. It’s a tradition! 🙂
We bid farewell this week to our rusty, crusty 2001 Chrysler Town & Country minivan. After many years of serving as the “family truck,” it was time for her to get off the streets. She just plain ran out of gas. Well, not literally; the tank was fine. But she could no longer get started in the morning. Or the afternoon. Or the evening. Even the good mechanics didn’t think it was worth keeping her on life support.
Salvage (savage?) vultures wanted her catalytic converter more than we wanted the constant expense of getting her up and running again. But we appreciate all her efforts over the years in hauling recyclables, helping people move, transporting green waste, and all the other things trucks typically do for their owners. It was a good run. Time to start looking for another truck. Maybe a real one this time.
Thursday night we got to attend the “Family & Friends” production of Moses at the Sight & Sound Theater in Lancaster. It was their final dress rehearsal before opening night on Friday. Our son Andrew works there full-time as part of their support staff (including the post-musical prayer team, among other responsibilities), so we’re happily on the receiving end of complimentary tickets for each play.
The entire production was marvelous, taking us on an adventure through the birth and exile of Moses, the burning bush theophany and revelation of God’s name, the plagues against Egypt and its false gods, Israel’s first Passover and their dramatic escape through the Red Sea, and the giving of the law at the top of Mount Sinai. Moses is portrayed as an unlikely and imperfect hero—the only kind God ever uses. Except for Jesus, who makes a cameo appearance at the end of the play.
I don’t think any show could exceed last year’s production of David in terms of musical composition and emotional impact, but this show was right up there when it comes to lead performances, special effects, and execution. I was thoroughly inspired.
Moses runs now through October 7. Do yourself a favor and go see it.
The Israelites were commanded in Exodus 20:13 not to “kill” (KJV), or, as it says more precisely in the NIV and ESV, “You shall not murder.” The Hebrew word here is רָצַח (rāṣǎḥ), which means to take the life of another so as to cause their death. It can refer to accidental murder, manslaughter, premeditated murder, or governmental execution. The point of the law is to ensure that no Israelite—acting on his own—would decide that he had the right to take someone else’s life.
No penalties or qualifications are attached to the sixth commandment, but the issue is addressed more fully in cognate laws beyond the Decalogue (Exodus 21:12-14; Numbers 35:16-24, 30-34; Deuteronomy 19:4-7, 11-13). These laws call for the death penalty for first-degree murder (i.e., intentional homicide, or murder with malice aforethought), and lesser penalties when the murder was determined to be accidental or unintentional.
Such a person could flee to a city of refuge—thus protecting him from revenge killings by the families of the fallen—until the death of the high priest; then he could go free. On the other hand, if a man is convicted of intentional homicide, his punishment is unequivocal: he is to face the death penalty, and no ransom is to be accepted as a substitute (Numbers 35:31-32). This ruling harkens back to Genesis 9:6: “Whoever sheds the blood of a man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God was man made.”
Together these laws indicate that it was absolutely forbidden in Israel to plan someone’s death and then carry it out. To do so was to forfeit one’s own life. The reason for the ultimate penalty in this case is that human beings are made in the image of God. To murder a person with malice aforethought is tantamount to killing God in effigy. That’s why God’s people are to regard human life as sacred.
Clearly, the God who issued these laws views every human being—rich or poor, slave or free, male or female, Israelite or non-Israelite—as having supreme value. He loves and cherishes every human being. He does not want any person to murder another person. Indeed, every human being is so valuable to God that there is no conceivable payment that could adequately compensate for the murder of one of them. Thankfully, God takes motives and intentions into account. Accidents happen, even accidental murder, and those cases receive lesser penalties.
Now, murder goes much deeper than deliberate acts of terminating someone’s life. Jesus said in Matthew 5:21-22, “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.” By that definition, most people have committed murder. Was Jesus just using “preacher’s hyperbole” to make a point, or was he wanting his followers to take a new look at where murder really begins? Unjustified anger, he says, is murder begun. All, then, need divine grace.
Quite significantly, Moses committed murder. King David arranged a murder. And Saul—before he became Paul—encouraged murder. Yet all received forgiveness from God and ministries beyond their misconduct. That’s because there is one payment in this world that’s enough to compensate for lost human life—the blood of Jesus Christ, which was shed for us on the cross for us. With the death of this high priest, sinners can be released by faith in him. “The vilest offender who truly believes, that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.”