Outside the Camp

Hebrews 13: 11-13 "The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore."

What a remarkable statement by the author of Hebrews.

S/he points us back to unpleasant ending of the animal sacrifices made in the Old Testament temple, shifts our attention ahead to the sacrifice made by Jesus just a few decades before, and then finally exhorts us to mimic the unglamorous end of both the sacrifices and of Jesus – “to go outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.”

Where do you picture “outside the camp” to be? Maybe it’s with people who are richer or poorer than you. Maybe it’s with the neighbor down the street whose political bumper stickers make you see red. Maybe it’s people with whom you actually have a lot in common, but you generally avoid because you don’t want to be seen as having a lot in common with them. Maybe it’s members of your own family.

If you asked Jesus where the boundaries of your camp are, what do you think he would say? Spend some time with that question today.