Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. (Heb. 10:9)

WHILE GROWING UP, I was really competitive, and I didn’t like coming in second. I always wanted to be first. Whether I was finishing an assignment or running a race, second place was never the goal. One day my mom pulled me aside after she saw me pouting because I came in second. I thought she was going to comfort me, but I soon found my idea of a needed hug came with a challenge. Her words ring true today: “Sometimes you gain by losing; sometimes second is best because it can be a great teacher.” My young mind failed at first to see her logic, but time-tested experience has proved her wisdom to be true.

The book of Hebrews is all about telling us how Jesus is better, far superior, than anything else. He is considered the second Adam, who is better than the angels, better than the tabernacle, and even better than all the prophets. Hebrews describes his sacrifice as far superior than that of burnt offerings, sin offerings, and the like and that we should put aside the first and honor the second.

Through this second sacrifice, we who trust in Jesus Christ are made holy once and for all. If my mom were here, she might remind me that second is not always bad, but used properly it wields great power.

Set aside man-made, ritualistic sacrifices and honor God with obedience and humility.

Santes Beatty is director of multiethnic ministries for The Wesleyan Church.

 © 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.