That’s an odd question, isn’t it? At first glance, we all know that imperfection cannot also be perfection. The two words are antonyms; you simply can’t have perfection when there are imperfections! Yet in today’s passage we see that there is indeed a time when imperfection is perfection.
When this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. (Hebrews 10:12-14)
“This priest” is our Lord Jesus Christ, and after He had completed His work—sinless life, sacrificial death, supernatural resurrection—He ascended back into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.
It is important to understand the significance of our Lord sitting down. In the Old Testament Levitical priesthood, there was never a time for the priest to sit down because his work was never done. Every morning and every evening—one sacrifice after another sacrifice after another—the priest was busy offering sacrifices for the sins of the people. This tells us that these sacrifices that could never fully atone for sin; they were intended to point us to a better and perfect sacrifice. And when Jesus Christ came as the unblemished Lamb of God, His sacrifice was accepted as payment in full for all sin, once for all!
The next thing I’d like to point out in the passage from Hebrews is that by His sacrifice Christ “has made [past tense] perfect forever those [you and me] who are being made [present tense] holy.” In other words, in the eyes of God we are already perfect because we have been clothed in the righteousness of Christ. And yet, in the reality of daily living, we are not yet perfect; we are being made perfect.
We know this to be true by way of personal experience. We realize that we are far from perfect; on many days, perfection seems to be completely out of view! Yet because we are in Christ, God chooses to see our imperfections as perfection because they are covered by the blood of His precious Son. Every sin—past, present, and those to come—has been forgiven in Christ and covered by His blood. Someone once said that another way to explain this amazing truth is to think of the word “justification” as meaning . . .
Just as if I’d never sinned!
Think for a moment of how graciously God chooses to deal with us: He chooses to see us only through the perfect radiance of His Son. He chooses to love us in spite of our massive imperfections. He chooses to take our current mess and turn it into His eternal masterpiece. When we live in the light of this truth, we begin to live for nothing smaller than Jesus, the One who took our imperfection and made it perfect.
So when is imperfection perfection? When Jesus has covered it with His precious blood!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!