Dare to Go Where Jesus Went (with Switchfoot’s Meant to Live)
It’s an incredible Hebrews passage!
11 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.
Doesn’t that verse grip your heart? Makes you wanna share the gospel with people everywhere, right? OK, OK. I’ll fill you in.
The truth is the phrase outside the camp wasn’t a pretty scene for the ancient Hebrews. And it’s far from pleasing to us today.
Inside the camp included security, worship, comfort, pleasure, miracles, protection, provision, safety, and life. But Leviticus sheds light on what outside the camp meant.
Leviticus 16:27 says the bodies of the sacrificed bulls (skin, guts, and all) were burned outside the camp. That is where the smell of death and burned corpses lingered. Have you ever smelled burnt flesh or hair? Putrid. It gets worse.
Leviticus 13:45-46 tells us that those who contracted the deadly and contagious disease of leprosy were sent outside the camp. It didn’t matter if they were loved family members or close friends or enemies. They were sent out to be despised and avoided by the rest of the healthy people.
Oh, and it gets even worse than this.
Leviticus 24:13-14 states that those who blasphemed God were sent outside the camp, too. Not to live, but to be stoned to death.
To the Hebrew, the phrase outside the camp was a place of disgusting, abhorrent people. It was a place of wretched smells, deathly disease, and danger. Not quite the place you would plan as your next vacation spot!
Then the author of Hebrews writes,
Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate.
The King of kings did not even receive a kingly death, but instead He experienced torment in death and in the very place no one wanted to be–outside the camp.
He also spent most of His time there. Jesus spent time with persons the Pharisees would not have: smelly, dirty, and despised people. And He loved them, and many believed in Him and were saved. Jesus was hated by the Pharisees because of the company He kept.
Are you ready for the next verse? You might want to sit down for this:
Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.
It’s not a suggestion, is it? I believe the author is saying, “Listen! We are the body of Christ on earth. So we must act like He acted when He was here–moving out to suffer as He moved out to suffer!”
It’s our calling. It’s our purpose.
What exactly is your purpose for living? To work, earn money, pay the bills, play church, raise kids, retire, and then die? No, we were meant for so much more than this.
What is our camp? Our 4 walls of our worship facility? Our invisible “hedge of protection” we’ve made for ourselves to save us from the dirty, smelly, dangerous people outside? People who are lost, hurting, despised, hungry, thirsty, and poor? People who want something more than this world could ever offer?
Last time I checked, we have what they want.
Is our camp meant for us to spent all our time in comfort and pleasure? Or were we meant for something more than this?
Today, I’ll end this post with one of my favorite songs. Click below to view the video I downloaded from YouTube. I don’t know the person who made it, but she posted the lyrics for you to read. It’s rocky! Just my style!
Are you ready to move outside the camp? You can begin now by contacting Child Evangelism Fellowship. Get involved!