Read through the lesson below (if you are in a group take turns reading). Then have a discussion, possible questions are included at the end. If you are alone, try to pair up with others in a small group though texting or even a phone call.
“And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.” (Hebrews 13:12 NIV)
Today I have no whimsical analogy from my youth or life to share with you. No, today I just have the awe inspiring reverence of my Lord and Savior’s suffering on the cross and His blood, which is the only thing that can make us holy. Holy, being cleansed, made free from sin and its destructive nature—healed and made whole, back into the original design of humanity that God had. More Christ-like.
We can also bring into this passage the significance of “suffered outside the city gate” to prepare us for the next few passages in Hebrews where it tells us:
Let us then go to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Remembering that it is the same grace that brought Jesus to the cross that sanctifies and transforms us to devote ourselves to Him. It is not our effort, works, or determination that sanctifies us, but the grace of God by Jesus’ blood. However, we should join Him outside the gate, where the sin offering parts of the animal were once burned under the Old Covenant, looking forward to and joining Christ in the New Covenant. Jesus brings the new, not the old. This is our discipleship to join Him and what He endured.
What would happen if when you graduated high school you knew someone that gave you a full ride scholarship? Then, when you graduated from college, they gave you a high paying job with all the benefits, health, retirement, and the whole works. But they go even further and they bought you a home, helped you pay for your kid’s college and so on. Would you not want to thank and sing the praise of this person? Would you not live your life in a way to make that person proud of you? Would you not honor this person?
Should we not also feel the same sense of reverence and loyalty to Jesus for what He has done for us upon the cross? Again, it is not us honoring and loving Him that sanctifies us, but because His blood redeems and sanctifies us, we feel the need to honor Him by living holy lives that He first made possible.
Questions 1. How are you living your life today?
2. Are you going outside the city to draw near to Jesus and honor Him where He suffered and died for us?
 Hebrews 13:13-16 (NRSV)  Kevin L. Anderson, Hebrews: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition, ed. Alex Varughese, Roger Hahn, and George Lyons, New Beacon Bible Commentary (Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2013), 365.  Kevin L. Anderson, Hebrews: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition, ed. Alex Varughese, Roger Hahn, and George Lyons, New Beacon Bible Commentary (Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2013), 365–366.