Summary: Christ has offered the perfect sacrifice for all time. There is no need for more.
If you’ve gone to a popular nightclub or a new restaurant, then you know about SRO – standing room only. SRO is an acronym used by some in the entertainment or restaurant business. If your franchise is in a state of SRO, that’s good. It means your establishment is packed to the gills.
The writer to the Hebrews discusses SRO –“standing room only.” He does so as he discusses the superiority of Christ. In this letter, the author convincingly argues for the superiority of Christ’s person -- he greater than the angels, the prophets, and the priests of Aaron’s order. Then he shows us that Christ’s priestly work is superior to that of the Aaronic pries in the Old Testament.
Jesus is superior and as a result there will be SRO – “standing room only.” Consider what St. John said about the crowd in heaven, the multitude of redeemed saints: “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.” SRO – “standing room only.”
What a blessed hope to have! One day we will stand with fellow believers before our glorified Savior. The reason is that Jesus Christ is our superior Savior. He makes it possible for heavenly STANDING ROOM ONLY. The reason is because of Christ’s faithful work. 1) Christ Jesus didn’t sit down on the job. The result is SRO. And the proof is further evident in our lives because 2) Christ has put up his feet. The result is SRO.
1) Christ Jesus Didn’t Sit Down on the Job
Everyone has had one of those days. You come home from work or school, and for whatever reason, you feel as if you’ve been on your feet all day long. I know for some of us that is a daily reality. If you’ve ever spent a good amount of time on your feet, you will feel it.
The Old Testament priests knew what it was like to stand all day long. They always stood while serving in the temple. God never invited them to take a seat and rest from their work. The Old Testament temple furniture included a table, a lampstand, an altar of incense, and the Ark of the Covenant behind a thick curtain. But there never was a chair. On returning home from working at the temple, an Old Testament priest would rightly say, “I’ve been on my feet all day.” If an Israelite ever saw a priest sitting down, it meant he wasn’t on the job. It was SRO – “standing room only” – for the priests.
The picture of rest was an important part of what we call the “old covenant”. The ceremonial and civil laws that God placed on the Israelites were stringent. And there were specific regulations as to how and when the people would find rest. Certain days were required days of rest for the people. There were specific periods of time when the people could not plant or plow their fields because the land needed to “rest.”
God’s intent was to get the people’s attention. He wanted them to understand the blessedness of rest. How good it is to cease from labor; to have a day off; or even just to have a 15-minute break when a person can sit down and get off his feet. But as a whole, the Old Testament priesthood never rested. That’s because their work was never done. The countless animal sacrifices they were obliged to offer never removed a speck of sin from a single heart. The daily slaughter at the temple would continue as long as sin continued – daily.
Old Covenant sacrifices were offered day after day; year after year. In the course of a single year priests would slaughter approximately 1,100 lambs, 113 bulls, 37 rams, 30 goats. They also offered over 2,500 grain and drink offerings to God. It was continual. The purpose was to teach the people that on their own, by their own devises, they could never achieve spiritual rest. It would always be a case of SRO – standing room only – for those who try to gain favor with God.
The same is true of us. If we try to gain spiritual rest for ourselves it will be a matter of “standing room only.” We’d all be working incessantly in a fruitless attempt to win our own salvation! How sad it is when people try to gain favor before God on their own terms and try so hard to make themselves acceptable to God. In our society we have countless people trying to achieve the correct “religious experience.” So many are seeking emotional rest before God. And yet they feel it is a matter of what they must do. And what they do must be done “correctly.” So individuals seek the “right” music to properly stir emotions and to put them into the right frame of mind to find God, or they seek the “right” speaker who will validate their desire for self-esteem, or people will seek out the “right” ministry center with the appropriate family programs to accommodate their weary schedules. Dog-tired souls will seek ways to find immediate results to an eternal problem. Guilty sinners continually attempt to stand before God and say, “See! Look at how hard I’m working!” And soon worship becomes a place of SRO – standing room only – as people try to desperately gain an audience with God