The Scribes and Pharisees were very fluent upon sacrifices, offerings, oblations, tithes, fastings, and the like; but what influence could all that exert over aching hearts? Jesus has imperial power over contrite spirits, because he tells them of his one real sacrifice and of the perfection which he has secured to all believers. The priests lost their power over the people because they went no further than the shadow, and sooner or later all will do so who rest in the symbol. The Lord Jesus retains his power over his saints because he reveals the substance, for grace and truth are by Jesus Christ.
What a loss of time it is to debate upon the fashion of a cope, or the manner of celebrating communion, or the color suitable for the clergyman’s robes in Advent, or the precise date of Easter. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity! Such trifles will never aid in setting up an everlasting kingdom in men’s hearts. Let us talk care lest we also set great store by externals, and miss the essential spiritual life of our holy faith. Christ’s kingdom is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost!
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Jesus, The King of Truth," delivered December 19, 1872. Image by Ken Lund on Flickr under Creative Commons License.