Study from Numbers 3 - 4; Passage for Reflection: Numbers 3: 40-41 … NIV 40 The LORD said to Moses, "Count all the firstborn Israelite males who are a month old or more and make a list of their names. 41 Take the Levites for me in place of all the firstborn of the Israelites, and the livestock of the Levites in place of all the firstborn of the livestock of the Israelites. I am the LORD."
My Journal for Today: “Substitutionary atonement.” It’s a big theological phrase; but a really important one; and it was all part of God’s plan, after the fall of mankind in the Garden, to redeem mankind from his own sinfulness and pridefulness. And we see this plan beginning to work itself out in God’s planning as He established the set of order for Tabernacle worship in ancient Hebrew culture.
F. Lagard Smith today makes a good practical point when he says that generally we don’t want to have a substitute when we can have the real thing. For example, people, if they can afford it, will choose genuine leather furniture over a man-made vinyl substitute. However, sometimes we actually choose – even prefer - a substitute over the real-deal. Why? Because it’s better for us. Example: I’m a type 2 diabetic, and most of the time I choose to use a sugar substitute, rather than real sugar because it helps keep my blood sugar levels under control. In other words, a substitute for the natural helps to save me from my own natural disease process.
And when it comes to a plan to deal with the cataclysmic mistake mankind made in the garden, disobeying God’s warning not to eat of the tree of knowledge, God set in motion a plan of blood sacrifice, instituted among his Chosen People, the Israelites, which was ultimately worked out and completed by the Lamb of God becoming the final blood sacrifice, substituting and atoning for the sins – all sins – of all of mankind. And that’s the place where we, as sinners, will – or at least “should” – choose THE “Substitute” over the original sin we all have in our hearts. Only if - and until - we choose to receive the substitutionary atonement offered by God’s plan to save us from ourselves and give us THE eternal substitution for our sin can we be provided with the eternal redemption which God has offered in the place if our sin nature.
So, as you might choose, as I have done today, to read through these long, seemingly boring passages, in the Book of Numbers or other Old Testament books, realize that God is carefully documenting an eternal course of treatment – a long involved prescription, if you will – which gives a sinner like me (or you) the way for a substitute – THE SUBSTITUTE – to stand in and provide me [us] with the eternal real-deal which was originally offered to Adam/Eve, but turned down, thereby requiring a redemption plan to be set in motion – the plan which I waded through today in the Book of Numbers and the plan for which Jesus Christ became the Lamb of God to save us all .
And praise my merciful and grace-giving God that He was willing to come up with a sacrifice and substitution to take care of my original sin nature! Can I hear another witness of “Hallelujah” from my followers in this place?
My Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, praise Your Holiness and Mercy for providing a way – Your Son, Jesus – to be the substitution for eternity Who allows me to find and become Holy and be able to spend Eternity with You. Amen