Monday, February 13, 2012

February 13, 2012 … All That Sacrifice!

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Leviticus, Chapters 1-4 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

Leviticus 1: 1-3 … : … [Animal Sacrifice] 1 The LORD called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting. He said, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When anyone among you brings an offering to the LORD, bring as your offering an animal from either the herd or the flock. >>> 3 “‘If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, you are to offer a male without defect. You must present it at the entrance to the tent of meeting so that it will be acceptable to the LORD.
LEVITICUS 2: 1; 11-13; … : … [Grain Offering] 1 “‘When anyone brings a grain offering to the LORD, their offering is to be of the finest flour. They are to pour olive oil on it, put incense on it …
11 “‘Every grain offering you bring to the LORD must be made without yeast, for you are not to burn any yeast or honey in a food offering presented to the LORD. 12 You may bring them to the LORD as an offering of the firstfruits, but they are not to be offered on the altar as a pleasing aroma. 13 Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings.

LEVITICUS 3: 1, 5, 6, 11, 17; … : … [Peace Offering] 1 “‘If your offering is a fellowship offering, and you offer an animal from the herd, whether male or female, you are to present before the LORD an animal without defect. … 5 Then Aaron’s sons are to burn it on the altar on top of the burnt offering that is lying on the burning wood; it is a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.
6 “‘If you offer an animal from the flock as a fellowship offering to the LORD, you are to offer a male or female without defect. … 11 The priest shall burn them on the altar as a food offering presented to the LORD.
17 “‘This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live: You must not eat any fat or any blood.’”

LEVITICUS 4: 1-3; … : … [Sin Offering] 1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Say to the Israelites: ‘When anyone sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD’s commands — 3 “‘If the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, he must bring to the LORD a young bull without defect as a sin offering for the sin he has committed. … ”

My Journal for Today: Ugh! I know. Leviticus. All those rules and regs that God puts forth in the Old Testament for His chosen people. Seems like boring reading, doesn’t it? But if you haven’t used my link above to read and study through the first four chapters of this book, at least I hope you take in what I’ve copied and pasted above to highlight the presentation, in these first chapters, of some of the sacrificial system which God set up for His followers once they had built and dedicated the Tabernacle, … the place where all these offerings would be brought for sacrifice.

And one has to be impressed with how much blood and work would be produced with over two million people, … nomad cattlemen, shepherds, and farmers, who were asked to bring their best animals and their first-fruits to the Levite Priests for various sacrifices to their God, … the God Who had established residence in their midst, … and the God Who loved them enough to set up a system whereby they could atone for their natural sinfulness and selfishness, allowing them to find redemption in this elaborate scheme of sacrifices and offerings.

AND … they probably did not recognize it in those times; but it also was giving them a picture of the perfect sacrifice Who would come in the perfect Person, the perfect Lamb of God, their promised Messiah, Who would come to BE the fulfillment of all of the sacrifices we read commanded by God to atone for the sins and spiritual enmity of God’s very fallible and sinful people. Ouch! That’s me we’re also talking about, as well!

And we see that the sacrifices demanded of God were to be the best and the most perfect the people had to offer to their God. If it were to be a bull, it was to be a PERFECT bull. If a lamb, a PERFECT lamb was offered. If it were a grain offering, no yeast would be involved and salt would be added to complete the sacrifice as a covenant sacrifice. All the offerings were to be the first and the best the people could bring to the Priests to be able to bring themselves back into a right relationship with a Holy God, Whose relationship with His chosen people demanded perfected blood or provisional sacrifice to the only One Who could redeem them from their sin.

And as New Covenant Christians, having the advantage of “the rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey used to say, we know that Jesus, The Christ, came to be our perfect sacrifice and atoning offering for the sinfulness which demanded all of these rituals and sacrifices under the Old Covenant. But are we, who’ve been covered by the blood of Jesus, off the hook when it comes to sacrifice to our God? And I harken back to the word of God through the Apostle Paul in one of my favorite, and most convicting, NT passages – Romans 12: 1-2, where we are exhorted (actually COMMANDED) to become “living sacrifices,” with the way we live being our blood sacrifice (i.e., our atoning blood flowing from the way we live) to the Holy God Who has redeemed us and atoned for our sin. God gives us, through the once-and-for-all perfect blood sacrifice of His Son, the sanctifying and enabling grace to live as first fruits and perfected blood sacrifices for God’s holiness. The question is: “Are we living as sacrifices, pleasing to our God.”

My friend, … anytime we choose to avoid sin and come away from the cross and follow what Christ demanded in Luke 9: 23, we become, under the New Covenant, what was symbolized by these commanded sacrifices in Leviticus, Chapters 1-4. So, my fellow Christian, let’s go out today and be living sacrifices for our Lord on His altar of grace with His Tabernacle being with us in our hearts, provided for by the Lamb of God.

My Prayer Today: … Oh, my LORD, may I be a sacrifice of worship in the way I live for you. Amen

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