The Father sends the message, the Holy Ghost teaches it, and it all glorifies JESUS!
If you are familiar with my blog you will see today’s writing is different. The Holy Ghost sent me from the message of the book of Leviticus to what Leviticus has to do with the season some call Lent, which traditionally begins today. God is doing a great work in my heart these last days and this falls right in line. I hope this blesses your heart as much as it has mine.
SIN AND LEVITICUS
There are plenty of definitions out there for sin. From a Biblical perspective, sin is doing what we know we shouldn’t before God. Maybe a good practice would be to ask ourselves, could I do this in the Name of Jesus? Could I do that representing the King and the Kingdom? That might put some light on it.
God has an order to things. We see that in the Bible, but we see that also in our natural world. This perfect order, according to God’s will, is known in Hebrew as Shalom. Perfect Peace. So in effect, sin is willfully interrupting Shalom, whether in our own lives or the lives of others.
Sin is destructive and leads to destruction because it separates us from God. Living perpetually separated from God is the worst possible scenario – hell. So, any sin is a big deal.
SIN – A Toxic Poison
Sin is like a very toxic poison. If you are a parent, you don’t let your child play where you store poisonous things. No, and you impress upon your kids that that is off-limits. If they persist toward the “poisons,” we will punish them in some way so that they get the point. Why? Because if they get into that cabinet and don’t catch it and drink that poison, it will destroy them. That is a picture of sin.
SIN – The Price
There is a price of sin, and that is the message of the book of Leviticus. When the Children of Israel sin, they must bring a sacrifice to the Altar to pay the price for their sin, whether intentional or unintentional.
In our time and culture, we truly have no way to relate to animal sacrifice. At this point in One-Year Bible reading, many begin to question what it has to do with their life. It is repetitious and sometimes feels boring – laws, rules, customs that nobody lives by now. So we skim it and glaze over it, saying we don’t have to sacrifice animals because Jesus is the last sacrifice, and we brush the whole thing off.
But if we allow that state of mind every time we read Leviticus, we will always miss what is going on here, and it is something profound. God is discussing the results and price of sin.
SIN – Your Prized Sheep
Imagine you were one of the Israelites, and you sinned. What if you had sheep or goats, and they were part of your life and family? What if you had one special one, a perfect one that provided milk faithfully for your family and your little children? What if, because you sinned, you had to go and select this one (because it was perfect) to take to the priest? What if you had to kill that loved sheep before the priest and drain its blood for your sacrifice? That perfect sheep that gave you milk for your children and was perhaps their playmate over these last years?
SIN – Sacrifice is a Reminder
If you had to sacrifice your lamb, it would be a reminder that your own sin costs you something. Your sin costs!!! Sin will end up costing something beautiful. After all, sin’s price requires a perfect sacrifice, a beautiful sacrifice with no flaws or imperfections. In that culture and time, the animal served as a stand-in for what you deserved. You should have been thrown on that altar as the price, but your perfect sheep paid your price instead.
Oh, but hear this, we have a God that wants and has always wanted His people to clearly and completely understand what will destroy us and separate us from Him.
As the perfect lamb was sacrificed by first having a blade to its throat, sin is the blade at your own throat. It kills. The book of Leviticus is like a deterrent, a road-closed sign warning – don’t go down this path!!! It leads to destruction!!!
This book is not dull or only a list of laws, rules, and customs. It is LIFE!!!
WHAT DOES LEVITICUS HAVE TO DO WITH THE SEASON SOME CALL LENT?
Today is known by some as Ash Wednesday and begins what many people call the Lent season, which is the season 40 days before Resurrection Day. You say wait – Easter is April 4, 46 days away, so shouldn’t Lent start next Wednesday? In the Jewish tradition, Sundays are days of celebration and are not part of the 40 days of fasting. There are 6 Sundays during Lent. (There, so now you know)
Repentance and Lamentations
I didn’t grow up learning about Lent, but I do observe it now and have for the last decade. I don’t observe it in the tradition of some churches, but I have added it to my life as a necessary time, and I keep it because of what it stands for to me. I observe it in ways the Lord impresses me personally to. Lent is a season of repentance and lamentations. It is a time to consider deeply where your sin is leading you.
No one would have ever had to sacrifice if there was no sin, but we all have sinned. And so that is the work of Jesus Christ. We think of animal sacrifices as barbaric, but then we can somehow read through the Gospels about the crucifixion of Jesus with almost no real feeling. Has the Cross become so familiar? Look at it again now through the lens of Leviticus. Jesus was the Lamb in your(my) place. Jesus was the last sacrifice for your (my) sin. My sin (your sin) cost the life of our precious beloved JESUS, our Savior! His BLOOD was spilled for me (and you).
We should think on, contemplate, and meditate upon His sacrifice and not skim over our sins that put Him on that Cross. It is a time to consider that Jesus became our final sacrifice, once and for all. But the choices I make to sin today – they cost.
For centuries, people have entered into this fasting and prayer season and repentance as we do today.
Maybe you didn’t know the reasons behind Lent, but you’ve heard discussions of what others are giving up for Lent. What are you fasting for Lent? Some fast things like – chocolate, soda, tv, social media, certain foods, certain behaviors. I am not knocking that!!! Hear me. I am not knocking it at all. Why???
One good reason to fast something we crave is that every time we crave it, it is a reminder of the sin in our lives, and it brings our minds and hearts back to Jesus and the Cross. (There are many reasons and ways to fast during this season. We will leave that for others to share – at least for today)
This season begins with our sin and His price and then leads us right into Resurrection Day. Resurrection Day represents all things being made new. All things being made new within us again. The resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead restored us to God.
This season called Lent is a time of quiet consideration about what it took to give us life. Lent allows us to sit and see where we actually are so we can embrace the Hope for where we are going!!!
Open Your Hands and Lay it ALL on the Table
So to embrace God is to put everything on the table – not just candy or tv. To put it all on the table with open hands and say, I embrace this season, Jesus, because I embrace YOU. Make all things new in my life, Lord. I remember that sin leads to death, and I want LIFE, so I open my hands. Reveal what is in my hands separating me from you that I may walk away from it. Show me even the things I thought were good that are distracting me from embracing YOU. Put into my life anything that needs adding. I want to align my life with You and follow You fully.
Father, thank You for sending Your beautiful Son into this world to save us and to be the sacrifice for our sins. Help us not to skim over this act of love. Jesus, thank You that You sacrificed Yourself willingly for each of us. Thank You and help us not skim over these truths or this season, thinking we will wait until another day to repent and lament our transgressions. Holy Ghost, help us as we go through this season. Help us to yield as You do Your work in each of our lives. Fill us afresh, strengthen us, and guide us each moment of this precious season. I love You, and I want to show my love to You and those You love today and every day. Please help me, Father! In Jesus Name, I pray. Amen!!!!
And to think I started this blog and was going to define all the different types of sacrifices. BUT GOD…
Today’s passages from the One Year Bible – Leviticus 4-5; Mark 2:13-3:6; Psalm 36; Proverbs 10:1-2