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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Bloody and Scandalous Love

The sacrificial system was bloody and scandalous. 

It was bloody. Something must die. 
It was scandalous. The innocent dies and the guilty goes free. 
Sin is serious and carries a penalty—death. To propitiate sin means to make reparation for wrong doing and receive forgiveness for that wrong doing. The person voluntarily brings the sacrifice to the altar. He acknowledges both the guilt of his sin and the sentence his sin deserves as he places his hand on the animal. In that act the penitent sinner transfers guilt to the animal; the slaying of the animal says, “I should have died, but this animal is my substitute, dying in my place.” This sacrifice atones for sin by covering the sin and appeasing the wrath of a holy God. The animal dies the death the sinner deserves. The priest sprinkles the blood around the altar. Solemn occasion. Bloody ritual. 
The humble man approaches the altar burdened with guilt and shame. He walks away freely forgiven, with a bounce in his step and a song of praise to God in his heart and on his tongue. Scandalous joy! Forgiven!   
The proud person either refuses to acknowledge his offense, minimizes his offense, or excuses and blames it on another. The penalty, however, remains; it calls him by name and requires his death. 

The Crimson Blood, Kari Jobe captures the scandal of God’s love for sinners.

O the blood, Crimson love
Price of life’s demand
Shameful sin, placed on Him
The Hope of every man
Savior Son, Holy One
Slain so I can live
See the Lamb, the great I Am
Who takes away my sin
O the blood of the Lamb
O the blood of the Lamb
O the blood of the Lamb
The precious blood of the Lamb
What a sacrifice
That saved my life
Yes, the blood, it is my victory
O what love
No greater love
Grace, how can it be
That in my sin
Yes, even then
He shed His blood for me
O the blood of Jesus washes me
O the blood of Jesus shed for me
What a sacrifice that saved my life
Yes, the blood, it is my victory

Guilt transferred to the Innocent One. Penalty paid by the Innocent One.  

Bloody Sacrifice. Scandalous Love. 

Older Post

Leviticus: Procedural Manual 

Many people who set the goal of reading through their Bible annually come to the book of Leviticus and either slow to a stop somewhere in the first few chapters or don't bother reading any further. Reading Leviticus is as exciting as reading a business handbook, procedural or protocol book. Handbooks typically contain instructions and explain company culture and expectations with some so boring that a few companies have their employees sign a statement that they've actually read the entire contents of the handbook.

The book's primary function is to show Israel that God is holy and that sin is serious. "You shall be holy; for I, the Lord your God, am holy" (19:2). Therefore, the material covered reads like a manual as it spells out in detail the system for providing atonement through the various sacrifices. Chapters 1-17 guide the nation through the various sacrifices and the responsibilities of the priests to carry out the sacrificial system and chapters 18-27 give practical instructions to the nation for living holy lives.

As you read Leviticus don't get bogged down in all of the details but rejoice because:
  • Jesus fulfills every demand in the sacrificial system
  • The Holy Spirit is the Internal Instructor and Regulator in personal holiness
The Old Testament law says "Do" while the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the New Testament says, "Done" when the Lord Jesus said, "It is finished" as He died in man's place, the just for the unjust.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Leviticus 1:1-4:35
  • What does the "laying hands" upon the head of the burnt offering symbolize?
  • In what way does God make make provision in the sacrificial system for the different classes of people in Israel?
  • How much of the sacrifice is to be burned upon the altar? What does this tell you about God?
  • Read Romans 12:1. How is this offering similar? What kind of sacrifice does the Lord desire from believers?
  • How do the priests benefit from the grain offering?
  • What does the grain offering represent?
  • What four groups of people are mentioned in the sin offering?
Turning truth into prayer:
By placing his hands upon the sacrifice the worshiper acknowledges his guilt and transfers his sin onto the innocent animal which is then slaughtered as a sin offering. Forgiveness is granted to the worshiper because sin deserves death, death occurs via a substitute. Thank the Lord Jesus for dying in your place. "Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins" (Colossians 1:12-14). Sins atoned and heaven gained.