Today’s Reading: Leviticus 1-3
Today’s Reflection: Leviticus 1:1-2
1) The LORD called Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying, 2) “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When any one of you brings an offering to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of livestock from the herd or from the flock.
The Book of Leviticus is a challenging one, particularly the early chapters with their litany of sacrifices. Sacrifices for different people, for different occasions, for different offenses and sins, each with specifics on what was to be sacrificed and how it was to be prepared. So much blood and so much death, all to symbolize atonement for the sins of Israel.
It’s much easier now isn’t it? Jesus came to be the true sacrifice and with His death all who call on the name of Christ can receive forgiveness for sin. No messy sacrifices to be made ever again.
Is it perhaps too easy? No, and yes.
No because the sacrifice of Jesus was a gift to all of mankind, and by definition a gift is something given freely (Romans 5:17). God desires to give everyone the opportunity to choose salvation from sin and eternal life (John 3:16). In addition, once we have made this choice we are expected to live completely for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). We ourselves become a sacrifice—a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1)—giving up man’s ways to follow Jesus. Christ gives us power to live for Him, but I wouldn’t call it easy (Romans 8:36-39).
On the other hand, the instant forgiveness God gives us, the seemingly neverending patience He has with us, can make us a bit complacent where sin is concerned. Something that can be forgiven and forgotten so easily (Isaiah 1:18) may appear to not be all that bad. I’ve heard it said that ‘Sin isn’t a problem for God.’ That is true. But what did it cost to make this so? For three days someone who is never supposed to die, was dead. A creator of existence itself ceased to exist. And sin was the cause of this. Clearly sin is a problem, and we can’t take it, or it’s solution, lightly at all.
This is why the sacrifices were so many, so complex, so convoluted. To give man some sense of the incredible mess sin had brought into the world. To show how completely God could eliminate that mess. And to show how great the cost for eradicating sin would be.
Be grateful we no longer need to sacrifice animals. Be grateful all we need to do is come before God in prayer in Jesus name (Hebrews 4:15-16). But whatever you do, remember that even though grace is free to you it didn’t come cheap.
Don’t forget the cost.