And what about how we live? Do we live worthy of the sacrifice Christ made for us? I’ve included a clip from the movie Saving Private Ryan that always serves to remind me of that question.
Leviticus 1 & 2
Do you offer God your best?
Our Once and for All Sacrifice
Well, here we are starting a new book. Leviticus is the third book of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible), also called the Books of Moses.
Three of the themes which run through this book are: God’s holiness, mankind’s sinfulness and the need for a sacrifice. Of course, the sacrifices offered here in Old Testament times were only temporary coverings for sin. They point to the ultimate sacrifice Jesus Christ, the only sinless, perfect, once and for all, sacrifice.
What We Offer in Return
I noticed several things as I read these two chapters. First, twice in chapter one the Israelites were told to bring an animal “without blemish.” These were to be the best of the herd or flock. They were not to say, “Well, we might as well sacrifice this one, he’s probably not going to make it anyway.” They were to give Him their best.
What do you offer up to God? Is it the things you really don’t care about anyway? Or do you say everything I have is Yours, Lord? I’m willing to lay down anything You ask me to lay down?
Do you offer Him the best? The best of your time (often first thing in the morning)? The best of your resources or just what’s left over? The best of your talents?
What do your offer Him in the way of worship? Do you worship wholeheartedly in every area of life or are there rooms in your heart and life where you worship self or some other idol?
The next thing I thought about was in verse 14, “And if … his offering to the Lord is of birds …” This was the offering of a poor man. It was also the offering that Joseph and Mary brought on the eighth day after Jesus was born. In and of ourselves, none of us has anything worthwhile to give God, but His grace is already more than enough. He’s just asking us to give what we have out of our love for Him.
I was struck again by how much preparation went into the sacrificial system of worship.
Romans 12:1 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
How much time do you take to prepare your heart for worship, to make sure the sacrifice you offer is clean by confessing any sin? How much time do you take to ask Him to open your heart to His truths, to convict you of sin, to show you where you need to change and grow?
A week or so ago we read about the sacrifice required before Aaron and his sons were ready to go into the Holy of Holies. It was messy and bloody.
Offering ourselves as living sacrifices can be messy and bloody, too, as we allow the Holy Spirit to wield that sharp two-edged sword on our hearts! Continue reading