Friday, September 29, 2017

eschatology, Sacrificial System (Lev.1-10)

When God set up the Israelites' sacrificial system, He did so with symbolism in mind, to prepare them for what He would do for everyone.  For example...

(Leviticus 1:1-4)  Then the Lord called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When any man of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of animals from the herd or the flock. If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer it, a male without defect; he shall offer it at the doorway of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the Lord. He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, that it may be accepted for him to make atonement on his behalf."

Jesus (the Lamb of God, John 1:29)  would come to earth, wholly man and wholly God in order to accomplish His work on the cross.  Jesus would come from Abraham's descendants (out of the Israelites' "flock"), so that He could fulfill the Abraham covenant, and He could truly take our place in death.  As well, Jesus was still wholly God while on earth (John 1:1-18), so that He could live without sin (a male without defect), and have victory over death (to make atonement on our behalf).  Jesus' blood covers our sins forever -  when we choose to believe in Him.  His sacrifice was once-for-all.

Sp. until then, the Israelites were given their sacrificial system, not only to prepare them to recognize their Savior (their Messiah), but to be a constant reminder that committing a sin is not a trivial matter.  Where there is sin, there is death.  And they needed to know that to be able to approach God is not a trivial matter.  God is holy and deserves perfection.  So just below is an example of when a sacrifice was done correctly...

(Leviticus 9:22-24)  Then Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them, and he stepped down after making the sin offering and the burnt offering and the peace offerings. 23 Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting. When they came out and blessed the people, the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. 24 Then fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the portions of fat on the altar; and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.

And here is an example of a sacrifice done incorrectly...

(Leviticus 10:1-3)  Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. And fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said to Aaron, “It is what the Lord spoke, saying,
‘By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy,
And before all the people I will be honored.’”
So Aaron, therefore, kept silent.

Today's takeaway:  I think most of us desire to be perfect.  There are some who are delusional and believe they are already perfect.  There are some who obsessively strive to do their best, in their own efforts.  There are some who realize that it's completely impossible and just give up.  And there is everything else in between.  Meanwhile, God offers us perfection.  When we ask God to forgive our sins at the point of becoming a Christian, we put on Jesus' righteousness, and God then chooses to remember our sins no more.  And while still on earth, we will struggle, but God is at work in us, transforming us when we ask for His help...

(Hebrews 8:1-13)  Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; so it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer. Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law; who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, “See,” He says, “that you make all things according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.”But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.
For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. For finding fault with them, He says,
Behold, days are coming, says the Lord,
When I will effect a new covenant
With the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers
On the day when I took them by the hand
To lead them out of the land of Egypt;
For they did not continue in My covenant,
And I did not care for them, says the Lord.
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
After those days, says the Lord:
will put My laws into their minds,
And I will write them on their hearts.
And I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.

11 And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen,
And everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
For all will know Me,
From the least to the greatest of them.
12 For I will be merciful to their iniquities,
And I will remember their sins no more.
13 When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.


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