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Showing posts from February 12, 2017

Sacrifice

Reading through the book of Leviticus is no easy task. There are plenty of rules to follow in the sacrificial system given to the people of Israel. It assumes sinfulness, respect for God as their Father and Lord, and thankfulness, seen in the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the thank offering. You can find powerful phrases within the book; phrases that transcend that point in time and reach forward to a greater moment with Jesus. The burnt offering was tied to the sin offering, which was done first, so that the one offering knew that his sins were taken care of and so he could then fully devote himself to God in worship. The following two statements were "musts" for a sacrifice that would be given from a herd or flock: "If the animal you present as a burnt offering is from the herd it must be a male with no defects." (Leviticus 1:3) "…the Lord will accept its death in your place to purify you, making you right with Him." (1:4) The sacrificial system was…

Eyes and Ears

It is interesting to note that of all five of the senses that God has given to us, smell, taste, touch, hearing, and seeing, there are two each of the eyes and ears. They give us the ability to see and also have depth perception (eyes) and to hear and also have balance (ears). Depth perception is the eyes ability to perceive the world in three dimensions and the distance to an object. It allows us to pick up a fork or tool on the first try and see the different distances in viewing the scene of a street and the houses that stand on it. Although the outer, middle and inner ear are all necessary to hear, only one, the inner ear carries a second responsibility for balance. It is achieved by gathering sensory information from a variety of organs, one being the inner ear in all its intricacies, and integrating it to tell the body where it is in relation to gravity and the earth. When used anthropomorphically, the attributing of human characteristics to God, His "eyes and ears" help…

Willingness

After Moses received the Ten Commandments he spoke to the people of a need to build the Tabernacle; a place where God would dwell among them. He said to the whole community of Israel, "This is what the Lord has commanded: Take a sacred offering for the Lord. Let those with generous hearts present the following gifts to the Lord:" (Exodus 35:5) and he listed precious stones, threads, skins, wood, spices, and oils. Then, "all whose hearts were stirred and whose spirits were moved came and brought their sacred offerings to the Lord."  "Both men and women came, all whose hearts were willing." All who owned any of the items needed for the Tabernacle "willingly brought them." "The women who were willing used their skills to spin the goat hair into yarn. Leaders brought onyx stones and the special gemstones…spices and olive oil for the light..."  Every man and woman who was eager to help in the work…brought their gifts and gave them freely to …

Betrayal, Desertion, Denial

These are three of the most powerful negative words about relationship. They are all used in Matthew 26, a sorrowful and distressing chapter necessary to understand the aloneness Jesus felt as he prepared for the cross experience. Betrayal means simply to deliver up or to give into their hands, but in Judas' case it has been amplified by the actual facts of that moment to mean to deliver into the hands of an enemy by treachery or breach of trust while professing friendship and faithfulness. The scribes and Pharisees sought diligently a way to take Jesus where the multitudes that followed him would not be aware of it and not be able to rescue him. Judas provided the way by coming to him in his regular evening prayer times in the garden of Gethsemane with a group of well-armed men. But further than this betrayal was the desertion of the rest of the disciples. The other eleven, not fighters and caught off guard by one of their own's betrayal, scattered into the night probably fearf…