Different sin–same offering

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280I don’t know who came up with the idea of a “white lie”, as if whitewashing something gives it an air of purity.  Let me tell you about white—I’m from the old-school nursing profession that wore white everything.  White uniform, white cap, white hose (yes, hose), white shoes.  You know what WHITE does?  It accentuates every little spot, highlights any little stain or imperfection.  I suppose it looks clean; it just doesn’t always stay clean for very long.

Really, there is nothing purely innocent about a “white” lie.  It may quite likely show situational dirt at some point.  And yes, I’m guilty as, you know,…sin.  However, the hidden deception of grading our “sins” is actually more insidious and viral than simply being caught.  It is more in the false perception that I’m “not as bad as…” or conversely, that I’m “worse than…”  Then there’s always the corollary, “I could never…”  (NEWS FLASH!  If you have the human genome, then yes, you could.)

So I find this little information from the book of Numbers, buried and seldom read, quite encouraging:

As the recently freed Hebrew nation is getting ready to continue their trip to the Promised Land, a leader from each of the twelve Israelite clans now brings a “dedication” offering to the recently completed tabernacle.  This is interesting, because they had just taken a census of the people, and regardless of the size of each clan, the prescribed (and very expensive) offering was the same.  Each tribal offering included:

  • A silver platter and silver basin (of prescribed weights) both filled with choice flour and olive oil
  • A gold container filled with incense,
  • A 21-piece set of certain livestock, (see Numbers 7:13-17)

As mentioned, the dedication offering for each tribe was identical regardless of the “size” of that particular community. 

I see this a just another clue embedded within God’s Word about the coming of the promised Messiah: Regardless of how “bad” or how “many” our sins may be, the offering is always the same—the sacrifice of Jesus.  Dear reader, you don’t need any more (or any less!) of His blood than I do. Jesus paid it all.

He is also the reason for THIS season.cross-66700_1920

Eat Up!

(Full post at dawnlizjones.wordpress.com)

I’m not an expert on Jewish customs by any means, but reading the Old Testament about the Passover during this season is intriguing.  Of striking interest to me is the part where the Hebrew people are warned that, once the Passover lamb is sacrificed and served up on a platter, they were to use up the whole thing in some way or other, not to leave any remaining until the next day.

What’s that about?

Here’s my take.  Leaving meat unpreserved in a hot place for several hours (like overnight) causes spoilage and rancidity.  Not just the ugly worms and bugs that we can see crawling all over the leftovers, but more importantly the ones we can’t see!  It’s not just about had badly it stinks, or how unappealing it appears served up for breakfast. The bottom line is that spoilage causes illness, and rancidity causes death. 

I think of it analogously as Jesus our Passover Lamb.  God intend us to “eat” Him completely, receiving all His words, all His commands, all His love, and to trust Him completely, or to use a good old-fashioned word, “whole-heartedly”, as opposed to “half-heartedly”.

Taking just pieces of Jesus causes spiritual spoilage and rancidity.  Like empty legalistic behavior, hypocrisy, selfish ambition, and the list goes on.  In a nutshell, it not only stinks, but causes death—in ourselves and others.  The truth is that most of us have been there, on the giving or receiving end…or both.

The good news is that, even though Jesus’s Passover sacrifice of Himself for us was a onetime event, Passover itself comes around every year.  Our God is One of second chances, and third, and fourth.  Grace is truly amazing.

So here’s to encouraging us all to make sure we “fully consume” the Passover Lamb.  It’s really the only way to not have spiritual stinkiness in our lives.

And really, even though we have to chew on it sometimes, it’s pretty tasty!