The Incredible Atonement

Today I read Leviticus 15-17 and Acts 18. It is fascinating to think about all the Jewish people had to do to approach God and to atone for their sins. Reading through all the things the priests had to do in order to go to God and to be clean and holy before him makes me so thankful right now for all that Jesus has done for me. All the blood that had to be spilled to make people clean before God is incredible. Over and over again God said that that life of any creature is in the blood and it was that blood that made people holy. Being a pastor and hearing what the priest had to do in slaughtering animals and sprinkling blood on the ark of the covenant and doing that day in and day out as your “job” in the community is a crazy think to think about. Today we have direct access to God and can talk with him anytime. Not only that but the holy of holies that only the priest could enter is now found in our hearts as the Holy Spirit dwells within us. What an incredible gift we have that those who have gone before us never had!

I also was struck by the lamb or goat on whom was placed the sin of the people who was then taken out into the wilderness and set free as an example of the people’s sins being placed far from them and literally taken away. I don’t allow my sins to be taken away like that often enough. There are times I hang onto them as some kind of remembrance of how bad I am and I sulk over them when in reality those sins are already carried away just like they were on that goat. As I shared with a friend a couple weeks ago, our sins do not define us. Sure we need to confess and stop doing them and distance ourselves from them, but they do not define who we are as we are new creatures in Christ Jesus. We no longer have to carry that label but instead carry the title of children of the King. This is something that no one deserves yet because of Christ Jesus our Lord it is bestowed upon us. What a blessing that is to me this morning.

Lord, help me to be a man who sees his identity in you and lives up to that identity. Lord, I want to leave it all on the field so that I can stand before you and say I did my best for you. Please forgive me for the sins I have committed even in the last 24 hours. Help me to see more clearly the path you have laid out for me so I don’t go the wrong way. Thank you for atoning for my sins once and for all so that I no longer have to sacrifice animals to connect with you. Amen.
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