I am following our church’s reading/preaching plan for 2012. Last week, we read Leviticus, and I was struck hard with the way that, immediately following His giving the Law, God provided grace for when His people would break His Law.
Our gracious God gave explicit instructions on how to offer sacrifices to atone for sin. He didn’t leave them alone with the Law! The Law was for their joy and good, and was an expression of His holiness.
And yet, He knew these people whom He loved would not keep it perfectly.
He knew they would need atonement.
And so He provided it.
“He shall lay his hand on the head of his offering, and slay it before the tent of meeting…” Lev 2:8 ESV
This was no far off offering. The priest would have his hands on the animal. He would be messy with the blood. The substitution for sin was personal, up close, real.
And later, a better Sacrifice would be made. Hands would be laid on Him as well. His blood would flow. His sacrifice would be personal, and would atone for the sins of all who would believe on Him.
This would be a forever atonement. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. (Hebrews 7:27 ESV)
And so I ask Him to help me.
To be filled with a sense of awe at His holiness, that required such a sacrifice.
To give me grace and faith to put my hope fully on the atonement Jesus made for me.
To remember, when I am more aware of my sin than I am of His grace, that His sacrifice was once for all.