Saturday, April 4, 2015

the mess that brought salvation

This is Easter weekend.  I love celebrating the great sacrifice and miracle of salvation through Jesus Christ. I enjoy this weekend for many reasons.  I love seeing the kids hunt eggs, just because it is fun.  I love hearing the sermons on the resurrection of Jesus. I love the songs sung.  Because He Lives will always be a favorite. There is a deep meaning to everything about this precious message of salvation.
Deeper than I think most of us fathom. Deeper than I my mind can think.

As I was reading my bible this week, I have been reading in Leviticus.  In Leviticus, God was laying out the plan for sacrifices to Moses.  There were specific types of sacrifices and specific ways to perform each sacrifice.  I have read through this before, but this time it began to paint a picture in my mind.  I could almost visualize Moses explaining all this to Aaron and then performing the purification ritual for Aaron and his sons.  There was a burnt offering, a sin offering, a guilt offering, a grain offering, a fellowship offering. Some were burnt on the altar, some were offered as a wave offering, some remains were burnt outside the camp in a purified location, Some were meant to be eaten by the priesthood. It was quite a process.  There was solemnity to the process. There was a seriousness that would have overwhelmed the priest. He had a duty to be pure and keep the whole nation of Israel covered by the blood of sacrifice.   As I was reading, I began to think about the process of building the temple and the altar. The artisans with great talent spent many painstaking hours forming, carving and shaping a beautiful items for the temple. The items were overlaid in gold or bronze.  The altar itself must have been a beautiful item overlaid in gold with carvings. Then when the sacrifices were made, not only was there burning, there was blood.  This may sound gross, but the blood of the sacrifices was used extensively.  Moses took the blood of the first sacrifice to purify Aaron and his sons and put blood on the horns of the altar, on Aaron's ear, thumb and toe.  The same was done for his sons. The blood was sprinkled on the beautiful robes they wore. The blood was then poured out before the altar. Basically, there was a lot of blood. Blood would be all over that alter and all around it. This blood is what brought a covering of the sin. As these images ran through my mind, I kept thinking how messy! That beautiful altar probably couldn't even be seen as beautiful for all the mess!

It hit me!!!!
Sin is messy! Sin takes what should be beautiful and destroys it.  Sin causes mess in people's lives. Sin causes destruction of what God intended for beauty.  God intended our lives to be beautiful and lovely as we were to walk in His presence and as His children.  Sin stepped in and destroyed all that God intended. The only way to bring back the beauty was through offering sacrifice. Sacrifice that included blood. Under the law given to Moses, there was many sacrifices and a lot of blood.

God chose to come and shed blood through Jesus' life for our sins.  We are the ones with the messy life full of sin.  He came and shed His blood. His blood ran down his brow and from his back as they beat him.  His blood poured out all over the cross and soaked into the earth. It would have been messy.  It was messy because of our sin.  He had to step from his beautiful place in heaven to become the mess of sacrifice for our messy sins.

It is because of all this destruction and mess that we even get to celebrate Easter. We have a Savior who  died, shed His blood, and rose again on the third day all because He loves us too much to leave us in the mess.  He loves us too much to watch His beautiful creation destroyed without hope of restoration. He wanted to provide a way of escape, a way to restore us to our original purpose.  It is only through the blood.  It is only through sacrifice that He could have that relationship He longs for with his children. Just as a mother travails and blood comes forth during birth for a beautiful child to be born, Jesus also travailed and blood came forth.  It was hard. It was a mess. It was worth it.  Life is born through bloodshed.
Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

I will celebrate Easter this weekend with deeper understanding of how serious we should take the shedding of His life-giving blood. I will determine in my heart to never take that sacrifice for granted.  It is my mess that demanded the sacrifice. His blood brings us life, life more abundant. I pray my love for Him will grow and become stronger.  I want my understanding to develop even further into understanding His real purpose for my life.  He gives beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. (Isaiah 61:3)
He is Salvation.

Thank you, Jesus, for loving me even when I made the mess of sin and for providing the sacrifice for me. Thank you for salvation.

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