Leviticus for many Christians, is dry, often skipped; but this book is a beautiful picture of our Lord Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. One perfect sacrifice of the cross has been illustrated in details into 5 types of offerings: Burn offering, Peace offering, Meal offering, Sins offering, and Trespass offering. These Five offerings encompass one perfect offering at the cross.
Lev 1:1-2 Now the LORD called to Moses, and spoke to him from the tabernacle of meeting, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When any one of you brings an OFFERING (in Hebrew = KORBAN) to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of the livestock—of the herd and of the flock.
In Hebrew OFFERING = “KORBAN” = means: DRAW NEAR TO GOD. And, we draw near to Him with something in our hands, not empty-handed, but with livestock like Ox, Lamb, or pigeon (for the poorer Offeror). Notice the animals offered are humble animals, obedient for sacrifice, pictures of Jesus. Today, we come to God not with the offering of animal sacrifice, but with the sweet fragrant aroma of His wonderful Name, Christ Jesus. Praising His Name brings good aroma to Father God who loves to be reminded when we remember His beloved Son, Lord Jesus.
Chapter one of Leviticus book described the Burnt offering, where the OFFEROR (picture of you and I) had sins, and therefore we came with an offering of animal sacrifice (picture of Jesus as the perfect Lamb of God taking our place). The Priest (picture of God) will then examine the livestock being offered, not examining the OFFEROR, because it is clear why the OFFEROR is there in the first place (because he has sins). Likewise, God did not examine you IF you put your trust in Christ Jesus, It is clear you had sins and you will continue to have sins as long as you live, but God’s eyes are no longer on you, but on your perfect offering, Jesus Christ. (see the short video clip – attached herewith)
Pastors and Preachers take heed that you do not preach to “examine the OFFEROR”, i.e. by making your Congregation examine themselves of their sins, to observe their own strength. The only thing that the Offeror needs to examine today is your FAITH, Examine whether you Have believed in the Right Gospel?
Today, we do not practice the Old Covenant way of Burnt offering anymore, but the principle of the offering is still the same, we still do it continuously, not with livestock but the perfect Lamb of God, Jesus. It is when we remember His sacrifice on the Cross for us, we bring the sweet aroma of His name to God. For instance, during our holy communion, or when we worship Him in our Praise & worship session, or when we meet Him face to face during our prayers.
And, it is not a one-time offering only when you received Jesus or on your water baptism. Although Jesus died on the cross one time for all eternity, but God wants your remembrance of HIM continuously. In fact, Jesus said it on the Last Supper, when He knew He was going to be crucified, it is the crucial word: He told His disciples to Remember Him as often as they could.
1Cor 11:24-25 …, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This DO, AS OFTEN AS you drink it, IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME.”
SALVATION IS NOT AUTOMATIC.
Salvation in original Greek word is not just your ticket to Heaven, but it encompasses all the blessings of God that you need to have on earth (like Health, Peace of Mind, Joy & Wealth) in order for you to live life abundantly as what Jesus has said in Joh 10:10 … I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more ABUNDANTLY.
This ABUNDANT LIFE does not come by you trying to merit it, because God’s Grace is unearned, unmerited Favor. Therefore, it is not by working your way up to deserve it. You cannot earn it because “God is too rich to sell to you, while you are too poor to buy it from God.” I heard one preacher commended one of his church voluntary servers who just got good promotion in his secular job, by relating it to his service in the church, saying “because of his faithful serving at the church that he got the big promotion”. This is very wrong, misleading and dangerous, and it is no longer Grace if you think that because you serve in the Church then you will automatically receive more blessings than others. Then how is the preacher going to explain to those so many others who serve faithfully like him but do not receive blessings like him?
On the other extreme, many “Lazy Grace Believers” who think just one time receiving Christ will suffice, nothing else needs to be done, and if God wants to give and He gives “Que Sera, Sera” (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)”. It is not like this either.
My Friend, God will not force His blessings on you, in fact ”you have not because you ask not.” God loves to be reminded of His Son, Jesus. Just as I love my little child, and so I love to hear People speak well of her or adore her. It pleases me!
To put in another perspective of Jesus being our bridegroom. Your wedding day does not end after you pronounced your Love-Vow. In fact it is only the beginning of marriage journey! You do not tell your spouse “I have vowed I love you once and that’s enough”. No, she won’t accept it! She will expect you to continue to DRAW NEAR to her DAILY. She wants a RELATIONSHIP that you DO spend a quality time with her, talk to her; treat her with Love and Respect. Your mere presence will not satisfy her.
You are Jesus’ bride. He wants to shower you with closeness and loving relationship, but will you DRAW NEAR to Him as your Response? Or you’d rather stand aloof? My Friend, Jesus wants to love you and shower you with His unmerited favors, making you feel you matter to Him; you are precious in His eyes, you are the apple of His eyes. Hurting you will be like hurting the apple of His eyes, it is the most sensitive part of body. That is how God feel about you. You are so sensitive to Him, touching you will be like touching His eyes. Are you aware of this?
Zec 2:8 For thus says the LORD of hosts: “…; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.
In Luke 19, there is the story of Zacchaeus, a rich tax collector. In those days, tax collector was the most hated person or position because they were considered the traitors to the people. They collected tax money for the Roman Government, while normally enriched themselves through corruption. Look at how Jesus approached Zacchaeus. He gave him Grace, made him felt important and precious. Jesus approached him in person, looked up to see him, and called his name “Zacchaeus” while no one has called him by his name ever since he became the tax collector. People called him “sinner”, “traitor” But Jesus spoke to him inviting Himself to eat and stay in his house. The meaning of “Zacchaeus” is pure / the innocence one. What a sweet name when Jesus addressed him as who he was truly inside him “pure” when he was born and given name as such. Zacchaeus was so joyful, he felt worthy as a human being and thankful to be treated with respect although everyone called him sinner. People who saw this bizarre action began to say “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” (Luk 19:7). Look at the end result: Jesus’ Grace had led Zacchaeus to repentance, when Zacchaeus stood up and said, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” (Luk 19:8).
DRAW NEARER & RECEIVE MORE
“The Lord is my shepherd”. Indeed a shepherd loves every single sheep He possesses, no exception, every sheep is brought out to grass on the same field. Some sheep go far away from Him, and some sheep draw near to Him. When the shepherd plucks some extra goodies plants nearby like berries, or carrots, which sheep do you think will He give first? Certainly, the sheep that draw near to Him. Not the sheep far away, but the sheep nearby. Thus, the Lord loves every believer the same, but not everyone will receive the same goodies. Are you nearby Him or far away from Him? Are you close to Him? and hear His Heart-beats? God’s Heart-beats are full of Love, and Grace. He wants to shower you with goodness and mercies, even though you felt unworthy like Zacchaeus, even though you felt short stature, yet He will approach you personally, and called you by your wonderful name; if you are willing to look up for Him.
I am closing with the story of Joseph in Gen 45: Joseph is the picture of Jesus. Remember He was rejected and betrayed by his own brothers. He suffered painful agony being a slave then being imprisoned, but God was with Joseph and made him prosperous and successful, that he later became the most wealthy and powerful man in charge of all the land of Egypt. When his brothers came to Egypt to look for grains because of famine struck their land, they did not recognize Joseph. While Joseph recognized them but he did not use his power to punish them for revenge. Joseph could but he would not. Instead, he used his power to reveal himself and showed Grace. Joseph said to his brothers:
Gen 45:4 And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt.(NKJV)
Gen 45:5 But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.(NLT)
Joseph gave Reference to God and he used his Power to ask them to DRAW NEAR to Him instead. And, Holy Spirit recorded and revealed the heart of God in v.10 , “GOSHEN” in Hebrew means ‘DRAW NEAR’. And, see the next sentence is confirming that “you shall be NEAR TO HIM.”
Gen 45:10-11 You shall dwell in the land of GOSHEN, and you shall be NEAR TO ME, you and your children, your children’s children, your flocks and your herds, and all that you have. THERE I will provide for you, lest you and your household, and all that you have, come to poverty; for there are still five years of famine.” ‘
My Friend, God wants you and your loved ones to always DRAW NEAR to Him. Look up to Him daily. DRAWING NEAR is the Place of “THERE”, a place where He will PROVIDE for you and your household, because the world will still experience famine in 2015, but you are not in the place of the world, you are THERE at a place of NEARNESS TO HIM. So, near that you can hear His heart-beat of Love pounding because of your Nearness to Him. It pleases Him to have you Near for He Loves you!
In fact, Jesus wants us to live life one day at a time. Don’t regret about yesterday for it has gone, been forgiven and forgotten; nor should you worry about tomorrow for it is not come yet, so leave tomorrow to HIM for He knows your tomorrow today. Live for today for He will give what you need for today only, when He said in: Luk 11:3 Give us day by day our DAILY bread. It is not ‘weekly bread’ nor ‘monthly bread’, but His Grace is enough only for Today. When tomorrow comes there will be another fresh Grace for you. Abraham Lincoln once said “the Future comes one day at a time”. And it comes through Jesus. Hallelujah.