Friday, November 4, 2016

The Sacrifice of the Bad Parts

UV 2113/10000 The Sacrifice of the Bad Parts
And unto the children of Israel thou shalt speak, saying, Take ye a kid of the goats for a sin offering; and a calf and a lamb, both of the first year, without blemish, for a burnt offering;

Leviticus 9 v 3

Under the old order or the old covenant, the people of Israel was required to sacrifice a blemishless animal, remove its bad or unclean parts and offer its meat as a penance or atoning for sin. In the new order ushered in with the ultimate sacrifice that abolished all animal sacrifices, fulfilled the requirement of every type of sin of every person who believed or received Jesus, all members of humanity are required not to offer the good parts of animals as a sacrifice but to present themselves as a living sacrifice. To be a living sacrifice, we need to put to death the bad parts of our lives, the bad habits, the bad attitudes, the bad words, the bad decisions, the bad thoughts and actions. We need to sacrifice the negative continually and enjoy, enable, empower the good, the positive aspects of our lives.

Jesus the blemishless Lamb of God and Lamb sent from God is the final offering of the good, the absolutely good to satisfy the requirements of the law. We are no longer under the shadow of legal requirements to gain acceptability or favour with God. We are under the shadow of grace. We are liberated from the many legalistic demands and empowered to sacrifice all that offends the Lord, to give up, to put to death, to overcome the negative aspects of our lives. This frees us physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, spiritually to live fully and joyfully. No longer do we have to don the sackcloth of mourning to accompany the act of sacrifice. No more is a season or a time set apart for sacrifice but it is a daily dying to our worse off selves and living in full to the call of our better selves. In other words, living sacrificially implies that we continually disable our sinful selves and enable, empower, equip, enjoy our redeemed selves.

A life of grace then is one of continually giving up certain things and a continual gaining of the noble, the wholesome, the blessed, the worthy, the God-honouring parts. The breaking down process should be concurrently running along with the building up process. It is a constant movement towards perfection, towards completion, towards fulfilment. Everything we attempt and do is for His glory and by His grace. Every part of our lives needs constant cleansing, constant purification and refinement. Sacrifice is no longer an act but a process, a lifelong process without interruption. It is self initiated and sustained by the indwelling fire of the Holy Spirit. It is extremely pleasing to the Lord and shows that we are not taking our salvation or His sacrifice lightly or for granted.

Prateep V Philip

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