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Taking the family bull to church

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My Bible reading is taking me through Leviticus right now. As the announcer says in his intro, Leviticus is where most people drop out of their Bible reading plan they started in January. I agree, it’s never been my favorite book of the Bible … but it’s one of the most important. Why? Because it demonstrates that our sins have consequences. The sins of a nation have consequences.

“Through the Word” produces a daily audio guide, then you read the chapter for that day of the study. He even admits, “Welcome to the Bible’s first boring book. The offerings, laws and festivals of Leviticus come to life as you understand the heart of the message and see how each element connects you to Jesus.”

Let me remind you that Adam and Eve started this sin stuff and innocent animals had to be killed to atone for their sins and provide a covering to wear. Let me just admit right now, if I had to sacrifice one of our flock (that we don’t have) to cover my sins or the sins of my family —  I’d be very sad. In the Old Testament that’s what people had to do, until Jesus died on the cross as our sacrificial lamb —  perfect, without spot or blemish.

Let’s talk about those priestly garments Aaron and his son got to wear. As my friend said, “They were dressed to kill.” And that’s the truth. Their job was to make sacrifices for the people … millions by now. And none of them were without sin. So they kept the fire pit going.

I do have some questions, and maybe you already know the answer. I don’t. I’m just supposing. But how did they willingly get the bull to go to “church?” I believe the altar may have been about five feet high. I guess Aaron had enough sons to lift the guy up to the altar. But there was a certain time to slit his throat, and it wasn’t in advance.

And you complain about your favorite donut being gone by the time you get into the sanctuary … or the coffee being cold. At least you didn’t have to wag an angry bull to church with you. (Unless you have a teenager in the house … could be a similar situation.)

But let’s be honest. We have it easy. Jesus did the heavy lifting and is willing to forgive our sins by us just asking for forgiveness. I John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins (directly to Jesus) He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 

Jesus wants a relationship with us … a meaningful one. Not just on Sunday mornings from 10-lunch (what’s for lunch????) But 24/7. He’s always right there with us, through good and bad times. He never leaves his child alone. But God is so holy, He can not spend time with us when we are covered with sinful dirt, thoughts, actions. Our sins put a wall between us and our fellowship with God.

When you read Leviticus God is very specific about the instructions. I love it that God gave all the plans to Moses and Moses had to communicate efficiently. 

My favorite part is God showing the people His glory after they had done everything as He commanded. Aaron and his sons had been set apart for a week and were holy. They had on their new garments and were ready to get to work. (Remember they had sacrifices to make for the people.) It wasn’t that the bull or the ram could take away their sin, but that sacrifice, rolled their sins ahead another year … until eventually Jesus died on the cross and became the ultimate sacrifice. 

I’m sure there was a momma in the crowd that invented Tide back then, to get those bloody stains out of their garments. I can’t even imagine the difficult work the men did for the people to please God.

Leviticus 9: 22 tells us that Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them. He came to the people after offering the sin offering, the burnt offering and the peace offerings. “And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of meeting and came out and blessed the people. Then the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people, and fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offerings and the fat on the altar. When the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.”

Wow, God accepted their offerings and was pleased. What is that going to feel like when we break the bonds of this life and the next breath we are standing in front of Jesus. (No I don’t believe there is a line and we have to talk to St. Peter first … but if there is, let me know! I’ll be sure to wear comfortable shoes.)

The whole point of these thoughts are to help us realize how “easy” we’ve got it today. Once we have a relationship with Jesus, we can speak directly to God in our hearts and minds, or out loud with our words. He knows everything about us and loves to have us call “home.” I spoke to my Daddy this morning on the way to work, and the last words of that call was, “Love you Donna. Thank you for calling.” I had to blink really fast to keep the tears from falling. That’s exactly how God feels when we “take time” to talk and work for Him. 

Remember you’re breathing and alive for some reason — it’s not too late to start your relationship with Jesus today.

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