The Ground Is Level at the Cross
Day: 8 | Plan: Leviticus-Hebrews
Today's Reading: Leviticus 5
Leviticus 5:7,11a (NIV) “Anyone who cannot afford a lamb is to bring two doves or two young pigeons to the LORD as a penalty for their sin—one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering … If, however, they cannot afford two doves or two young pigeons, they are to bring as an offering for their sin a tenth of an ephah of the finest flour for a sin offering.”
Is what I have to offer enough? Will it be acceptable to God?
I wonder if these two questions lingered in the minds of some of the Israelites as they brought their daily sacrificial offerings to the priest.
Regardless of whether or not they sinned intentionally or unintentionally, one thing was certain. They were considered accountable for their sins and unholy in the sight of God; therefore, confession and an atoning sacrifice were required.
Yet, God in His mercy, gave the people clear instructions as to what type of animal they would need to bring before the priest for their atonement. It could be a bull, goat, sheep, lamb, two turtledoves or two young pigeons. Even a portion of flour was acceptable under certain circumstances.
I used to think that the size of the atoning sacrifice was in conjunction to the size of the sin: a bigger sin required a bigger sacrifice—but that’s not the case.
In the Old Testament, the nation of Israel had socioeconomical status just like we do today. Some people were very wealthy. Others fell into the category of middle class and some were the poor.
Only a wealthy person could afford to offer a bull from his own livestock. A middle-class person would more likely offer a goat or lamb for his atoning sacrifice, because he couldn’t afford a bull. A poor family didn’t have any financial means for a bull, goat or lamb, so they would bring two pigeons or two turtledoves.
Do you see the grace-filled provision?
God allowed everyone to be included for the forgiveness of sins. The rich didn’t have greater access because of their wealth or status. Neither could they buy their way out of the required process. There were no favorites and everyone was given the opportunity to bring something that was acceptable to the Lord.
Let us never forget that we all need atonement for our sins and by the grace of God the ground is level at the foot of the cross. Jesus is our atoning sacrifice and God gives access to all—from the rich to the extremely poor.
Jesus didn’t die on the cross to save only a select few. He gave up His life for every one of us. We are all valuable to Him and the only reason Jesus waits to return again is so that all will come to repentance and not perish. (2 Peter 3:8-9)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, the more I read Scripture and begin to understand the great sacrifice Jesus made for me, the more I realize how much You love me. Thank You for including me in Your redemption plan and allowing Jesus to be my atonement so that my past, present and future sins are forgiven once and for all. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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