October 14 I Friday
1 Thessalonians 2
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
The Old Testament has all kinds of rules on how God would interact with His people. There were layers of separation with the Law, the Temple and the priesthood, especially in the Book of Leviticus, which outlines the rules and rituals for how people were to relate to God, the priestly offices and the process that people were to follow to remain in good standing with God.
As we study God’s dealing with sin offering in Leviticus, we will find a repeated statement. Leviticus 4:2, “When anyone sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD’s commands...”. Leviticus 4:13, “If the whole Israelite community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD’s commands...”. Leviticus 4:22, “When a leader sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the commands of the LORD his God...”. Leviticus 4:27, “If any member of the community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD’s commands...”. It is interesting to note that the description of sacrifices is for unintentional sin. This then begs the question, what happens when we sin intentionally? What happens when that person in the community gets on our last nerve and we lose our anger and do something malicious?
The problem is we do not just sin unintentionally, sometimes we sin intentionally. As we study the Old Testament Law, we will begin to realize that there is no sacrifice outlined for someone who sins intentionally. In other words, there was no pathway back to God for someone who sinned with a malicious intent in their heart. There was nothing they could offer that could reconcile them back to God. They were completely at the mercy of God.
Jesus came to set the captives free; He came to disrupt the Old Testament system. The barriers that God had established that separated Him from His people, because He is holy, were being redefined by Jesus. The gospel says no matter who we are or what we have done or maybe even what we are doing right now, we can have a pathway back to God that does not require anything of us but to be at His feet seeking His mercy and His grace in our life. Ephesians 2:8-9 reminds us, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” The truth of the matter is that only Jesus can offer absolution, cleansing, total forgiveness—the only pathway back to the Father.
Prayer: Precious Jesus, You are the way, the truth and the life. Thank You for coming to set the captives—to set me— free from sin. Praise You!