During the days of Moses, God established specific laws for sacrifices. He called for animal sacrifices to teach His people the seriousness of sin and to prepare the way for Jesus. God taught that when a sacrifice was offered, it was to be pure and without blemish: “If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he is to offer a male without defect. He must present it at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting so that it will be acceptable to the Lord” (Leviticus 1:3).
Approximately 900 years after the sacrificial law was given to Moses, God used the prophet Malachi to call the people back to a true heart of worship. Since the time of Moses, the people of Israel had gone through many highs and lows in their worship and were currently on another downward spiral. The priests had become very casual with the sacrifices; they had lost all sense of reverence and had ceased to offer God their absolute best.
“You place defiled food on My altar. But you ask, `How have we defiled You?’ By saying that the Lord’s table is contemptible. When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong?”
With the perfect and acceptable sacrifice of Jesus, the need for animal sacrifice has ended; “He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood” (Hebrews 9:12). Through faith in Jesus, our sins are completely forgiven; “By one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (Hebrews 10:14). Faith in the sacrifice of Jesus has become our final sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin; we have been perfected by His blood.
However, each of us who have experienced God’s mercy and grace are now urged “to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God” (Romans 12:1a). We are to offer this sacrifice not to earn or even maintain our Salvation, but because “this is our spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1b). A true understanding of God’s grace in granting us eternal life ought to compel us to a life of thanksgiving and sacrificial worship.
But when we leave His presence for the pleasures of this world, we create blemishes on our heart; and when we practice or give approval to sin, we become spiritually crippled and diseased. We must present ourselves to God and allow Him to use us for His glory. He deserves our very best! We should offer ourselves with a pure heart, without selfish ambition or pride, and free of worldly compromise.
God has given us all we have, made us all we are, and is leading us to all we will become. Let’s worship and serve Him with the best we have to offer; let’s present our lives to Him as an unblemished sacrifice.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Apr 2 Deuteronomy 21:1-22:30; Luke 9:51-10:12; Psalm 74:1-23; Proverbs 12:11