Impact on Jesus Week #5
I am so grateful for the amazing IMPACT this study is having in my life. It has been a real eye opener to think through how the teachings of Moses in the law and the stories of the Old Testament challenged and formed Jesus into the man he was sent to be. Then, having the thought of "how then is this to impact me?" Thank you for allowing me to share.
In Exodus 35, Moses is finally able to do what God had told him in Exodus 25, gather the offering from this who are willing. In the mean time there has been the whole golden calf debacle and the pleading of Moses with God to remain with the people. God made a covenant with Moses and the Israelites and now we see the follow through after Moses has come back from another 40 days with God and he has written down all he was told. The first command he had to obey was to gather an offering from those who were willing! In Exodus 35, that word "willing" appears in verse 5 for the "call to action" and then in v.21and22 at the answer to the call. The people brought items and also themselves to do the work. Bezalel is mentioned again in v.30, the one appointed by God to do and oversee the work because he was filled with the Spirit of God, and he came to do the work. In Exodus 36:2 we see Moses calling all the other skilled workers "who were willing" to work under Bezalel and Oholiab, and the willing showed up. There was such an outpouring of offerings from those who were willing that eventually the workers came and told Moses to do something because they had more than they needed. In Exodus 36:6-7 we see Moses issue a new order that nothing else was to be given for the building of the Tabernacle "because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work!" Man! I can just see the face of Jesus as this all sinks in as he ponders his upcoming sacrifice. The one in which he willingly lays down his life for those he loved. Prior to that moment, no amount of offerings, sacrifices, or work was enough to accomplish the work in full for Hod to once again dwell with His people! But when his work was completed, his Father would decree "Do not bring anything else you have to offer, for what My Son have brought is More than Enough to do the work!" What encouragement for Jesus to know his offering would be accepted and it would be more than enough! And what an encouragement to us, that as we lay ourselves down as freewill offerings, that everything God accomplishes through our willing obedience He will accept through Jesus and declare, it is more than enough! I desire that He will say this to me when I stand before His throne! #Impact #EnjoyTheShepherd
Exodus 37-40 is the detailed story of the Tabernacle and priest outfits being crafted. Each portion was done by the skillful laborers "just as the Lord commanded." Over and over they completed a task and it is said it was done just as the Lord had told them to. When all the work was finished, it was presented to Moses and he inspected it and "saw that they had done it just as the Lord commanded. So Moses blessed them." Exodus 39:43. Then Moses in chapter 40 anoints the priest "just as the Lord commanded." Then he set up the Tabernacle, each piece placed "just as the Lord commanded." When Moses finished, God looked at the work and he gave his approval by taking His glory and filling the Tabernacle! In other words, he accepted the work and got to do what He longed to do, dwell with His people. Can you see the impact this all had on Jesus? Given to live his life "just as the Lord commanded." Every step of the way, every fine detail, lived out "just as the Lord commanded." Then as Jesus approached the cross, and hung on the cross, he was able to inspect the details of his life just like Moses had inspected each item for the Tabernacle. Jesus looked and he declared "it is accomplished!" His work was finished and the "Tabernacle" was complete. The dwelling place for God had been fully prepared, and God agreed with a thunderous "Amen" as He filled his new temple, us, with the wonder of His glory! Both Jesus and God looked over all that had been done and they agreed the work was compete and God finally was able to do what His heart longed to do, To dwell as One with His people! What a wondrous Savior and God we serve! #Impact #EnjoyTheShepherd
Today I began in Leviticus and I was curious how my search for impact on Jesus would stand in these next few books of the Old Testament. However, it is amazing to see in the opening how God told Moses what He expected of any offering. He was extremely detailed in his desires and requirements. As I read through them, I began to think of a Jesus coming with Joseph and Mary to these offerings and watching them. He was being taught the words Moses had written and then watching the sacrifices in person. As he took all this in, I pondered on when all this began to sink in as He began to see himself in these words and pictures. A male without defect being presented at the entrance of the Tent of Meetings. (Matthew 26:57-58 as Jesus is presented to the high priest in the "courtyard") Being "slaughtered before the Lord" (Leviticus 1:5) his blood poured out by the hands of the priest. (1:5) Being cut to pieces and then all of him put on the altar as the Lamb (1:12-13) Being torn open but not completely severed (1:17) and offered as a pleasing aroma to the Lord. Jesus takes all this in and as he grows in His understanding of who he is and he sees himself in these offerings and begins to realize the intensity of His sufferings, he makes the choice to continue forward in his mission because he and the Father had the same desire, to dwell together in unity with each other and with His people. He sees in 2:13 the purpose of his Discipleship, to season with salt his offerings to God in leaving these men to persevere on with the Good news of the kingdom, but he knew in order for all this to be a reality, the "head would have to be crushed" 2:14 and offered to the Lord so Himself, His Father, and the Holy Spirit could forever enjoy their people and we as members of his flock could forever enjoy Him! What a Savior! #Impact #EnjoyTheShepherd
As I look at these instructions on fellowship and unintentional sin sacrifice in Leviticus 3-4, several things jump out at me. #1. The person who brought the sacrifice is the one responsible to not only lay his hands on the animals head, he was the one who was to slaughter it before the house of the Lord. #2. The animal must be pretty calm to be so easily led to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and it was without flaws! A prized animal! #3. Chapter 4 was all about the unintentional sin offerings and each one describes the "rest of the blood" being poured out at the base of the altar. Again, Jesus was growing in his wisdom and knowledge of God and man. Luke 2 tells us he was with his parents "every year" going up to Jerusalem and at age 12 he spent 3 days in the Temple asking questions! He surely was beholding some of these fellowship and unintentional sin offerings, learning and gleaning from them. As His time came near, he knew that in order to fulfill his role in each of these sacrifices, he would have to bring himself to stand before the Lord and offer himself as a willing sacrifice. As he reflected on his life, the words "without defect" would ring in his ears as he would look back over his life and then say to his Father, "Here I am, I have followed You every step of the way" as he presented himself as a calm and willing sacrifice. Then as he hung on the cross and looked at those who had laid their hands on his head, the priest who slapped him, the Roman guards who had beat his face and placed a thorny crown on his head, he remembered the words in Leviticus 4 and asked his Father not to hold this sin against them, for they did not know they were being used as the instruments to kill the Lamb of God needed to reunite God and his people. And in answer to his prayer, His Father moved the Roman soldier to pierce his side so the "rest of his blood" could be poured out at the base of this crude altar and Jesus' sacrifice for their unintentional sin would be fully acceptable to God! What an amazing picture and glorious fulfillment of "all the law" Christ displayed. He fully poured out himself for not only the willful sins, but the unintentional sins as well so that there would be Nothing left to hinder God and His people living together in unity for eternity. I stand here today with that Roman soldier and declare, "surely this is the Son of God!" And with the throngs in heaven saying "Behold the Lamb who was slain for he is worthy to receive honor and glory and power forever! Amen!" #Impact #EnjoyTheShepherd
This morning I suddenly felt a huge weight as I read through Leviticus 5. As Jesus ponders these words of how easily it would be to sin walking through this world, he had to wonder how he would remain without defect. A simple step of his foot in the wrong direction would leave him spotted and unacceptable as the sacrifice. (Read the chapter Leviticus 5) This was an enormous undertaking, one he could never do on his own. One slip, one stumble, and he would eternally be separated from the One he longed to be with the most, His Father. As this realization sets in that it is an impossible task, I can hear him cry out from Psalm 119:133 "Father, direct my steps according to your word; lot no sin rule over me!" In desperation he clung to dependence on the only One who could keep his feet from stumbling along the way. I can hear him pray, begging his Father to hold him up and not let him fall. He had given away his power to do it himself and he knew in his flesh, surrounded by sin that easily besets a man, knowing he would be a friend of sinners, hanging out with the "wrong crowd" so to speak, he would need the Spirit to maintain his place as "without defect!" As he closes his prayer, I can also hear him in triumphant glory quote from Psalm 23 "The Lord is my shepherd...He guides me in paths of righteousness...even though I walk in the valley full of death and sin, I fear nothing because His rod and His staff will comfort me by keeping me in His righteous path!" What great impact this story held for Jesus as he knew his ability to fulfill the law as the acceptable sacrifice required he remain without defect, and yet he knew that for this to be true, he desperately needed His Father and the Holy Spirit to guide him every step of the way! Then he tells us, "do as I did. Live as I lived. Love as I loved." And he sends us the gift of the Holy Spirit so we can through dependence on Him obey His commands and love one another as he loved us! What a Savior! What a God! #Impact #EnjoyTheShepherd
Leviticus 8 is a portrait of the day Aaron and his sons were finally anointed as the priest to serve the people before God. Moses follows everything he was told to do in order to properly present Aaron and his boys before God and the people. It required sacrifices, and it required perfection. Moses had to do everything right on his side and Aaron and his done had to follow through with what they were told to do. Yet, when it was finished, Aaron and his future generations had been set apart to be the presenters/representatives for the people before God the Father for generations to come.
As Jesus reads through this, he sees a passion of his coming to life through the story being told. His heart was to present the people of God to his Father and to serve the as their high priest. Not only was he going to be the Lamb who was sacrificed, he also would be the representative before the Father for the people. Yet, so much was required in order for him to serve in this position. Much had to be done on his behalf. And who was doing it? Who was making him ready to serve? None other than his Father through the Holy Spirit. In order to serve, all the commands had to be obeyed perfectly. In order to serve, he had to be properly presented before the Father, and who better to prepare him but The Father through the words Moses wrote down and the Holy Spirit brought to life for him. His young mind raced with questions, yet his passion remained the same. He want to please the Father and he longed to present God's people before Him in an everlasting relationship.
Jesus had a passion! It was to serve His Father and His people. He longed for what His Father longed for, to dwell with His people forever. In order to accomplish his passion, it would require a Lamb without defect, but it would also require a Priest to ever present that sacrifice before the Father for all eternity on behalf of those He loved. Jesus fulfilled both roles and through this story told ages before His birth, he saw the fullness of who He was and then he presented himself as a willing sacrifice and servant to fulfill the role of Savior.
As His reward, He has been presented a prize, an gift. His bride! His people! His title as King of kings and Lord of Lords! And he says to you and I, believe I love you and come reign with me!
What I love in today's reading is what one sees as he looks over the whole of the story of Moses and Aaron and all the sacrifices. God gave Moses all the detailed instructions for how the sacrifices were to be done. Then, we see Moses teaching those to Aaron and his sons both in word and in deed (Leviticus 8). Then in chapter 9 we see Moses call Aaron and tell him to now do what he had both been instructed in and seen demonstrated for him. In other words, Aaron was not simply given some words and orders to follow, these instructions were also demonstrated for him to see. He was not left in the dark on how to do what he was told to do.
How impactful this was for Jesus as he begin to realize his role as not only lamb and priest, but also as the instructor of those who were going to follow him. He saw through this demonstration of the relationship between God, Moses, and Aaron, that he would not simply need to teach the command of love, but he would also have to demonstrate it for all those who would follow in his footsteps. He could not rely on words alone to get across his message, he also had to demonstrate his love toward us. If his disciples were to really understand his new command in John 13:34, "to love one another", there had to be the demonstration he had shown so he could say "as I have loved you." Jesus learned this important truth of discipline others by the example he had seen written so many years before by the hands of Moses under the instruction of the Spirit.
What an amazing thought, that Jesus learned how to be the priest for us and how to disciple others through the story He had written by the hand of Moses showing how Moses trained and discipled Aaron in the art of being the priest.