This past week was a journey in going from "What can this possibly have to say to Jesus?" to "Oh my, how can I ever talk about all this in only 7 days? Numbers can literally be mind numbing, dragging through so much detail, but in those details are so many impactful moments that shaped Jesus into the Lamb of God in the form of a Son of Man. I hope you are enjoying this journey as much as me! As I am learning how they impacted Jesus, I am beginning to understand how they were also told in order to impact me! #Impact #Jesus
As I wrapped up reading Leviticus this morning, I was hit with two common sentences throughout the book Moses penned:
"If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey My commands" (26:3)
"But, if you do not listen to Me and carry out these commands...". (26:14)
These two themes are carried throughout the entire writing of the law by God through Moses. The instructions were clear. Obey and I will bless. Disobey and "I will bring upon you sudden terror. . . I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies, those who hate you will rule over you." (26:16-17)
As Jesus pondered these words as he listened to them and meditated on them, can you imagine the deep impact they had on him? As he grew into the understanding of his identity as the Son of God living in the body of a Son of Man, he would hear both of these phrases Moses wrote over and over and he would hear a much deeper word than most others. For those listening to Moses, this was a potential matter of life and death. Obedience would lead to earthly blessings, disobedience would lead to earthly loss and captivity. For Jesus, these were eternal words. His eternal blessing of being with the Father and "dwelling among his people"(26:11-12) were at stake. Then on the flip side of the coin, if he stumbled at any point, his Enemy who hated him would have rule over him for all eternity!
As Jesus soaked in these words, the impact was of eternal consequence. Failure would lead to eternal separation for not only him, but for His Father and all who he came to save. These instructions for Jesus, given for himself so many years before, carried with them an eternal weight. One no man could bear on his own! That is why Jesus would have held dearly to the promises of Gods word and especially those written by Isaiah in chapter 41:8-13
8“But you, Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
you descendants of Abraham my friend,
9I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
10So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
11“All who rage against you
will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
will be as nothing and perish.
12Though you search for your enemies,
you will not find them.
Those who wage war against you
will be as nothing at all.
13For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.
Praise God that Jesus truly grasped the reality of the consequences of any failure to obey and praise the Father for holding Jesus in his mighty right hand, and praise the name of Jesus that he gave himself to fully depend on and trust in the only One who could sustain him.
What a Savior is He!
Okay, so I have one more last thought from Leviticus 27 as I read it this morning. The chapter is about redemption of people, land, animals, and homes. In its entirety it speaks of being able to redeem something that was dedicated to the Lord based on different things. It is a great read.
In verses 9-13 it speaks of a man who has dedicated an animal for an offering to God. It was clear he could not substitute it, "a bad for a good or a good for a bad," it was to remain a holy dedication to the Lord!
However, if the animal was thought to be ceremonially unclean, then it could be presented to the priest to be judged as acceptable or not, and a value was set on it, and whatever value was placed, in order to redeem it the man had to pay its set value plus more. In other words, to redeem it a higher price had to be paid!
What a glorious picture for Jesus as God was sharing in this word picture exactly what He had done with and for His people. God had "chosen" mankind from all of His creation to be set aside to himself, created in his own image! His longing was to be with them, each of them pure and holy an enjoying one another. Yet, Adam, who had been set apart as holy, was now regarded as unclean because of sin and a "good One" must be substituted for the bad in order for "both it and the substitute to become holy." (27:10). God presented to himself, as the Highest Priest, his own creation in mankind to determine if it was acceptable or not, and a price was set, only to redeem us to Himself, a much higher price had to be paid! Jesus was that more valuable price that God sacrificed so that He could forever be with us!
As Jesus pondered these words, as he began to understand his function and role as the "substitute," he would know fully what it was he had been sent for. If the animal mentioned in Leviticus 27 was to be redeemed from death, a high price had to be paid, and he knew if I was to be redeemed from eternal death and separ