Today you should read: Exodus 29
“We believe therefore we do.”
This is a concept that I think about often. I’m a very curious person by nature and over the past couple of years, I have been asking this question: What makes us act? For instance, why do children scream at the top of their lungs at the grocery store over a box of cereal? Why do we put money into a retirement fund? Why do we shake hands in our culture when other cultures bow to each other? The answer that I have found is, that in all these scenarios, faith in a desirable outcome is the common factor. The child believes that they will receive the cereal, we believe that the retirement fund will offer security, and the hand shake in our culture shows respect keeping us in the social norms. I would even venture to say that we do nothing apart from our faith. So the real question is this: What is our faith in?
Our current passage focuses in on the sacrificial system of the Levitical priesthood. More specifically, it sets up how a priest becomes consecrated for service. This is the time period before Christ, thus atonement for sin was given through the blood sacrifices of animals. We know now as we read the passage retrospectively that these sacrifices were pointing to the ultimate atonement for sin through the blood of Christ. However, in the law given to Moses, which is given in detail in the book of Leviticus, God is very detailed in how to go about making sacrifices to him. Why? We see the answer clearly in Leviticus 19:2:
“Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.”
So why did they do this? To make themselves holy so that God could dwell among the Israelites. God is holy and atonement had to be made for sin before He could enter into their presence or they would have died. Ex. Leviticus 15:31:
“Thus you shall keep the people of Israel separate from their uncleanness, lest they die in their uncleanness by defiling my tabernacle that is in their midst.”
Did this mean that the sacrifices made them sinless? Of course not, but their faith is what justified them. I submit to you that the Israelites would not keep the law if they did not have faith that God is who he says he is. To prove my point, continue reading through the Old Testament and you will see how the Israelites turned away from God and the judgement that was bestowed upon them because of their unbelief. In other words, as they believed they acted.
The same is true for us. I challenge each of us to search our hearts and ask the “Why” questions:
Why do I do what I do?
Why do I go to church?
Why do I read my Bible?
Why do I call myself a Christian?
Is it because of the social status among peers? Maybe to be viewed as a good person? I hope that the answer for each of us is that, without Christ, we deserve wrath in Hell because of our sin. Jesus himself came as the God-man to live perfectly in our place and take the wrath we deserved on the cross. Through belief in Jesus as our Lord, we are graciously saved and reconciled back into a relationship with the God of the universe.
Any other motivation will lead to Hell, no matter how good the action looks.
Posted by: Chad Wiles