The Need to Belong
A daily devotion for April 1st
The Burnt Offering
1 The Lord called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting. He said, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When anyone among you brings an offering to the Lord, bring as your offering an animal from either the herd or the flock.
3 “‘If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, you are to offer a male without defect. You must present it at the entrance to the tent of meeting so that it will be acceptable to the Lord. 4 You are to lay your hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on your behalf to make atonement for you. 5 You are to slaughter the young bull before the Lord, and then Aaron’s sons the priests shall bring the blood and splash it against the sides of the altar at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 6 You are to skin the burnt offering and cut it into pieces. 7 The sons of Aaron the priest are to put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. 8 Then Aaron’s sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, including the head and the fat, on the wood that is burning on the altar. 9 You are to wash the internal organs and the legs with water, and the priest is to burn all of it on the altar. It is a burnt offering, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.
10 “‘If the offering is a burnt offering from the flock, from either the sheep or the goats, you are to offer a male without defect. 11 You are to slaughter it at the north side of the altar before the Lord, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall splash its blood against the sides of the altar. 12 You are to cut it into pieces, and the priest shall arrange them, including the head and the fat, on the wood that is burning on the altar. 13 You are to wash the internal organs and the legs with water, and the priest is to bring all of them and burn them on the altar. It is a burnt offering, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.
14 “‘If the offering to the Lord is a burnt offering of birds, you are to offer a dove or a young pigeon. 15 The priest shall bring it to the altar, wring off the head and burn it on the altar; its blood shall be drained out on the side of the altar. 16 He is to remove the crop and the feathers and throw them down east of the altar where the ashes are. 17 He shall tear it open by the wings, not dividing it completely, and then the priest shall burn it on the wood that is burning on the altar. It is a burnt offering, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.
The Lord called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting. He said,Speak to the Israelites and say to them:Lev 1:1-2When anyone among you brings an offering to the Lord, bring as your offering an animal from either the herd or the flock.
There are five offerings in Leviticus: the burnt offering, the meal offering, the peace offering, the trespass offering and the sin offering. All five represent aspects of the work of Jesus Christ. The first offering is the burnt offering. The most important characteristic of the burnt offering is that it had to involve a death. Death in these offerings is always a picture of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ on our behalf. So when these Israelites offered this sacrifice they were learning the great truth that only by means of the death of an acceptable substitute can man ever satisfy this great longing to belong. Only in the recognition of the death of Jesus Christ for you, can you ever satisfy that longing. He is the expression of the love of God. So we must give ourselves to God through Christ, acknowledging that he owns us, that we belong to him:
You are not your own; you are bought with a price, (1 Corinthians 6:19b-20a RSV). God does not and will not exploit you and run you like a robot or a slave. He loves you and wants to fulfill you and set you free. But you do belong to him. That is the most basic truth of all.
You can find a certain amount of satisfaction in having a family. You will be very restless if you do not have a family. You can find satisfaction in having a background, an identity. But you will never satisfy it wholly that way. You will find that this cry of your heart, this clamorous hunger to be possessed and to belong, can be satisfied only by God in Jesus Christ coming into your life. By the death of Christ that door is open. Only through the death of Christ, and only through my relationship with the living God which that death enables can this hunger be stilled, can this basic desire to belong be met. That is what accounts for the sense of joy and relief upon becoming a Christian. Do you remember that?
Now I belong! God is my Father! I'm in a family. I'll never be alone again! God will never forsake me nor abandon me! I belong to God!
Thank you, Father, that you have made provision for this most basic of all needs to be met in Jesus Christ, who died for me that I might have it. Teach me to rejoice in my relationship with you.
Life Application: The death of Christ has purchased the basic needs for our human longings, at immeasurable cost, and all intended for our joy. Are we accessing this inheritance as our first and primary resource for living?
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