Leviticus/ Va-Yikra 21:1 - 24:23
For the week of May 16, 1998
20 Iyar 5758

Perfect Offerings

Do not bring anything with a defect,
because it will not be accepted on your behalf
(Leviticus / Va-Yikra 22:20)

Offerings to the Lord had to be without defect. Certainly one of the reasons for this was that the people were not to bring their leftovers and undesirables to God. For a sacrifice to be meaningful, it had have value.

But apart from their own value, the perfect nature of these offerings also have what to teach us about God, his creation, and the Messiah.

First, by insisting that these animals have no blemishes, deformities, or disease, we are reminded that God himself has no defects, weaknesses or faults. We tend to create religion and spirituality that accommodates our own imperfect nature. But God calls us to something much higher. God is perfect. So what we offer to him must be of a fitting quality. To offer him less is lower him to our level.

Next, we are reminded that the world was created perfectly. The imperfections and blemishes of life are a result of our rebellion against the Creator. By bringing some of the best of our possessions, we are confronted with an ideal that once was and will be again. Having to bypass the defective, emphasizes the nature of the perfect. A day is coming when the creation will be made whole - the curse upon it will be no more.

For generations the people Israel had to carefully examine the offerings they brought - the highest quality only. Little did they know that they were acting out what God himself would one day do himself. For what the animals could not accomplish, God did through the perfect offering of his Son - the Messiah - whom Peter calls "a lamb without blemish or defect" (1 Peter 1:19).

Yeshua lived the only perfect and sinless life ever, preparing him to provide the way for imperfect people like us to be fully accepted by God. We read in Book of Hebrews:

The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! (Hebrews 9:13,14)

On our own, because of our imperfections, we cannot approach God and serve him in the way he intended. We would be disqualified. But if we trust in Yeshua and his perfect offering on our behalf, we are made acceptable to God.

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