‘Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household... Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the door frames of the houses where they eat the lambs... The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you’ (Exodus 12:3-13). This was the symbolic outworking of the time when the blood of the Lamb of God would be shed on behalf of all humanity to make reconciliation between man and God.
The Old Testament law required the blood of animals to be sprinkled on the unclean, to ‘sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean’ (Hebrews 9:13). ‘Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins’ (Hebrews 10:11). ‘How much more, then, will the blood of Christ… cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God’ (Hebrews 9:14). It is only by the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus that complete holiness in the sight of God can be restored. ‘Without holiness no one will see the Lord’ (Hebrews 12:14).
To sacrifice is to give up, or surrender, something of great value. Its original meaning, from Latin ‘sacrificium,’ was ‘to make holy.’ Not only did Christ give up His life for our sakes, but ‘we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all’ (Hebrews 10:10). ‘For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy’ (Hebrews 10:14).
In recognition of all that has been accomplished by this selfless act of Christ, let us present our renewed and sanctified bodies to Him as a living sacrifice, pure and holy. As we submit our ways to Him let our lives fully reflect our understanding of what was achieved on the cross. This is acceptable and pleasing in God’s sight, and an act of true worship.
Prayer: Father, I’m beginning to appreciate more and more the sacrifice You made for me by sending Your Son to the cross. Forgive me if I have taken this too lightly. Please show me the way forward as I submit myself to You afresh today. Help me to walk in righteousness and holiness, through Jesus Christ. Amen.
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