LEVITICUS 22:17-20: “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 18 “Speak to Aaron and his sons and all the people of Israel and say to them, When any one of the house of Israel or of the sojourners in Israel presents a burnt offering as his offering, for any of their vows or freewill offerings that they offer to the LORD, 19 if it is to be accepted for you it shall be a male without blemish, of the bulls or the sheep or the goats. 20 You shall not offer anything that has a blemish, for it will not be acceptable for you.” (ESV)
OBSERVATION: Are my sacrifices blemished? This may seem to be a strange question to ask today. We no longer follow the Old Testament pattern of sacrifices that were given at the Temple. As New Testament believers we understand the Jesus offered Himself, a lamb without spot or blemish, as our sin offering. This was the final offering for sin and it paid the debt in full for every man and woman who places their faith in Jesus Christ! Then what practical application can I glean from these verses in the Old Testament?
While we no longer present bulls, sheep, or goats as our sacrifice to the Lord, we are still called to make a sacrifice. It is not a sacrifice for our sin, it is a sacrifice of our worship. In Romans 12:1-2 Paul exhorts us – “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (ESV) Presenting our bodies is now our “spiritual service”. This is not a call to present merely a portion of our lives, but our entire life in dedication, service, and worship to the Lord. When we fail to do this – we are offering a “blemished” sacrifice.
Our sacrifices are blemished when they are only partial. When we give the Lord only the leftovers of our time and talents – we are offering a blemished sacrifice. When we use all of the resources that He has entrusted us with for our own personal lives and neglect the tithe and the offering – we are offering a blemished sacrifice. When we allow the tyranny of the urgent to crowd out our time to come apart and be with the Lord in His Word and in prayer – we are offering a blemished sacrifice. When we keep His gifts given to us hidden in a napkin and buried in the ground – we are offering a blemished sacrifice.
The question at hand is not whether we will present a sacrifice to the Lord, but what kind of sacrifice it will be. This is not about our salvation or our righteousness. Our salvation and our righteousness are found in Christ alone. This is about what Paul said it was about – our “spiritual service”. As children of God through faith in Jesus Christ we have been declared to be His priests. I Peter 2:9 puts it this way – “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (ESV) Note our function – “…that you (we) may proclaim the excellence of Him who called you (us) out of darkness into his marvelous light…”
How will the world see His marvelous light through us if we are presenting as a testimony of His Great Grace – a “blemished” sacrifice?
Lord, thank You for all You have given to me through Christ Jesus. May I, in response to this great gift, and empowered by Your Grace – offer my life to You wholly and completely. May I order my priorities around Your Kingdom purposes. May I view all that You have entrusted to me as a stewardship of Your Grace. May I give back to You and others freely and cheerfully. May my “spiritual service” be without blemish. In Jesus Name!