From Covering to Cleansing

by Rick

Before I get started I want to let you know that I made a mistake in the message yesterday.  I said that Abraham had Ishmael with Gomar, but it was actually Hagar.  It was a simple mistake.  Please understand.

 

(Ex 30:10 NLT)  “Once a year Aaron must purify the altar by placing on its horns the blood from the offering made for the atonement of sin.  This will be a regular, annual event from generation to generation, for this is the LORD’s supremely holy altar.”

 

This upcoming Sunday we will celebrate what I consider to be the singular most important event in history – the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus the Christ.  So this week I am sharing a PASSION WEEK mini-series designed to help you better understand what happened with the death, burial, and subsequent resurrection of Jesus.

 

Exodus 30 opens with God detailing to Moses what would be involved in the altar of incense.  The Lord went into great detail about the dimensions, the type of wood, the placement, etc.  This would be the first thing you encountered when entering the Tabernacle.  Aaron was to burn fragrant incense on the altar every morning and then again in the evening.  This was a ritual of worship, but the true purpose of any altar is always death.  Our text outlines the death connected to this altar; the death of the animal killed for the ‘Atonement’ of sin.  This annual “Day of Atonement” (Yom Kippur) was the day set apart every year where the High Priest would offer a sacrifice for the sins of the people.  The word atonement means ‘to cover.’  It is further explained in Leviticus 23:26-32.  It is suffice to say that the blood of the animal was offered as a ‘covering’ for sin.  The blood of the animal could never really eradicate the sin problem created by Adam, but it served as a temporary fix, until the ultimate sacrifice would be offered – Jesus Himself.  The Hebrew writer explained it this way: “For Christ has entered into heaven itself to appear now before God as our Advocate.  He did not go into the earthly place of worship, for that was merely a copy of the real Temple in heaven.  Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the earthly high priest who enters the Most Holy Place year after year to offer the blood of an animal.  If that had been necessary, he would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began.  But no!  He came once for all time, at the end of the age, to remove the power of sin forever by his sacrificial death for us” (Heb 9:24-26 NLT).

 

So what does this mean to you today?  A few things:

1.  Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden introduced two problems: Death and Sin.  I call these satan’s dynamic duo.

2.  The blood of the PASSOVER lamb (sacrifice) was a symbol of God’s deliverance from death (not explained today).

3.  The blood of the Atonement lamb (sacrifice) was a symbol of God’s deliverance from sins.

4.  The blood of the Atonement sacrifice served as a ‘covering’ for sins.

5.  The blood of Jesus did two things: it cleansed us from sin and delivered us from death – once and for all.

6.  Jesus was both the PASSOVER and Atonement sacrifices.  The sacrifice of the Lamb of God (Jesus) ended the need for any further animal sacrifices.  Jesus delivered us from both Death and Sin in one fell swoop.  Jesus redeemed us from everything that Adam got us into.

7.  In Jesus we graduate from temporary to permanent, from ritual to relationship, from depiction to definite… from Covering to Cleansing!

 

The greatest peace we can experience is the peace of knowing that we are not covered, but cleansed.  What can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus!  What can make me whole again, nothing but the blood of Jesus!

 

Closing Confession:  Father, I thank You for blessing me to have a personal and intimate relationship with You.  I do not live my life by rituals or routines, because I get to simply enjoy our relationship.  I do not base my life on a depiction of truth, but on the definite truth itself; the truth that Your Son Jesus died so that I could live.  My sins are not covered.  No, my sin (all of it), has been cleansed by the Blood of Jesus!  My past, present and future sin was cleansed on Calvary’s cross.  When I received Jesus as my Lord I was washed in His blood by Your amazing grace and I was made white as snow.  I walk in perfect peace, power, protection, and might.  I enter this day with a clear conscience and a rested spirit.  I have the confidence that I can accomplish anything set before me today, because I am internally at rest.  My rest comes from the saving knowledge of Jesus the Christ, who delivered me from both sin and death.  Satan’s dynamic duo has no power over me.  Not only am I delivered from sin and made righteous, but fear has no power over me and I am not afraid of dying.  I already died.  My old man is dead in Christ and the life that I now life, I live by the faith of the Son of Man who gave Himself for me.  Jesus delivered me from the bondage of the fear of death and I can now live each day of my life free from fear, free from the bondage of sin, and free to be the person You have called me to be.  Thank You Father for blessing me to be free in You.  Whom the Son has set free is free indeed, and I committed to living every day of my life in the liberty wherewith Christ Jesus has made me free.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

 

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

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