Pleasing to the Lord
Scripture: Exodus 29:1-31:18
It’s easy to get lost in the rituals of different types of offering: burnt, peace, thanksgiving, and fragrant. Before we do, let’s remember that the sacrificial system for the atonement for sin has been replaced with the one perfect sacrifice, Jesus. Because of His Son’s death, God no longer requires animal sacrifices to make amends for sin. Jesus’ shed blood covers all our sins: past, present, and future.
That is wonderful news! But it doesn’t give us permission to go hog-wild with sin. The need for animal sacrifices is gone, but Christians are called to present themselves as a sacrifice to the Lord. This may sound startling at first, but that’s why Paul challenges us to think beyond the old sacrificial system to a new sacrificial system. Our offering is the manner in which we live our lives.
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” (Romans 12:1)
Death of an animal is no longer needed for an offering to the Lord. Instead, our lives, our bodies, our total beings—we are an offering as a living sacrifice to the Lord.
This brings up a good question. How do we offer ourselves to God? Romans 12:1-2 gives us an answer:
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” (The Message)
Now, here’s another question: is my life acceptable to the Lord?