One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Thursday, February 28, 2013: Leviticus 22:17-23:44
19 you shall offer of your own free will a male without blemish from the cattle, from the sheep, or from the goats. 20 Whatever has a defect, you shall not offer, for it shall not be acceptable on your behalf. 21 And whoever offers a sacrifice of a peace offering to the Lord, to fulfill his vow, or a freewill offering from the cattle or the sheep, it must be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no defect in it. Leviticus 22:19-21 (NKJV)
In the Old Testament, men were required to bring a perfect offering when they came to the altar. If there was any defect in the sheep, goat, or cow, it was considered an UNACCEPTABLE offering. Man was required to give his very best.
Herein is a major difference between the Old Testament and the New. Under the Old, man's best efforts are the basis of acceptability. Under the New, God Himself provides the perfect offering. Under the Old, man seeks to rise to the perfections of God and measure up to God's requirements. Under the New, God comes to us giving us a righteousness not our own thus lifting us to Himself.
The Old says to us, "Do your best." The New says, "God has given you the Best." The Old points to man's obedience and says, "Measure up!" The New points to Jesus and says, "He is enough."
And that brings us to the real message of the entire Bible. The center of biblical truth is not a code, not a law, not a doctrine, but it is a Person. If we would correctly understand the entirety if the Bible, Old Testament and New, we must see Jesus.
There is an age-old argument between law and grace. The law people criticise the grace people saying they are lawless. The grace people criticise the law folks saying they are trying to save themselves. In both cases, we err if we do not see the absolute centrality of JESUS. We are not right because we keep all the rules, nor are we right because we hold all the right doctrines. We are right because we are in love with the PERFECT SACRIFICE.
In His light, we will understand the way to live. So, in closing, always ask the question, "Who is being glorified?" Is it man's best or God's best? Does it point to Christ's gift to us, or to our efforts to rise to His standards. The difference is bigger than you know.