You shall not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep which has a blemish or any defect, for that is a detestable thing to the Lord your God. – Law of Moses
One thing I am noticing more and more of lately is that my Christian brothers and sisters have put far too little emphasis on the Old Testament. I remember being a girl and my grandfather saying, “The only thing the Old Testament is good for is learning that God said ‘Do it!’ and they did it.”
But that is just not what Jesus said. It is not what the apostles taught.
Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. Gal. 3:24
So is there anything important in the Old Testament for we gentile Christians? The answer to that is an overwhelming YES! The message of the Moses and the prophets is a gift to build our faith, to hold our hand, leading us to the Savior. That’s not just important- it is eternal.
One of those fundamental teachings of Moses was that the sacrifices offered to God must have no blemish or defect. God found such a sacrifice detestable and vile.
Well, I’m not planning on carving up a Passover lamb today so what’s that mean for me, a modern day Christ follower?
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. Rom. 12:1
My life is my sacrifice. I am called to make that sacrifice acceptable to God- without blemish or defect. The problem is I know that I am marred by sin. My sin is undeniable. Some of my sin haunts me. Some of it lingers. Some of it pops up when I least expect it. So how do I offer myself without sin, without defect?
No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Rom. 2:29
I do that by allowing the Spirit of God to circumcise my heart and cut away my defects. I invite God into the hidden places of my heart to dissect it. I open myself to be sliced by the Spirit.
I wonder how many days I present my life to the Almighty with blemishes. I wonder how many of us do that every day. We claim Christ. We claim to be Christians but our lives, our sacrifices, are tainted with jealously, lust, lies, selfish motives, gossip, or anger. With our mouths we proclaim one thing but with our lives we proclaim another.
Today I am going to examine my sacrifice. I’m not really excited about asking God to surgically remove my imperfections, but I think I will. I think I need it.
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!