Monday, February 10, 2014

Sin's Ugly Cost

The LORD said to Moses, "Give this command to the Israelites and say to them: 'See that you present to me at the appointed time the food for my offerings made by fire, as an aroma pleasing to me.' Say to them: 'This is the offering made by fire that you are to present to the LORD: two lambs a year old without defect, as a regular burnt offering each day...On the first day of every month, present to the Lord a burnt offering of two young bulls, one ram and seven male lambs a year old, all without defect.
--Numbers 28:1-3, 11

Two lambs a day seems like a meager sacrifice for sin. Even the monthly sacrifice of 10 animals is a small price to pay.

I gossipped, but it's okay because my husband took our lamb to the priest this morning.

I cheated my fellow countryman, but I was the first one at the Tabernacle this morning, so I'm covered.

I coveted my brother's wife. Sure am glad I paid my sacrifice today!

Am I any different? Certainly there are times when I sin without counting the cost. I trivialize the weight of what I've done, quick to tell myself that I'm forgiven, so everything's okay. I am far too prone to skip over the penalty and payment, rationalizing that it's already been taken care of. Praise God, it has!

But that doesn't diminish the price of my sin.

There were 601,730 Israelite men over 20 years old (see Numbers 26:2, 51).

1,203,460 lambs sacrificed every day.

6,017,300 animals slaughtered on the first day of each month to pay for the sins of their masters.

And it wasn't enough.

There was only one sufficient payment for sin. "For our sake he [God] made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Cor. 5:21). The propitiation was horrific. Isaiah 52:14 tells us that the Suffering Servant would be "marred beyond human semblance". 

Alec Moyer writes,
The thought is not that the Servant suffered more than any other individual, or more than other humans but that he experienced disfigurement "from [being] an individual...from [belonging with] humankind," so that those who saw him stepped back in horror not only saying "Is this the Servant?" but "Is this human?" (source)
The Word became flesh. That flesh had to be disfigured and put to death. My sinful nature marred the Divine Man beyond human recognition. Yet He subjected Himself to that suffering in order to reconcile me to God.

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

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