Archive for July 4, 2017

Of the Holiness and the Mercy of God

Altar of Burnt Offering (Exodus 27:1-8)

Altar of Burnt Offering was shaped like a hollow box with 2 poles at the side to facilitate the carrying of the altar.
At the midsection of the cube, a grating was installed to hold the sacrifice.
The ashes of offering fell through the grating beneath the altar and was regularly carried away.
The material used was acacia wood overlaid with bronze (some Bible translation say brass).

Altar of Burnt Offering was placed near the entrance of the Tabernacle.
Since the Tabernacle represents the presence of God, this altar represents the requirement to enter into His presence.

As the name implies, the Altar of Burnt Offering was used to burn various offerings.
One particular offering directly dealt with sin.
This offering took the form of animal sacrifice

Why did the Israelites need to perform animal sacrifice?

God is both holy and merciful.
He is holy therefore He punishes sin.
At the same time, He is merciful toward the sinner.

Frankly, God had every right to pass down a death penalty to every single Israelite.
After all, they were all sinners (just like all of us today).
However, God graciously allowed animals to die on behalf of the Israelites.
As the Israelites brought their animal sacrifice, the altar reminded them both the holiness and the mercy of God.

Obviously, the blood of animal sacrifice was not enough (Heb 10:4).
Simply, it is because human is worth much more than animals.
At most, the blood of animal only covers the sin.
It does not blot out sin completely.

Only the blood of Lord Jesus is able to do that through His sacrifice on the cross.
Now, let’s view the sacrifice of Lord Jesus from another angle: from the eye of the criminal Barabbas.

Barabbas was an insurrectionist (Mark 23:19).
He wanted the Jews to be independent from Rome.
Yet, in his revolt, he committed murder and robbery (John 18:40).
He was then given death sentence.

Let’s picture ourselves as Barabbas in the dark, cold prison.
He had given up all hope.
He was waiting for the soldiers to drag him out of the prison to the place of death.
Yet, to his surprise, he was released! Completely free as Lord Jesus took his place to die.

In one way or another, all of us are Barabbas.
We all deserved death penalty from God and even eternal banishment from His presence.
Yet, Lord Jesus took all the penalty of our sins.

Let’s meditate upon this truth.
Let it sink in.
Doesn’t our heart now well up with thanksgiving for the sacrifice He made?

How then should we express our thanksgiving?
As He has given His life for us, we too must give our life back to Him.
It means our life solely belongs to Him and we live only to please Him.
We must never entertain sin as entertaining sin is equal to trampling His sacrifice underfoot.

Have we been living a life pleasing unto Him?

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Posted July 4, 2017 by Jefri Yue Fei 吴岳飞 in Verse of the Day

A Gift

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A neighbourhood store nearby passed this energy drink to my god-mommy.
Since she does not drink it, she passed it to me.
Yes! An energy boost to study Japanese!!

Posted July 4, 2017 by Jefri Yue Fei 吴岳飞 in Photo of the Day