In the history of the world, have you ever messed up, missed the mark, gotten off the rails, done something you regretted, done something wrong? Big or small, we’ve all done something. God’s Word speaks to that when we read “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”, not 1 or 2, not some, but ALL. But we don’t have to lose hope because that isn’t where the Word stops. We get to receive the additional Word that “and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” God gives us a way out! It’s a way that requires for us to choose it! It’s a way that requires us to engage it! God’s Word speaks to us through it this way:
16“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. –from John 3
When we reflect on the rules and regulations, we realize how much we need a savior. When we reflect on the commandments and how we have missed the mark, we know we need a savior because we can’t be good enough to make it through them all in our lifetimes. We are all sinners, but by the grace of God through faith in Jesus, we can be reconciled to God! We can be seen by God through the prism of Jesus’ blood! We will then just have to account for our stewardship! What have we done with all that He has given us! Everyone will have to go before the judgement seat of God. Some who have decided to receive Jesus into their hearts and some that haven’t. Which prism do you want to be seen through? Do you want to be wondering how you will stack up as a steward and servant? Do you want to be wondering where you are going to end up? With God? Apart from God? We all get to choose and at some point in our lives we will make the choice. I pray that you will decide before you get there.
This morning’s reading starts to speak to the rules and regulations along with what it would take to be restored. It required confession as well as blood, the good news is that Jesus has paid it once and for all, He poured out His blood on the cross to make a way for us. So all we need to do because of our hope and trust and faith in Jesus is to confess our sins to Him.
1“If a soul sins—after hearing a charge of an oath, and he is a witness whether he has seen or otherwise known—if he fails to report it, then he will bear his guilt. 2“Or if a person touches any unclean thing—whether it is the carcass of an unclean animal or the carcass of unclean livestock or the carcass of unclean creeping things, though it is hidden from him, still he is unclean and he will be guilty. 3“Or if he touches some human uncleanness, whatever his filth is by which he is unclean, though it is hidden from him, when he knows of it, then he will be guilty. 4“Or if a person swears rashly with his lips to do evil or to do good—about anything that one might utter rashly by an oath, though it is hidden from him, when he realizes it, then he will be guilty of one of these. 5“So it will be, when one becomes guilty of one of these things, he shall confess about what he has sinned. 6Then he is to bring his trespass offering to Adonai for his sin that he committed: a female from the flock, a lamb or a goat, as a sin offering. So the kohen is to make atonement for him over his sin. 7“But if one cannot afford a lamb, then he shall bring, as his trespass offering for the sin he committed, two turtledoves or two young pigeons, to Adonai. One is for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. 8He is to bring them to the kohen, who will present the one for the sin offering first, and twist its head from its neck but not sever it completely. 9He is to sprinkle some of the blood of the sin offering on the side of the altar, while the rest of the blood is to be drained out at the base of the altar. It is a sin offering. 10He is to make the second a burnt offering, according to the regulation. So the kohen is to make atonement for one over his sin that he committed—and he will be forgiven. 11“But if one cannot afford two turtledoves or two young pigeons, then he is to bring as his offering for the sin he has committed a tenth of an ephah of fine flour as a sin offering. He is to put no oil on it nor put any frankincense on it, for it is a sin offering. 12He is to bring it to the kohen, then the kohen is to take his handful of it as the memorial portion and burn it up as smoke on the altar, on Adonai’s offerings by fire. It is a sin offering. 13The kohen is to make atonement for him over his sin that one has committed in any of these things—and he will be forgiven. The rest belongs to the kohen, just like the meal offering.” 14Adonai spoke to Moses, saying: 15“If anyone commits a faithless act and sins unwittingly against the holy things of Adonai, then he is to bring his trespass offering to Adonai: a ram without blemish from the flock, according to your value in silver shekels after the shekel of the Sanctuary, for a trespass offering. 16He is to make restitution for that which he has done wrong in regard to the holy thing, and is required to add a fifth part to it, and give it to the kohen. So the kohen will make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering—and he will be forgiven. 17“Now if anyone sins and one of Adonai’s commandments that are not to be done, though he did not know it, still he is guilty and will bear his iniquity. 18He is to bring to the kohen a ram without blemish from of the flock, according to your value, as a trespass offering. Then the kohen is to make atonement for him over the sin that he committed unknowingly—and he will be forgiven. 19It is a trespass offering. He is absolutely guilty before Adonai.” Mitzvot of Restitution 20Then Adonai spoke to Moses saying: 21“Suppose anyone sins and commits a faithless act against Adonai by dealing falsely with his neighbor in a matter of a deposit or a pledge of hands, or through robbery, or has extorted from his neighbor, 22or has found what was lost and lied about it, swearing falsely—so sinning in one of any of these things that a man may do. 23Then it will be, when he has sinned and has become guilty, that he must restore what he took by robbery, or what he got by extortion, or the deposit that was committed to him, or what was lost that he found, 24or any thing about which he has sworn falsely, he is to restore it in full, and add a fifth part more to it. He must give it to the one to whom it belongs on the day of presenting his trespass offering. 25He is to bring his trespass offering to Adonai, a ram without blemish from the flock, according to your value, for a trespass offering, to the kohen. 26The kohen should make atonement for him before Adonai, and he will be forgiven concerning whatever he may have done to become guilty.”
–from Leviticus 5
So we don’t have to feel guilt or condemnation, for there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! Jesus paid it all! He has given it all so that we can be atoned! He has repaired the gap! He has made amends for us!
Today’s reading continues into the laws of God (Torah)…
Torah of Burnt Offering1Adonai spoke to Moses, saying: 2“Command Aaron and his sons, saying: This is the Torah of the burnt offering. The burnt offering shall remain on the hearth atop the altar all night until the morning, while the fire of the altar is kept burning on it. 3The kohen is to put on his linen garment, with his linen undergarments on his body. He is to remove the fat ashes from where the fire has consumed the burnt offering on the altar and put them beside the altar. 4Then he is to take off his garments, put on other ones, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a clean place. 5The fire on the altar is to be kept burning on it—it must not go out. Each morning the kohen is to burn wood on it, laying the burnt offering in order upon it, and burning up as smoke the fat of the fellowship offerings. 6Fire is to be kept burning on the altar continually—it must not go out.
Torah of Grain Offering7“Now this is the Torah of the grain offering. Aaron’s sons are to offer it to Adonai in front of the altar. 8So he is to lift up from it his handful of the fine flour of the grain offering, with some of its oil and all the frankincense which is on the grain offering, and burn it up as smoke on the altar for a soothing aroma, as its memorial portion to Adonai. 9Then what is left from it Aaron and his sons are to eat. It is to be eaten as matzah in a holy place, in the courtyard of the Tent of Meeting. 10It must not be baked with hametz. I have given it as their portion of My offerings made by fire. It is most holy, like the sin offering and like the trespass offering. 11Every male among the children of Aaron may eat it, as their portion forever throughout your generations from the offerings of Adonai made by fire. Whoever touches them will become holy.” 12Adonai spoke to Moses, saying: 13“This is the offering of Aaron and his sons, which they are to offer to Adonai on the day when he is anointed: the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a continual grain offering, half of it in the morning, and half of it in the evening. 14It is to be made with oil on a pan. When it is soaked, you shall bring it in. You are to present the grain offering in baked pieces as a soothing aroma to Adonai. 15The anointed kohen who will be in his place from among his sons is to offer it. As an eternal statute, it must be entirely burnt up as smoke to Adonai. 16Thus every grain offering of a kohen is to be a whole-offering—it shall not be eaten.”
Sin and Guilt Offerings17Adonai spoke to Moses, saying: 18“Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying: ‘This is the Torah of the sin offering. In the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered, the sin offering is to be slaughtered before Adonai. It is most holy. 19The kohen who offers it for sin should eat it. It must be eaten in a holy place, in the court of the Tent of Meeting. 20Whatever touches its flesh will be holy. When any of its blood is splattered on a garment, you are to wash it in a holy place. 21But the earthen vessel in which it is boiled is to be broken, and if it is boiled in a bronze vessel, it is to be scoured, then rinsed in water. 22Every male among the kohanim is to eat of it—it is most holy. 23But no sin offering from which any of the blood is brought into the Tent of Meeting to make atonement in the Holy Place is to be eaten—it must be burned up with fire.–from Leviticus 6
So where will you turn? How far will you roam before you turn to the one who can refresh you? How long will you try to go it alone when that was never the plan? How deep will you dig before you start to look up? How wide will the gap get before you allow Jesus to bridge the gap for you?
Will you stretch? Will you imitate Jesus’ example? Will reach across the aisle? Will you reach out to help someone in need? Will you live by example? Will you live in a way that points people to God? Let’s see how today’s reading concludes…
Yeshua Offers Living Water1Now Yeshua knew that the Pharisees heard that He was making and immersing more disciples than John. 2(Although Yeshua Himself was not immersing, His disciples were.) 3So He left Judea and went back again to the Galilee. 4But He needed to pass through Samaria. 5So He comes to a Samaritan town called Shechem, near the plot of land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6Now Jacob’s well was there. So Yeshua, exhausted from the journey, was sitting by the well. It was midday. 7A Samaritan woman comes to draw water. “Give me a drink,” Yeshua tells her, 8for His disciples had gone away to the town to buy food. 9Then the Samaritan woman tells Him, “How is it that You, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” (For Jewish people don’t deal with Samaritans.) 10Yeshua replied to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” 11“Sir,” the woman tells Him, “You don’t have a bucket, and the well is deep. Then from where do You get this living water? 12You’re not greater than our father Jacob, are You? He gave us this well. He drank out of it himself, with his sons and his cattle.” 13Yeshua replied to her, “Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. 14But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never be thirsty. The water that I give him will become a fountain of water within him, springing up to eternal life!” 15“Sir,” the woman tells Him, “give me this water, so I won’t get thirsty or have to come all the way here to draw water!” 16He tells her, “Go call your husband, and then come back here.” 17“I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied. Yeshua tells her, “You’ve said it right, ‘I have no husband.’ 18For you’ve had five husbands, and the man you have now isn’t your husband. This you’ve spoken truthfully!” 19“Sir,” the woman tells Him, “I see that You are a prophet! 20Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you all say that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21Yeshua tells her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23But an hour is coming—it is here now—when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people as His worshipers. 24God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25The woman tells Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called the Anointed One.) When He comes, He will explain everything to us.” 26Yeshua tells her, “I—the One speaking to you—I am.”
Ready for Harvest27At this moment, His disciples came back. They were amazed that He was speaking with a woman. Yet no one said, “What do You want?” or “Why are You speaking with her?” 28So the woman left her water jar and went back to the town. She tells the people, 29“Come see a man who told me everything I ever did! He couldn’t be the Messiah, could He?” 30The people left the town and began coming to Him. 31Meanwhile, the disciples were pressing Him, “Rabbi, eat!” 32But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” 33So the disciples were saying to each other, “No one brought Him food to eat, did they?” 34Yeshua tells them, “My food is to do the will of the One who sent Me and to accomplish His work. 35Don’t you say, ‘Four more months, and then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields! They are white and ready for harvest. 36“The reaper receives a reward and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that the sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37For the saying is true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38I sent you to reap what you haven’t worked for. Others have worked hard, and you have joined in their work.” 39Many of the Samaritans from that town put their trust in Him because of the word of the woman testifying, “He told me everything I ever did!” 40So when the Samaritans came to Him, they kept asking Him to stay with them. He stayed there two days, 41and many more believed because of His word. 42They kept telling the woman, “It’s no longer because of your words that we believe. We’ve heard for ourselves! Now we know that this really is the Savior of the world!”
Life for a Dying Son43After the two days, He went on from there into the Galilee. 44Now Yeshua Himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country. 45But when He came into the Galilee, they welcomed Him. For they had seen all He had done at the feast in Jerusalem, since they also had gone up to celebrate. 46So He went again to Cana of the Galilee, where He had turned the water into wine. Now there was a nobleman whose son was sick in Capernaum. 47When he heard that Yeshua had come from Judea to the Galilee, he went to Him and begged Him to come down and heal his son; for he was about to die. 48Then Yeshua said to him, “Unless you all see signs and wonders, you’ll never believe!” 49The nobleman said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies!” 50Yeshua tells him, “Go! Your son lives!” The man believed the word that Yeshua said to him and started off. 51While on his way down, his servants met him, saying that his son was living. 52So he asked them the hour when the boy began to get better. They said, “The fever left him yesterday at about the seventh hour.” 53Then the father realized that it was the same hour Yeshua said to him, “Your son lives!” Now he himself believed, along with his whole household. 54Yeshua did this as the second sign, after He had come again from Judea into the Galilee.
So let’s take a hold of what the Spirit is doing! Let’s be living our lives in spirit and in truth! Let’s sow that we may reap a great harvest for the glory of God! Let’s water encouragement and love so that the seeds others have planned may germinate! And let’s watch as God makes them grow! Let’s not live the old dying life, but rather, let’s live an abundant life, life to the full as God has purposed and designed.