Monday, June 22, 2009

No Blood...No Blessing

He [Aaron] slaughtered the ox and the ram as the fellowship offering for the people. His sons handed him the blood, and he sprinkled it against the altar on all sides. But the fat portions of the ox and the ram—the fat tail, the layer of fat, the kidneys and the covering of the liver- these they laid on the breasts, and then Aaron burned the fat on the altar. Aaron waved the breasts and the right thigh before the LORD as a wave offering, as Moses commanded.

Then Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them. And having sacrificed the sin offering, the burnt offering and the fellowship offering, he stepped down." (Leviticus 9:18-22)

In our Sunday Evening Study of Leviticus last night, I was struck by the imagery at play in this passage. Aaron had just completed the opening round of sacrifices following his ordination and with the blood still wet upon his hands, he lifts them in blessing of the people of Israel. A vivid reminder that God's blessing is given via the sacrifice.

I encouraged the congregation to hold that image in mind as they received the benediction at the close of the service. It is only through the blood of Jesus (our once-for-all sacrifice) that we too are blessed. No blessing.

What a powerful reminder it would be for our own prayer and praise if we imagined the blood of Christ upon hands folded or raised to heaven.

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