Leviticus 14:1-20 (NRSV)
The purification of persons with leprosy
Let’s say it together my friends, “THANK GOD FOR JESUS!”
Today’s scripture once again affirms my absolute joy in knowing and loving Jesus Christ. Once again God is speaking to Moses about the rituals necessary to deal with leprosy in and around the camp. This time Moses learns what to do when someone has been “cleansed,” or healed, from leprosy. I won’t go over the ritual in detail, as you have most likely just read it, but suffice it to say that in order to do it all with the proper reverence, you would need to be very detail oriented.
First the priest needed to be called. Then birds needed to be sacrificed. Then all of the hair of the body needed to be shaved off and the person washed. Then you wait a week. After all that you sacrifice some lambs, using their blood, as well as some oil and spices to anoint the cleansed one and to atone for their sin before God.
What an amazing process! What amazes me even more is that I suspect that the priests did this day in and day out all day long--not just for leprosy--but for every "sin" that made a person ritually "unclean." How could they not? The only atonement for sin is blood; and human beings sin all the time. We miss the mark and we fail in our duty to love God and neighbor as ourselves.
Were it not for Jesus’ once-and-for-all-time blood sacrifice on the cross, we too would be required to bring blood offerings to the church on a regular basis. But, scripture teaches us Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sin, securing our pardon, by his love and by his grace. No longer do we need to fear to come before God with boldness because Jesus has paved the way for us to live with hearts full of blessed assurance and quiet faith. (see Hebrews 10)
Because of Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on the cross, we are declared, “guilty, but fully pardoned!” This is most assuredly GOOD NEWS! We are pardoned, set free, forgiven, and released from our bondage to sin; this was a free gift given to us out of great love from God above.
But, in response to such an extravagant gift, shall we shut our mouths and sit on our hands? No, no, my brothers and sisters. We are invited to love God, love our neighbors, do good deeds, and assemble together throughout the week and on Sunday morning to proclaim GOOD NEWS and to participate in Holy Communion and baptism as we are able.
We are to walk by faith as we share this GOOD NEWS everywhere we go! No longer does anyone need to walk around fearful and guilty about their mistakes and failings. People need to know that God loves and forgives them of all of their sin. This is GOOD NEWS. Let us share it with others.
Is there someone who is wracked by the guilt and pain of a past mistake that you can share GOOD NEWS with today?
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us! Thank you for dying on the cross as a blood offering, and as atonement for our sin. Help us to live faithful lives full of thanksgiving as we share the GOOD NEWS with everyone we meet. It is awesome that we are so set free in Jesus’ Name. Help us to share that sense of freedom with others. Amen.
*The entire scripture reading for today can be found by clicking the ELCA Daily Bible Reading Tab to the right.
*from Pastor Yolanda's blog http://aintathatgoodnews.blogspot.com/
*EACH ONE--REACH ONE! To share GOOD NEWS with a friend please click the "Share With Friends" button to the right! Thanks for reading and please come again.
*Pastor Yolanda extends a very special welcome to our friends reading outside of the United States of America! We are honored that you are sharing with us today.
Summary in Spanish--provided by a reader in Chile, Danilo Isla
Si no hubiera sido por el sacrificio de sangre de Jesus en la cruz, para nosotros también sería necesario llevar ofrendas de sangre a la iglesia en forma regular. Sin embargo, las escrituras nos enseñan que Jesus pagó el precio supremo por nuestro pecado, asegurando nuestro perdon, por su amor y por su gracia. Ya no necesitamos temer venir ante Dios con audacia porque Jesús ha allanado el camino para que podamos vivir con el corazón lleno de tranquilidad y garantía de ser bendecidos con fé. (Ver Hebreos 10) Porque por el "Sacrificio Expiatorio en la Cruz" de Jesús, somos declarados, "Culpables, pero completamente perdonados!" Esto es con toda certeza BUENAS NUEVAS! Somos perdonados, liberados, perdonados y liberados de nuestra esclavitud al pecado; Esto fué un regalo dado a nosotros de gran amor del Dios de los cielos. Dejanos compartir estas BUENAS NUEVAS! con otros.
¿Hay alguien quien este aruinado por la culpa y dolor de un error del pasado que tu puedas compartir con BUENAS NUEVAS! hoy?
Cordero de Dios, que quitas el pecado del mundo, ten misericordia sobre nosotros! Gracias por morir en la cruz como una ofrenda de sangre, y como expiación por nuestro pecado. Ayudanos a vivir vidas fieles llenas de gratitud para compartir las BUENAS NUEVAS! con todos a quienes conozcamos. Es increíble que seamos hechos libres en el nombre de Jesús. Ayudanos a compartir esa sensación de libertad con los otros. En el nombre de Jesús, Amen.