|"Lambs" courtesy of Morguefile.com|
“Cut away the ram’s fat, the fat tail, the fat covering the internal organs,
the best part of the liver, the two kidneys with the fat on them,
and the right thigh.”
I find it difficult to relate to some Scriptures, like the one quoted above. If I had lived during the time of Moses and Aaron, I would have understood this verse and how it applied to my faith walk.
Thankfully, by God’s grace we are no longer required to offer various sacrifices. Why? Hebrews 10:10 tells us: “We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
Jesus’ death on the cross was the final, all-absolving sacrifice. It superseded and fulfilled all the nuances of every Old Testament law concerning sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins.
Often it is hard for us to believe that merely placing our faith in what Jesus did is the only requirement for forgiveness. It seems too easy. We think there must be something more we need to do—like following a set of rules, or accomplishing a list of good deeds, or giving up (sacrificing) some possession or position.
For years I believed that in order to go to Heaven when I died I had to live a good life—do good deeds, attend church regularly, follow the Ten Commandments, etc. I realized I wasn’t perfect. But, hey, who was? I just hoped that at the end of my life, when God tabulated my accounts, I would be found good enough to spend eternity with God.
The older I got, the more disconcerting that line of thinking became. I found my thoughts, words, and deeds often would not line up with anyone’s definition of “good”. I tried to do better, and on the outside I appeared to be a very good person, but deep down inside I wondered, “Am I ‘in the red’ in God’s ledger?”
How very thankful I am for the day that God helped me understand that my relationship with Him was not based on what I did or did not do, say, or think. He clarified in my heart the truth of Ephesians 2:8-9:
“For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it.”
How did you come to realize that forgiveness is granted, not because of our own goodness, but through the sacrifice of Jesus?
©2014 Pamela D. Williams