The Blood of Bulls & Goats Could Not Atone

2 Chronicles 7:1-10  To whom much is given, much is required. As we read 2 Chronicles 7:1-10, we cannot help but be awed by the sheer vastness of the scene as Solomon dedicates the Temple of the Lord, and as he leads the people in the celebration of the Feast of Booths. There would have been millions of people present, orderly organized in their tribes and clans and households.  There would have been a lot of music as the Priests blew their trumpets and the Levites played the Lord’s musical instruments. But there were also a lot of living animals.

A cow or an ox is not a small animal and it is safe to assume its weight would be an average of 1,500 lbs. Present were more than 10 or 100, or even 1000 oxen. Present were 22,000 oxen and more than five times as many sheep. All of these animals had to be killed, and none of them were willing to die. And the hardest thing about all the millions of animals that were sacrificed during the Old Testament era, is that their sacrifice could not get the job done. The offerors repeatedly had to offer new sacrifices, each as useless as the other to permanently atone for their sins.

But two thousand years ago, the perfect, sinless sacrificial Lamb of God, voluntarily offered Himself on the cross of Calvary one time… and that one time was enough to atone for the sins of every man, woman, boy and girl who ever lived, and those yet unborn.

Now who do you think has more to praise God for… you and me, or the Old Testament people? I thank God that I am alive today and for all that He has done for me. Now I have a duty… an obligation and a privilege to praise Him better and more passionately than any Old Testament saint could ever have done.  The question is, am I? Are you?

Solomon makes a very profound acknowledgement in 2 Chronicles 6:18 – “But will God really live on earth with human beings? After all, the heavens can’t hold you. In fact, even the highest heavens can’t hold you. So this temple I’ve built certainly can’t hold you!” Solomon’s conclusions were accurate. The Temple he had built or that any other person has ever built cannot hold God. But you O God have chosen to take up permanent residence in me… in the Temple of my body.

Today, we too are required to sacrifice to the Lord. Like the Old Testament Israelites, our sacrifice is to be one of praise. But unlike them, no animals need be killed. The time and effort that we otherwise would have used to sacrifice a sheep, let us use that time and energy to praise the Lord with all our mind, and spirit, and body, and soul, and with everything that He has given us.  Praise ye the Lord!

Remember to visit RBC’s Our Daily Bread Devotional today at www.ODB.org

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