Thanks so much for joining me today for more of The Seven Sacrifices of Joy! Did you remember to bring your red Strand of Faith? Oh, I’m sure there will be a couple of knots in today’s Coffee Hour. Grab your coffee, your Strand of Faith and let’s get back to the heart of sacrifice!
Before we move on to the New Testament contexts for this incredibly symbolic word, let me just wrap up the Old Testament contexts with the understanding that “offering” and “sacrifice” are often used interchangeably and there were several types of sacrifices: There was a guilt offering/sacrifice which clears the guilt away. There were those offerings/sacrifices made by fire. Then there were the whole burnt offerings/sacrifices with nothing being shared or eaten (thank goodness!:) ) The “Qorban” sacrifice was an offering that brought one closer to God and finally the “Terumah” which means that sacrifice which was symbolically heaved/waved before God and then eaten by the priest.
Wow, could you imagine having to do all of that, or any of that for that matter, for remission of our daily sins? I’m thinking I’d have very little time to be productive in His call on my life! 🙂 Oh, how great it is to be a Gentile, grafted in to the family of God, heirs with Jesus with the promise of heaven!
So why even sacrifice then if the price for it all has already been paid? Good question! Let’s keep digging!
The first time “sacrifice” comes up in the New Testament is in Matthew 9:13 and the words are from Jesus Himself so let’s really listen up: “But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice, for I did not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
Oh, dear, I think I understand what Jesus is speaking to us, but I need to be sure and my Bible is telling me to check out the chart in Hosea 6! Oh, Mylanta! You should see the diamonds sparkling here! Whew, is it any wonder the Word remains a mystery for many! Grab your shovels and let’s discover why Jesus said He’d rather we show mercy than offer a sacrifice!
In 1st Samuel 15:22-23 we read Samuel’s response to Saul’s litany of sacrifices: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice and to heed than the fat of rams.”
Ah-ha, so this is the first time in the Bible where it is declared that obedience is better than sacrifice! And this is the Old Testament, early in the Old Testament, pointing us to the Ultimate Sacrifice, which makes the old type of sacrifice unnecessary. Could it be that oftentimes obedience to God is considered a sacrifice?
I dare say that it is! When we are faced with, for example, a choice to do something, say something that we know would, at the very least, displease our Mediator, and we instead choose not to do that something, say that wrong thing, or participate in that temptation, we have sacrificed obedience for our relationship! Oh, this is knot-worthy for we can truly see God’s plan for grace building momentum in the Old Testament, exploding in the New!
The next diamond on this chart in Hosea 6 lists Psalm 40:6-8 wherein we discover that God truly desires and requires our lifelong commitment, not our burnt offerings, for us to remain in His will. Oh, dear and I thought we were done with the Old Testament! 🙂 Hang in there with me.
In Psalm 51:16-19 – and please, look these up to confirm my summation – David tells us, and definitely from experience, that God is interested in a broken and contrite heart, aka, Godly sorrow for a sin committed more than He is a sacrifice.
There are four others on this chart entitled “Obedience versus sacrifices,” Coffee Hour Friend, and we could literally spend hours examining the truths from each of these diamonds, but for the sake of time, tie knots in your Strand of Faith as we move along, and then go back for more knot-worthy studying on your own in Jeremiah 7:21-21; Amos 5:21-24 and Micah 6:6-8!
Knots to you …