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In the Gates


Abiding Principles from the Ceremonial Laws: Introduction (6)


It is easy to sin, but costly to restore fellowship with God.

Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When any one of you brings and offering to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of livestock from the heard or from the flock.” Leviticus 1.2

Israel did not have a heart for God. We see that over and over during the period of the Mosaic revelation. It was always a very easy thing for the people of God to turn their backs on Him and walk in their own preferred ways of disobedience. Sin comes naturally and easily to all of us.

But God is determined that we shall be His people and He our God. Thus He established a means to restore sinful Israel to fellowship with Himself – the system of sacrifices and offerings. Not all offerings were for sin; some were means of expressing gratitude to God for His grace in one form or another. But sacrifices and offerings were required, and all were costly.

Some sacrifices required the death of a living creature. Blood would be shed to cover the sin of one of God’s people, and of the people as a whole once a year. Disobedience leads to death. But sacrifices – which were eaten by priests and those who brought them, were a way to revitalization, assurance of salvation, and a new beginning with God. Animals from the herd or flock were valuable, as were the many types of grain and food offerings God required of His people. Sacrifice is costly, but the benefits of sacrifice in a renewed relationship with God are always worth the price.

No sacrifice was more costly than that of the Lord Jesus Christ. And no sacrifice was ever more efficacious in obtaining the grace of God for humble and repentant believers. The sacrificial system – with its repeated bloody sacrifices – points to the greatness of Christ’s once and final offering of Himself, and encourages us to bring all our offerings to the Lord through Him.

Pastors, we’re getting ready to start the next season of The Pastors’ Fellowship. Write to me today at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for information about how you join in these online discussions. Our theme for the coming series is “The Worldview of God’s Law.” There is no charge for participation, but you must reserve a place for these monthly gatherings. Subscribe to Crosfigell, the devotional newsletter of The Fellowship of Ailbe.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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