The Ultimate Choice

How is it worth it?

Exodus 29:38-46 (ESV)

“Now this is what you shall offer on the altar: two lambs a year old day by day regularly. One lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight. And with the first lamb a tenth measure of fine flour mingled with a fourth of a hin of beaten oil, and a fourth of a hin of wine for a drink offering. The other lamb you shall offer at twilight, and shall offer with it a grain offering and its drink offering, as in the morning, for a pleasing aroma, a food offering to the LORD. It shall be a regular burnt offering throughout your generations at the entrance of the tent of meeting before the LORD, where I will meet with you, to speak to you there. There I will meet with the people of Israel, and it shall be sanctified by my glory. I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar. Aaron also and his sons I will consecrate to serve me as priests. I will dwell among the people of Israel and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt that I might dwell among them. I am the LORD their God.”

Two lambs a day, every day, forever. And that’s just to keep the doors open. Sacrifices for specific people and specific sins are extra (see most of Leviticus).

Let’s play word association. I say the word “sin.” What word do you think of?

Evil. Hell. Corrupt. Selfish. Blind. Stupid. Deceitful. Universal. Original.

Did you think of “expensive”?

That’s what this passage is about. Two lambs a day will eventually add up to more than the staggering cost of building and furnishing the tabernacle. And the whole thing is just to atone for sin. In fact, it’s just to set the place up to for someone to atone for sin.

This symbolizes the incredible cost that sin has laid on the world. Just try to imagine the sum total of all the pain and grief caused by sin.

That’s what drove Christ to the cross.

OK, but that still doesn’t make sense. The whole of creation isn’t worth five minutes of pain suffered by the creator. Why would He choose to go there?

We’re not going to figure that one out (in this life anyway). All that’s left is to celebrate it. Lots of God’s priorities are beyond understanding, and accepting that often means accepting things we’d rather argue with.

But not this priority. In the biggest choice of all, we catch the ultimate lucky break.

Remember that the next time you feel like questioning something unpleasant. His love is a wonder.

The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

Latest from Mike Slay