February 04, 2007

The Right Address

Leviticus 1:10-13

"Slaughter it ... before the Lord ..." Leviticus 1:11


Your house or car payment is a debt you owe a bank or another lender. Your debt is paid or reduced when you send your monthly payment to the appropriate address. But if you send it to another address, even by accident, the money will end up in the wrong hands. In a case like that, you might believe your account is paid, but you'd be wrong.

Sacrifices, too, must be brought to the right address. That's why God instructs Israel to make their sacrifices "before the Lord," presenting them at the tabernacle entrance (1:3, 5) and nowhere else. God gives these instructions for good reason. The world of Israel's neighbors is filled with sacrificial altars. Everyone believes in paying their religious debts, but not everyone believes there was only one correct address for payment. Some believe that sacrifices can be offered at many different altars. But in cases like that, the debt is not paid.

God reveals one secure address for the cancellation of our debt of sin. So there are not many altars--just one. There are not all kinds of sacrifice, only the one sacrifice accepted by God through the death of Jesus Christ.

There is only one way to God--through Jesus--"for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Trusting in Jesus as your sacrifice, you can be sure your debt is paid.

Lord, we offer ourselves as living sacrifices to you, out of gratitude for all Christ has done to save us. Thank you for assuring us that our debt is paid through Jesus Christ. Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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