Tuesday, June 14, 2011


A Burnt Gift.

Before all others. A death required. Blood spilled. Hands placed on head. Thanks groaned that it will die instead of you. Full consumption. Every scrap devoured by licking flames. A living thing now ash. While you breathe out gratefulness.

3 “‘If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, you are to offer a male without defect. You must present it at the entrance to the tent of meeting so that it will be acceptable to the LORD. 4 You are to lay your hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on your behalf to make atonement for you.
~Leviticus 1~

Offering a Burnt Gift is to rest in the covering. In most Bible translations 'Atonement' stands in for the word copher, which means cover.

Cover. A thick down blanket weighing down warmth against winter chill. Cover. A lightning quick mother-hand covering young eyes from things that should never be seen. Cover. An old prophet tucked safely into wedge of rock as blinding Glory shows it's back. Or. . . a perfect man on a tree whose Holy blood forever stands between us and his Father.

Why, then, do we hide behind the Lord Jesus? . . . With regard to God, when I am a conscious sinner I long to hide away from him, and lo! the Lord Jesus is our shield and hiding-place, the cover, the sacred atonement within which we conceal ourselves from justice. Even the allseeing eye of God sees no sin in a sinner that is hidden in Christ.

We know the dark things are just under the surface. But somehow God's fire took the lamb instead. The wonder of it. . .

  • "At the entrance" to our new lives, there must be a death. {Lev. 1:3}There must be blood. The old must be "covered" over once and for all. Rest in Christ's sacrifice. It pays in a way no other blood can.
  • Hands On. {Lev. 1:4} Place shaking hands on bowed head. Touch the one that will die for you. Keeping a guilty distance from the one who died for you will stem the flow of blessing that could run through you like the life-giving nutrients of an umbilical chord. Come close. Place two hands on the warmth of the Truth. Jesus died to place hands to face and wipe away tears.
Surely this is the very essence and nature of faith, which doth not only bring is into contact with the great Substitute, but teaches us to lean upon him with all the burden of our guilt." ~Spurgeon "Morning and Evening"
  • Be "fully consumed." {Lev. 1:6-9} We are Spirit houses. Be emptied of all the useless bits. Swept clean. Consecrated as Holy. Storm your way through the isles of your inner self and overturn what doesn't belong.
  • Keep burning. ". . .the fire on the altar must be kept burning. . ." {Lev. 6: 12} Don't grow cold. Tend to your inner fire. Feed it.

If you want to solve any other problem of life you have to begin there. "I belong to the Father, I am one of his family. I'm a child of God. I know him as my heavenly Father. I have been accepted by him. He loves me." If you do start there you have a basis upon which all the other relationships of life can all be worked out, for there, you see, this deep cry of the human heart is met. Jesus Christ meets us in that place. This is the burnt offering -- the need to belong. ~Ray Stedman "The Way to Wholeness"