In the last decade since September 11th, we’ve waged war in two different countries. Our nation has lost many of its young men and women to death, not to mention the cost in physical and mental health terms. When my son joined the Marines, it irked me to hear people say they’d never let their sons serve in the military. It implied I loved my son less because I allowed him to put himself in harm’s way. It told me they were willing to enjoy the benefits of freedom without assuming any of the cost. Now I understand how easily that happens.
The 29th chapter of Exodus details the sacrifices required of Israel. Verses 38-43 describe the required daily sacrifice of one lamb in the morning and one in the evening every day as a continual burnt offering throughout the generations. That’s an astounding number of animals! Over 600 lambs every year, not counting the feasts and other special occasions that required additional sacrifices. Imagine the cost of providing 600 lambs every year. Israel, an agrarian society, would have understand the enormous cost associated with God‘s continual provision and protection, the cost of God’s forgiveness.
It’s easy for us to cheapen Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Because we are no longer required to offer blood sacrifices morning and evening, we often take his death for granted. Dropping money in the offering plate doesn’t require us to listen to the cries of innocent lambs led to the slaughter, to see their blood draining from the altar and experience its sickly sweet odor. We’re removed from the sacrifice; it costs us nothing emotionally.
But it cost Jesus everything. My forgiveness, my freedom from sin’s clutches cost Jesus his life in an ugly, brutal way. I need to remember that, meditate on it, bring it to mind when I’m tempted to sin. I need to remember the cost of freedom–taken from me and applied to Him.
Thank you Lord!