Sacrifice

Week 28: Sacrifice

Today’s Text: Leviticus 13-15

Key Text: Leviticus 14:21

“But if he is poor, and his means are insufficient, then he is to take one male lamb for a guilt offering…”

The words come from a long list of ritual requirements – they are how the priest and the people are to atone for their sins. They are about obedience, holiness, and sacrifice.

They also ominously point to the one great sacrifice that put an end to the need for all other ritual sacrifices – the sacrifice made by Christ.

Hundreds of years before he was born – a holy ritual was created – one which he would fulfill to the fullest – according to God’s timing.

As I think of this, I think of the poignancy of it. I also think of the beauty and innocence of that one male lamb – a guilt offering – for all. I think of Mary, Joseph, Jesus.

Who could have imagined how it would all point to a cross on Calvary?

Sacrifice, made in obedience, holiness, is both an ugly and beautiful thing.

We are all called to it, at some level.

We can never fully appreciate the depth of it, at another.

Behold, the Lamb of God.

Thanks be to God.

Sacrifice.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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