Monday, March 28, 2016

Climbing Onto the Alter

~Erin Blair

Imagine this scene: you are in a crowded courtyard in ancient Israel. You are bringing your animal [a dove or a lamb or bull based on your financial status] to be sacrificed by the priests. The animal you are leading is pulling against its lead, wild-eyed and not wanting to be led to the scary looking mound of stones that smell and drip with blood of previous sacrifices. You finally are able to drag the animal up to the priest who wrestles the beast onto the stone alter, holding it down while slitting its throat, sacrificing it to Jehovah. The animal kicks and thrashes as its lifeblood is spilling, and then finally stills.

Thankfully we live in the Christian dispensation where we do not have to offer animal sacrifices for our sins. But yet we are not completely free of this idea. 

We read in Romans 12:1, “ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
Anyone who has dealt with animals, any animal whether it be a dog or a large animal like a horse or cow, if they don’t want to go somewhere, or are scared to, it can be difficult to “persuade” them. They pull and strain against your lead, even fighting against going where you want to take them. As Romans 12:1 we are to be living sacrifices. What does this mean?

If you try to make an animal stay put in a place they are scared of, or uncomfortable and they don’t respect or submit to you. They aren’t going to stand still, and are more likely to move away or run off. Let me give an illustration. My husband and I own two Labrador retrievers. The very first thing we did when training them was getting them to submit to us. Now that they respect and submit to our authority, they do whatever we command them to do. If we tell our female lab (our inside dog) to lay down and be completely still, she will not move a muscle until we give her the command that she can get up and move. Even if a fly lands on her nose, she won’t move. It is the same concept with us Christians.

Just as our dogs are to submit to our commands, we are to submit to God and do what He says. We are to be living sacrifices. This means we are to climb onto the alter ourselves-willingly- and stay there. It won’t be easy. We, like those animals of the Old Testament, may be scared of the possible pain and discomfort. But, that is what God demands of us; to be ready to sacrifice ourselves willingly and without complaint. We shouldn’t act like those animals who had to be held down to be sacrificed. We need to have the attitude like Christ, who in Luke 22:42 said, “…not My will, but Yours, be done.”

Are we sacrifices who wiggle and squirm and fight all the way up to the “alter,” unwilling to do what God commands? Or do we climb up onto the “alter” and pour ourselves out?

2 Timothy 4:6 “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.

Erin resides in Ben Wheeler TX with her husband, Jordan. Erin has been involved with preparing and organizing the work of the church since she was a teenager by teaching all ages of Bibles classes, helping prepare and organize Ladies Days, Prom Alternatives, Youth Rallies and VBS. She is currently works as a paralegal for a law firm. She and her husband also spend their time enjoying their garden, dogs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, quail…etc. Life is never dull at her house.

No comments:

Post a Comment