Monday, November 9, 2009

The doctrine of the atonement is Most Holy.

bound lamb 3 This is the law of the guilt offering. It is most holy.

Leviticus 7:1

This is one of thirteen times in the book of Leviticus where the phrase “most holy” has described a practice for the priests and the nation. God wants to get the point across that certain attitudes must accompany the worship the nation offers to Him. When it came to the sacrificial system, the guilt offering was of highest priority. It was this offering that was meant to recognize and atone for guilt before a holy God.

Holiness is serious business. It is not something we should take lightly. It really is not a thing to joke about. We are dealing with the reason that death entered into the world. Humanity chose to sin, and with sin came death. That pretty much settles the question of “why” an awareness of the “most holy” nature of the guilt offering was needed. This was the most important need in any person’s life: to be made right before God.

It was this awareness of the extreme holiness of the guilt offering that became a point of comparison in the New Testament book of Hebrews. There the work of Jesus is contrasted with the work of the priests. And it is in chapter six of Hebrews that we are reminded of the ramifications and judgment of not taking the work of Jesus seriously. It is because what Jesus did is “most holy” that we cannot treat it with contempt (Hebrews 6:6). It is impossible to have contempt for the atonement on the cross and be a Christian. That is why we need to pray for the souls of those who would deny Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice or want to make the basis of our justification anything other than the cross of Christ. Even if they call themselves theologians. To declare what is “most holy” as evil, barbaric, or divine child abuse, is to have contempt for what is “most holy”.

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