When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
- Hebrews 9:19-22
“Animal sacrifice may seem odd to today’s mindset and even cruel. But Old Testament Jews were glad God offered a way for their sins to be forgiven. In addition, the meat of the animals were used to feed their families and the Levitical priests. It could be much worse. Some religions used human sacrifice to appease their gods. God only used these sacrifices to foreshadow what was to come — one sacrifice, for all sin, for all time.
“When Jesus was born an innocent baby lying in the manger, only a few knew who He really was and why He came to Earth. When the old man, Simeon, saw Jesus he told Mary, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also) so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed,” (Luke 2:34-35). By this, he predicted Jesus’ sacrificial death. When Mary saw things unfold before her eyes, the scripture said, she didn’t say anything but pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:19, Luke 2:51)
“How blessed believers in Christ are that their sins are forgiven without having to slaughter a herd of animals. Isaiah says, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow.” This winter, when you see the snow fall on your location or in pictures of somewhere else, think of your soul being whiter than snow through the blood of Jesus.”
- Presidential Prayer Team Devotion
Jesus taught us to love one another, to love our enemies, and due to the great forgiveness God shows each of us, we are to forgive others. There is no middle ground. We cannot love some enemies and hold grudges against another. We may have the pain of the injury, but our grudge against someone else can result in further injury to ourselves. We will not be able to grow as a Christian with such enmity toward others.
As I mentioned recently, becoming saved is free, but it will cost us everything. One of those things that it must cost us is our feeling of vengeance, enmity, grudges, and hatred toward others who have wronged us.
That may be a hard gift to wrap.
It will be impossible for us to give this gift without Jesus’ power within us and the Holy Spirit directing us to those things within us that are stumbling blocks to our further growth as a Christian.
Study the Bible. Pray. And listen for God’s voice. Forgiveness is not an option, and the act of forgiveness can be hard to do, as if it costs us too much. Yet, once forgiveness is given, the fences may be mended, or they may not. The other person may be grateful, but they may care less or even continue to hold their grudge toward you. But you will feel the weight of that grudge lifted, that weight that held you down and imprisoned you.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.