The Acceptable Sacrifice
Tuesday the 21st of Marchin Meditations I
Depending on what day the moon is full, at that time of the year, the church observes either in March or April the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior. That day is usually called Good Friday. Its significance, however, is expressed far more fully and clearly if we call it Crucifixion Friday. And we do well to bear in mind that what happened on that cross of Christ, that Friday of which Scripture speaks, has significance for us every day of our lives. It is not the day that we observe but the work Christ performed on that day. For it brought us salvation. And though we have a Lenten Season, this work speaks of a constant, unending blessedness.
David spoke prophetically of it in Psalm 40:6,7 when he said, "Sacrifice and offering Thou didst not desire; mine ears hast Thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast Thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me."
The idea here is not that God did not desire or find delight in the sacrifices and offerings of the Old Testament saints. He did, for they revealed their faith in salvation through the shedding of blood, and were types of Christ and His cross. But the idea is that these sacrifices were only pictures and did not take away as much as one sin. They pointed to a work of God that would blot out all our sins forever, and was required if we were to be justified before Him.
That is why David is speaking here of Christ when he says, "Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me."
Look then to Christ and see all those Old Testament sacrifices and offerings as pictures which God hung up to teach His people that Christ was coming, according to His book, or counsel, and would blot out all our sins. And in that light sing our versification:
Not sacrifice delights the Lord,
But he who hears and keeps His word:
Thou gavest me to hear Thy will,
Thy law is in my heart;
I come the Scripture to fulfill,
Glad tidings to impart.
Read: Matthew 26:36-46
Psalter versification: 111:4
on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter #51
Why not sing along??
Through the Bible in One Year
Numbers 32 ; Numbers 33:1-39
Luke 4:31-44 ; Luke 5:1-11
Quote for Reflection:
… as there is one God, the Creator and Father of all, so he says that there is but one Mediator, through whom we have access to the Father; and that this Mediator was given, not only to one nation, or to a small number of persons of some particular rank, but to all; because the fruit of the sacrifice, by which he made atonement for sins, extends to all. More especially because a large portion of the world was at that time alienated from God, he expressly mentions the Mediator, through whom they that were afar off now approach.
The universal term all must always be referred to classes: of men, and not to persons; as if he had said, that not only Jews, but Gentiles also, not only persons of humble rank, but princes also, were redeemed by the death of Christ. Since, therefore, he wishes the benefit of his death to be common to all, an insult is offered to him by those who, by their opinion, shut out any person from the hope of salvation. -- John Calvin..