SCRIPTURE READING: Leviticus 22
This chapter continues to set the standards for the priests, and then goes on to set the standards for the sacrifices themselves. A priest was to serve only while he was ceremonially clean. If a priest ministered while unclean, he would profane the sacrifice being given. There is a link here between the priest and the sacrifice he offers. The sacrifice itself must also be without defect. A defective animal would not be accepted by God as a sacrifice.
The priest and the sacrifice both had to be clean and without blemish in order for God to accept the sacrifice given. This was completely fulfilled by Jesus. "For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:13-14)
Jesus was both the perfect priest and the perfect sacrifice. His offering is a much more effective one, because this one-time offering of Christ was enough to last forever and it could truly cleanse our consciences.
And for what purpose are we cleansed by Christ's sacrifice? The Hebrews passage above says that it's so we can serve the living God. And 1 Peter 2:5 says, "you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."
"I urge you, therefore, brothers . . . to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:1)
Do you present yourself as an acceptable sacrifice to God?
Lord, thank you for providing the perfect priest as well as the perfect sacrifice in order for me to be truly cleansed. May I continually give my life to you. Through Jesus, Amen.