Thursday, March 27, 2014

Washed in the blood

I have been a Christian since I was seven years old, but I am just now in the process of reading the Bible all the way through. This is embarrassing for two reasons:

1. My husband has already done it twice.

2. People around the world are literally killed just for owning a Bible, and yet they continue to put their lives on the line to get a copy because they understand this truth: The Word of God is Life.

If anyone else feels like joining me on this journey, you'll be able to catch up pretty easily—I am currently in Leviticus. You should know, though, that this is a hard chapter. There is a lot of repetition, so it can be easy to "zone out." But I've heard pastors say that Jesus can (metaphorically) be found on every page of the Bible if you look closely enough, and so that's what I've been trying to do. Look for Jesus. 

Today, I caught a glimpse of Him.

"Then Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood from the altar and sprinkled them on Aaron and his garments and on his sons and their garments. So he consecrated Aaron and his garments and his sons and their garments." —Leviticus 8:30

My first thought when reading this was, "Okay, he just ruined their clothes." And these were some EXPENSIVE clothes. Check out these descriptions (all from Exodus 39):

"From the blue, purple and scarlet yarn they made woven garments for ministering in the sanctuary."

"They hammered out thin sheets of gold and cut strands to be worked into the [cloth]."

"They mounted onyx stones in gold filigree settings and engraved them like a seal with the names of the sons of Israel."

"They fashioned the breastpiece...then they mounted four rows of precious stones on it. In the first row there was a ruby, a topaz and a beryl; in the second row a turquoise, a sapphire and an emerald..."

The list just goes on from there. Jewels and gemstones. Fine linen and richly-dyed yarn. Chains and bells of gold. Intricately stitched pomegranates. How could Moses stain those beautiful outfits with spots of blood?

That's when I saw Jesus. That's when I remembered His blood, which was shed for me. That's when I realized that the garments worn by Aaron and his sons were not made beautiful and pure by their outward adornment but by the blood stains, which signified that the Lord had consecrated them and made atonement for their sins.

I have fought hard to prove my own purity in the past. I have scrubbed my clothes, wiped myself clean, Windex’d the walls of my heart and prayed that God would find me worthy. How did I miss the Truth that my purity has nothing to do with manufactured coverings of my own design, and everything to do with the bloodstains of my Savior—the Living Sacrifice that made atonement for my sins once and for all? The cross has made me clean, and nothing else. I must be washed in crimson to wear garments that are white as snow—bleach and soap and good works and righteous acts have nothing to do with it whatsoever. 

Without the bloodstains, we're just wearing clothes. When we're washed in the blood, we're clothed in garments of His righteousness. 

"I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels."—Isaiah 61:10

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