The Sin Offering

The following is from BibleGateway.com

‘If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish, unto the Lord for a sin offering.’ Leviticus 4:3

Those who would preach Christ, but not Christ crucified, miss the very soul and essence of our holy faith. ‘Let him come down from the cross, and we will believe in him,’ is the Unitarian cry. Anything but a crucified God. But there, indeed, lies the secret of that mystery, and the very core and kernel of our confidence. A reigning Saviour I do rejoice in: the thought of the splendour yet to come makes glad our eyes; but after all, it is a bleeding Saviour that is the sinner’s hope. It is to the cross, the centre of misery, that the sinner turns his eyes for comfort rather than to the stars of Bethlehem, or to the blazing sun of the millennial kingdom. I remember one joining this church, who said, ‘Sir, I had faith once in Christ glorified, but it never gave me comfort: I have now come to a faith in Christ crucified, and I have peace.’ At Calvary there is the comfort, and there only. That Jesus lives is delightful; but the basis of the delight is, ‘He lives who once was slain.’ That he will reign for ever is a most precious doctrine of our faith, but that the hand that wields the silver sceptre, once was pierced, is the great secret of the joy. O beloved, abide not in any place from which your eye cannot behold the cross of Christ. When you are thinking of the doctrines of the gospel, or the precepts of the Word, or studying the prophecies of Scripture, never let your mind relinquish the study of the cross. The cross was the place of your spiritual birth; it must ever be the spot for renewing your health, for it is the sanatorium of every sin-sick soul. The blood is the true balm of Gilead; it is the only catholicon [remedy] which heals every spiritual disease.

From a sermon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle #739, March 10 (1867)

Preacher, we ought always preach the cross of Christ.

-T.A.

Day 39 – Thoughts from Psalms; Wings

Men have thought of flying for all times and generations.  We have watched the birds of the air, and wondered what it would be like to fly through the air and the skies.  Of course in the age we live now there is not too many people who have not experienced flight within the confines of a passenger plane or an airplane of some sort or other.  Some have flown on hang gliders, using air currents to stay up in the air, and those who are good at it can stay up for as long as they want or until they get too tired to continue.

Well this is not supposed to be about flying, but about “Wings”.  The shelter which our God provides us is often likened to wings and we see plenty of evidence of that in the Psalms.  My reading today was Psalms 52 – 65, and within those 14 chapters the word “Wings” is mentioned four times.

The first of the day is Psalm 55:6,

“And I said, ‘Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.'” Psalm 55:6 (KJV)

Now, when we think of a “dove” we think of the symbol of peace.  The psalmist is thinking of a peaceful flight to get away from his enemies who were oppressing him.  He wanted peace, and the first thought was having the “wings like a dove” who would find no rest except in the ark of God (Genesis 8:6-12).  David’s thought must have been that the wings of a dove to fly away could only find rest in the hands of our faithful Creator.

“Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in Thee: yea, in the shadow of Thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.” 57:1

Of this verse, particularly the latter part, Charles Spurgeon wrote,

“‘Yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge.’ Not in the cave alone would he hide, but in the cleft of the Rock of ages. As the little birds find ample shelter beneath the parental wing, even so would the fugitive place himself beneath the secure protection of the divine power. The emblem is delightfully familiar and suggestive. May we all experimentally know its meaning. When we cannot see the sunshine of God’s face, it is blessed to cower down beneath the shadow of his wings. ‘Until these calamities be overpast.’ Evil will pass away, and the eternal wings will abide over us till then. Blessed be God, our calamities are matters of time, but our safety is a matter of eternity. When we are under the divine shadow, the passing over of trouble cannot harm us; the hawk flies across the sky, but this is no evil to the chicks when they are safely nestling beneath the hen.”  From THE TREASURY OF DAVID by Charles H. Spurgeon

When we write about “Wings” one of my first thoughts was where Jesus says,

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”  Matthew 23:37

A mother hen protects her young by calling them under her wings.  She protects them there from rain, or predators.  Of course as we contemplate the matter of God having wings we do need to understand that these are speaking metaphorically, at least as far as we know.  We can and do know that the LORD desires to protect and help those who trust in Him.  We can know too, that even when the wrath of God is in open display we can be sheltered beneath those “Wings” for all time and eternity.  Nothing can touch or harm us except that that the LORD Himself allows under His wings.

God’s “Wings” are as a “hiding place” as we read the psalmist say,

 “I will abide in Thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of Thy wings. Selah.”   61:4

The place of safety, security, and for hiding from the enemy is under these mighty wings of the Almighty.  We are not to flee from the enemy, but let us face the truth, there are times we get tired in the battle, we need to hide, we need to get away, pray, seek the face of God, and recuperate.  There is no other place for the child of God, the Christian to be than in “The covert of Thy wings”.

“Because Thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice.” 63:7

Our place of rejoicing is in the shadow of His wings.  He stands between us and the world.  He stands between us and all harm that could come to us.  In being between us and the harm and danger His wings form a shadow of light from the darkness of the  world outside.

You may find this peace, this place of safety, this place of rejoicing only when you come to the One who took your place on Calvary’s cross, died for your sins, was buried, and was raised bodily from the grave after three days, and now He lives.  Because He lives you too can live eternally with Him.  Believe Him, trust Him and be saved today.

Christian, if you are fearful, struggling with problems in this life, and who is not; then you can flee to His sheltering “Wings” and rest from the battle, renew your strength, then be strong for the battle ahead.

-Tim A. Blankenship