This morning, in my personal devotions, I became reacquainted with a very odd passage of Scripture. In Leviticus 21, God presents himself as the Sovereign One who is not so concerned with equal rights. According to modern thinking, God seems to be so crass and out of vogue. He is not culturally sensitive or politically correct. He discriminates. Hear Moses’ words:
Leviticus 21:16–24 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron, saying, None of your offspring throughout their generations who has a blemish may approach to offer the bread of his God. For no one who has a blemish shall draw near, a man blind or lame, or one who has a mutilated face or a limb too long, or a man who has an injured foot or an injured hand, or a hunchback or a dwarf or a man with a defect in his sight or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles. No man of the offspring of Aaron the priest who has a blemish shall come near to offer the Lord’s food offerings; since he has a blemish, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God. He may eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy and of the holy things, but he shall not go through the veil or approach the altar, because he has a blemish, that he may not profane my sanctuaries, for I am the Lord who sanctifies them.” So Moses spoke to Aaron and to his sons and to all the people of Israel.
According to God’s Old Covenant, ceremonial principles for worship,the individual who was diseased, disabled, or deformed was not allowed to offer the sacrifice of bread. As a defective one, he was not able to pass through the veil, enter the holy place, help himself to the bread, and represent God’s people in worship. God discriminated; he kept defective individuals away from his bounty.
However, according to God’s revelation, the defective individual was able to benefit from the worship leadership and mediation of another — a more perfect priest. The diseased, disabled, and deformed individual was privileged to “eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy and of the holy things.” In his broken condition, he could still fill his stomach with the bread of God based upon the priestly work of another.
So, what does this have to do with New Covenant worshipers in 2015? Friends, let us acknowledge the discrimination of God. He requires perfect lambs, perfect incense, perfect bread, and perfect priests. Just as he disallowed communion to those who were diseased, disabled, deformed, and defective, so he still keeps at a distance those who are depraved. So, if left to ourselves, all of us would find ourselves unable to climb God’s holy hill, enter God’s holy place, or dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Read Psalms 15 and 24) And if we perish in such a condition, we will be kept eternally separated from God and his table. Friends, we must all recognize our depraved and damned condition. By nature, we are separated from the Bread of Life and left in a hungry and dissatisfied condition.
Let us acknowledge the identity and work of the perfect priest. Jesus came to earth, and he was without defect. He was acceptable to God and became the needed mediator for deprave individuals like you and me. Due to his priestly ministry, defective and depraved individuals like you and me can eat and be satisfied. Therefore friends, let us see our sin, see our Savior, and eat freely of the Bread of Life today. Let us read, pray, meditate, memorize, sing and find our hungry souls satisfied. We have a priest who feeds us well. There is no need for us to be discouraged, dissatisfied, and damned.
However, it gets even better. Let us see how the perfect priest is also the good physician. While on earth, Jesus cured the physically diseased, healed the physically disabled, and straightened the physically deformed. He did so out of compassion for broken individuals, but he also did so to show his authority and power to save the deprave. Therefore, spiritually, Jesus takes defective men and women and does more than merely save them; he sanctifies them and ordains them to be a “kingdom of priests” or his “holy priesthood.” So brothers and sisters in Christ, there is no need for us to be ashamed. There is no reason for us to be bashful. Because of the gracious work of Christ, despite our former depravity, we can go through the veil, enter the Holy Place, and boldly approach the throne of grace. Therefore, let us walk up to the table of God and have our fill. But then, let us also take the Bread of Life to others. As priests, part of our ministry is to worship acceptably before God. The other part of our worship is to represent him to those who still spiritually diseased, deprave, damned, and dissatisfied. So, let us be great consumers of the grace of God, all the while keeping the Great Commission before us and endeavoring to be great communicators of God’s grace.