You’ve heard about living on the right side of the law. Have you thought about living on the right side of death?
Warren Wiersbe, a preacher and commentator, wrote in his book Be Holy a very helpful outline of the sacrifices we read about in these first few chapters of Leviticus. The burnt offering symbolized commitment, the peace offering communion, and the sin/trespass offering to cleanse. These communicate the message, “I’m sorry,” to God. It was a constant visual reminder of the death and separation sin causes. The writer of Hebrews explains, “In those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year” (Hebrews 10:3). But the blood fo bulls and goats could not take away sins. Why didn’t they just stop this pointless ritual? “Because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins” (Hebrews 10:2).
Jesus Christ offered himself once for all and perfected for ever them that are sanctified (10:14). So does that mean we no longer need a reminder of sin? It is much like the question Paul asked, “Shall we continue in sin since grace abounds?” There are two answers to the questions.
First, those who are sanctified now have the Spirit of God who enhances our natural conscience with divine sensitivity. “The Holy Ghost also is a witness to us” (Hebrews 10:15). The continual reminder of sacrifices was external for the Israelites. The same pain is inflicted internally when we grieve the Holy Spirit. Our reminder is internal.
Second, we are a new creature. At the point of salvation, old things are passed away. We are the temple of the Holy Ghost. Our flagrant sin is akin to Hophni and Phineas, Levites who were supposedly consecrated for service yet indulged in open immorality. “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness” (Romans 6:16)?
You have risen with Christ. Live on the right side of death.