The Word for today:
mark this: Leviticus 1:4
He is to lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him.
One of the sweetest and most thoroughly misunderstood gestures in the Bible is the laying on of hands.
Some people have made it out to be a sort of Christian voodoo, where something is transferred, through our fingertips, into another person. All I can say to that is, Get me out of here! God does not do abracadabra!
First of all, the power in the Christian life does not come from the outside in, and it certainly doesn’t come through a person like me or you or Suzie Q or little Cindy Who who was only just two.
The power comes from the Holy Spirit, moving (if we get out of his way) from the inside out.
The beautiful ritual of laying on hands means that the victim stands in the offerer's stead. Laying on hands means identifying and designating another as your representative:
He is to lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. (Leviticus 1:4)
Our power is spiritual--not chemical, kinetic, or electric. Nothing is transferred by the laying on of hands except an intention--
That this Lamb would take my place.
Jesus reciprocated when, waiting to be baptized, he stood in line as if he were, well, just a carpenter from Nazareth.
John the Baptist’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. Jesus, needing no repentance, took a place with repentant sinners in the Jordan River, just as he would take their place on the cross.
When John questioned him, Jesus said it must be so in order to fulfill righteousness—not for himself but for you and for me.
Today will present you with an opportunity to identify with him--to stand with him and for him, to tell the world he’s the choice you’ve made.
Look for that opportunity, and take it.