Wednesday, February 7, 2018

looking for Jesus in Leviticus: "clean and unclean"

The Word for today:
Leviticus 16
Leviticus teaches in picture language, using physical examples to illustrate spiritual concepts.
When we are shown the difference between clean and unclean, for example, it doesn’t have anything to do with soap! That's why Jesus told the Pharisees, who washed all the time, that they were the opposite of clean:
Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness. (Luke 11:39)
We are spiritually cleansed--from sin--by faith in Jesus. His blood is the only spiritual cleansing agent:
On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness. (Zechariah 13:1)
The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)
When we turn in faith to the cross of Jesus Christ, we are transformed. The Bible depicts this transformation in various ways. We go from darkness to light, from old to new, from dead to alive; from clean to unclean…
Say it as you will, the end result is that God is repelled by the ”uncleanness” of unbelief and he is drawn toward the “cleanness” of faith. Today, Stand in the Rain will illustrate the powerful effects of these spiritual polarities with (of all things) industrial strength magnets…
When I was a kid, my Dad gave me two big  magnets. They seemed like magic to us, because they contained an unseen force. No one, not even the strongest man, could push those magnets together. They were impossible to connect.
We used to have the greatest fun with them. We’d ask all the big high school guys to push them together. Never suspecting our ploy, they’d casually take them out of our hands to show us how weak we were. But as soon as they got one magnet about four inches from the other, they were stopped--by NOTHING!
Or so they thought, because it looked like there was just air between the magnets. So they’d push harder and harder. Then their faces would get red, their blood vessels would bulge, their arms would start to strain, they’d adjust their stance, they’d brace their backs against a tree—and none of them could do it! It was the Revenge of the Runts, part 1!
When they’d exhausted themselves trying, I would take the magnets off their hands and (without their knowing) turn one of them upside down. The magnets now were very powerfully attracted to one another. (You would not want your finger to get between them!) With their polarities now correctly aligned, they would forcefully come together if they got anywhere within half a foot of each other.
Then I’d hand them back to our unsuspecting neighborhood tough guy, and ask him to pull them apart. He’d get red in the face again, but couldn’t pry them apart. When he’d had enough, I’d take them back and easily get them apart by slightly twisting them as I pulled. (When their polarities reached a certain point relative to one another, they'd spring apart.) Revenge of the Runts, part 2!
That’s a physical example of what happens when we turn from our own ways to go God’s way.
When we align our lives with Jesus Christ, we do not go from spiritual negative to spiritual neutral. Instead, we go all the way from negative to an absolute, powerful positive:
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
This re-polarization energizes a spiritual force field that pulls us ever closer to God. The force is so strong that no power in heaven or earth can ever separate us from Him:
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. (John 10:28)
There is cleansing--and power--in the precious blood of the Lamb.

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