Lent Day 6–Sin’s High Cost

When we read passages like 2 Chronicles 29 that tell the story of King Hezekiah ordering consecration of the temple, how many of us find the passage repulsive?  Slaughtering of animals.  Blood everywhere.  Burnt offerings.  It’s really hard for us to relate to any of that.

Furthermore, some of us may wonder why God would find any pleasure in sacrifices whatsoever.  Doesn’t God have better things to do…or better things for people to do?

Closer to the truth, however, is that we fail to see sin the same way God does.  The high cost of sin is death.  Since we can’t learn a lesson from our own death, we have to learn it from someone else’s.  In the Hebrew Scriptures, God asserts time and again how repulsive sin is by commanding sacrifices to remind the Israelites of the clear connection between sin and death.

This is completely foreign to us.  Consider some modern attitudes:  Who are you to judge?  It’s my truth; just another lifestyle; a decision between me and my doctor; or how I feel like living—I’m not hurting anyone. 

If we had to kill an innocent animal for payment of sin, we might reconsider what we do.  Then again, how many of us would just give up on God to avoid thinking about it?

King Hezekiah commanded making things right with God beginning with purification of the temple. 

For our fathers trespassed and did what displeased the LORD our God; they forsook Him and turned their faces away from the dwelling-place of the LORD, turning their backs on it” (2 Chron 29:6 JPS Tanakh).  

Hezekiah associated sin with its consequences (v 7). Contrasted with the Westboro so-called Baptist Church, Hezekiah didn’t command hate speech, picketing, or hurting others to throw sin’s blame on someone else.  Rather, everyone sought God, recognizing there is collective and individual responsibility for sin. 

We miss the point in our culture today:  Sin isn’t someone else’s problem–it’s our problem.  Thankfully, sacrifices aren’t needed anymore.  God accepted Jesus’ as final perfect payment for our sin.

Remembering that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was the high cost of my sin and your sin, we will cease looking for others to blame. No picketing—just acknowledgement that blame and sorrow for sin rest with all of us.

Categories Chapel Worship/News | Tags: | Posted on March 15, 2011

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