“If his offering to the LORD is a burnt offering of birds, then he shall offer his offering of turtledoves, or of young pigeons. The priest shall bring it to the altar, and wring off its head, and burn it on the altar; and its blood shall be drained out on the side of the altar;”
The people of God had to continually offer sacrifices of blood to the Lord as recompense for their sins. The Word of God is clear about the seriousness of sin and the price that must be exacted to pay for its deadly outcomes and hold over the soul that sins.
“According to the law, nearly everything is cleansed with blood, and apart from shedding of blood there is no remission.”
God brings home to us the seriousness of sin, and continuing to sin, by requiring such sacrifices from the people. We do not realise the seriousness of the wrong that we harbour in our minds, because we have a sinful nature that is at enmity with God. God is not willing that anyone should perish, so He makes a way for salvation through the shedding of blood.
The shed blood is not the blood of animals or birds, but the blood of His own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who has willingly given His own life on the cross to pay for our rottenness and deal with our guilt. When we put our trust in what are did for us, the sin is removed forever and the guilt is covered. The death of animals does not take away sin, but the perfect sacrifice of Christ is able to remove the sin and deal with the sinful nature, putting a new nature within us and making us righteous before the holy God.
Because of the death of our Saviour, He can take away the guilt and fear that surrounds the awareness of our sin in us, and set us free for its deadly grip. What a privilege it is to belong to Him and to have such an amazing salvation.!
“how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation–which at the first having been spoken through the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard;”
How will we be able to stand before God if we have deliberately neglected to take possession of this salvation? There is no other remedy for sin and we can never pay for it ourselves. When we hear this message it should bring us to the love of Christ and we should embrace it with gladness. But we do not. We run away and try to not think about it, preferring our own sinful lives rather than the new life we are promised in Christ. We don’t want to give up our sin, but want to hold on to the familiarity of our mindset and cold heart toward the Lord. This is a dangerous place to be.
“Today if you will hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts, as in the rebellion.”
The people of God refused to believe and hardened their hearts towards the Lord. They rebelled and God gave them what they chose. They wandered for forty years in the wildness and all died in that wilderness because of their refusal to accept what God had provided for them. So also we face the inevitable condemnation of God if we refuse such a great salvation. There is nothing we have to do, but accept the gift of love and repent of our wrong ways. God gives us this complete forgiveness and brings us in to His own family circle and makes us kings and priests to God. What would we pass over such an amazing offer of forgiveness? It is indeed folly…
The birds were given as sacrifice by the poorer people in the community, who could not afford an animal. God provided a way of escape from the punishment of sin for everyone, not just those who could afford it. The birds were not grand bird of prey, of colourful birds for show, but humble and gentle birds, of pigeons or turtle doves. The gentle and the innocent had to die for the guilty. So we see another picture of the suffering Saviour, innocent and kind, suffering on a cruel cross for the sins of you and I. The birds were as acceptable to God as much as the animals, and were the expression of complete sacrifice of self on the altar of God. The sacrifice was of the whole bird and and complete death of the creature. So we put to death our sinful life and place our broken lives on the altar of God, as a sweet sacrifice to the Lord. He will take us up and make us worthy to receive the salvation He has promised to all who come to Him in repentance and faith.
Why would we not come to Him in deep reverence and love reciprocated? He must come to our senses and accept the free offer of His mercy’s towards us.
“He sent out his servant at supper time to tell those who were invited, ‘Come, for everything is ready now.”
The Lord Jesus calls to us again, to come and enjoy the banquet of love He has prepared for us. It is all ready. It is completed. There is nothing else for us to do, but accept the offer of mercy and relinquish our hold on foolish sinful self determination and give our lives to Him. We will find Him to be everything we desire, if we just repent and believe.