February 18, 2011
Leviticus 6:1-7:27; Mark 3:7-30;
Psalm 37: 1-11; Proverbs 10:3-4
Bread is the king of the table and all else is merely the court that surrounds the king. The countries are the soup, the meat, the vegetables, and the salad, but the bread is king.
When I was in college I would go running in the evening on a track behind my dorm. One of my strongest sensory memories from that experience was the smell of baking bread while I ran. There was a bakery down the street from that track. Oh, the heavenly smell of baking bread!
As we read the Bible and learn about the various offerings and sacrifices mandated in the Old Testament, you may be picking up on the idea that God has a sensory personality. Imagine for a minute the continual smell of grilled meat/barbeque. Now add to that image the smell of baking bread. This is what the Tabernacle would have smelled like at all times! Why would God set up this system? I believe God wants to remember the work of Jesus Christ in every sensory way possible. The mouth-watering smell of cooked meat and baking bread was a sweet reminder of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. This Being is my kinda God!
There are a few other images in the sacrifices and offerings that I want to highlight. In these offerings, the priests were the ones who were allowed to eat the cooked meat and griddled bread. This was because they were not given a portion of the land when God told Moses how to divide up the inheritance in the Promised Land. The priests had to rely on the giving of the people for their provisions. The bread was to be unleavened. Leaven in the Bible represents sin. This bread would represent Christ who lived without sin in His life, the perfect sacrifice.
In today’s reading more instructions are given for the burnt offering, the meal offering, and the sin offering. Just as a reminder, the burnt offering was given continually as a picture of who Christ was. The meal offering (bread) was also a picture of Christ. He is the Bread of Life. The sin offering was Christ’s work on the cross with sin taken away from the presence of a Holy God.
The next time you eat fresh bread or grilled meat try to remember the wonderful offering Christ made for you! See it, smell it, and taste the wonderful truth.
I like to call the picture of Jesus that Mark gives us…Rock Star Messiah. Crowds are swarming around Jesus. They are pushing and pulling to be near him. He is healing everyone who needs help. The desperation of the crowds is palpable. The gospels confirm that Jesus operated from compassion and pity. This rock star cared about people.
You may have noticed that evil spirits are constantly coming out of people and screaming about who Jesus is. There are several things we can conclude from this:
· Spirits of all stripes know who Jesus is.
· The evil spirits are trying to thwart Christ’s work on earth by exposing him before he is ready for everyone to know his purpose.
· The evil spirits always confirm that Christ has authority over them.
Jesus calls his twelve disciples in this chapter. It should be noted that Christ created his own small group. In modern churches, we try to set up small groups or lifeline groups or bible studies with the intent of developing more intimate fellowship. Jesus is our model for doing this.
Jesus’ family thinks he has gone insane. The whole rock star fame thing is not doing it for them. It is interesting that although many of his siblings become believers, not all of them will realize that he is the Messiah. Do you wonder how Mary, his mother, who saw his miraculous birth, could now be questioning his sanity? I can only conclude that we all have lapses in faith and judgment. She was human and it had been thirty years since the miraculous birth. She may have thought he would become an earthly king to save Israel. His life as an itinerant preacher with no money, no power, and no governmental or military position may have seemed like a crazy way to become the King of the Jews.
The Pharisees insist that Jesus’ power comes from Satan. Jesus teaches that claiming that his miracles come from an evil spirit, rather than the Holy Spirit is the highest form of blasphemy. Jesus confirms that this is an eternal sin that cannot be forgiven.
I am going to highlight some verbs that David uses in this psalm:
"Don’t worry, trust, take delight, commit everything, be still, stop your anger, do not envy"
This is good advice from a very good psalm!
Lazy people are soon poor. Ain’t that the truth!
Please share your thoughts on today’s passages.