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NewLife Anglican / Pastors Blog / The Uncomfortable Costs of Fellowship
14 JULY 2020

The Uncomfortable Costs of Fellowship

Here’s my reflection on today’s reading from Leviticus 3.

The Uncomfortable Costs of Fellowship

“If your offering is a fellowship offering, and you offer an animal from the herd, whether male or female, you are to present before the LORD an animal without defect. You are to lay your hand on the head of your offering and slaughter it at the entrance to the tent of meeting.” (Leviticus 3:1-2 NIV11)

“Place your hand on the Bible and solemnly swear..” Why do we do this? It’s a practice of association. By placing our hands on the Bible we are making a connection between ourselves and the great truth enclosed within. We are bonding ourselves to be likewise truthful.

It’s an association like this that we see in this passage from Leviticus (and the following one in chapter 4). The one seeking fellowship with God is to acknowledge the cost of approach. Ever since Adam and Eve’s rebellion in the garden of Eden sinful people have been unable to come freely into fellowship with their Holy God.

It makes sense, therefore, that a ‘fellowship offering’ would involve sin’s unavoidable cost – death. Ezekiel 18:4 puts it very clearly,

“The one who sins is the one who will die.” (Ezekiel 18:4b NIV11)

And so we see the Israelite seeking to renew relationship with their God comes with a spotless offering, places their hand on it’s head *as it is slaughtered* and then the parts are separated and burnt on the altar fire. How vivid and unavoidable is that? Blood. Death. Personal proximity. It may be the stuff of nightmares for many of us but it’s a terribly powerful truth.

My sin is not a game. It’s not comfortable. It’s never white. It’s always costly.

Perhaps the wonder and the danger of knowing that Jesus – my perfect sacrifice – is that I’m tempted to distance myself from the death and horror of my sin. Really. Should I be asked now to take a lamb (something personally costly) and see it slaughtered at arm’s distance from me I’m sure I would be rightly mortified.

Perhaps reading a text so removed from our daily life, so removed in time and space from us as Leviticus 3, we can be tempted to think that there’s no relevance. Today I’m reminded to think again about my sin. That’s not pleasant – but then it’s not supposed to be..

“Dear Heavenly Father, I’m grateful today for Your Son’s bloody and costly sacrifice for the rebellion, betrayal, and shame of my sin. I pray that You might rightly remind me of my sins and turn me again to reflect in awe on Your grace. Thank You that Your Word declares that there is now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus. Help me to treasure this great truth afresh and walk in the cleansing and fellowship it offers. Amen.”

Stuart

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About The Author

New Life Anglican is a group of Christians who live in and around Oran Park, starting a brand new church with the express goal of seeing new life come to every home in Oran Park and the growing South West.