“And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.'” — Revelation 5:9
Defensive backs are some of the most outstanding players on football teams. They must run fast and run backwards and sideways while keeping their eyes on the quarterback and the receiver. Often, they make mistakes and let a receiver get behind them for a long pass or even a touchdown. Throughout the game, they have opportunities to make up for their mistakes, but film study shows that players make more mistakes than realized and need a little mercy from coaches since nobody is perfect and ultimate redemption must come from outside of ourselves.
As we read through the Bible, we see a red thread running from beginning to end. After Adam and Eve sinned, they needed to be restored to good standing with God. They tried to redeem themselves by covering themselves with leaves from trees, but that was not enough. Instead, God slayed some animals to put animal skins on Adam and Eve for a proper covering. “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21). In the Old Testament, animal sacrifice provided the way for sinful people to approach God.
Besides two of each kind of animal in the ark, the Lord instructed Noah to bring some extra animals for sacrifice when the Lord provided deliverance from the worldwide flood. Even though Noah was the best man of his generation, he was still a sinner in need of cleansing. “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8). As soon as Noah got out of the big boat on to dry ground, he built an altar to worship God and present a sacrifice. “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it” (Genesis 8:20).
Every Old Testament sacrifice was a preview and preparation for the main event — when Jesus shed His own blood for us. In so doing, Jesus provided acceptance with the Heavenly Father now and forever for all kinds of people with His precious blood. In Heaven, Jesus is worshipped forevermore for dying for our redemption. “And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation'” (Revelation 5:9).
We all make mistakes, but can all receive mercy, thanks to Jesus.
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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