February 18 – Today’s Readings – Leviticus 4-6 and Psalms 48
Colossians 2:13-14 reads, “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave all your sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against you and that stood opposed to you; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.” (NIV)
As we read Leviticus, and the “Law of Moses” being spelled out in detail, I am reminded that Christ “cancelled” this code and it’s regulations – He nailed it to the cross. This, of course does not do away with the Law, because every detail of the Law remains in full force for those not released from it’s grip. The Law was meant to bring knowledge of sin and to propel people toward salvation by grace and faith. Leviticus spells out all the details of ceremonial Law that people had to try to fulfill in order to please God. This was of course an impossible task – unless a Perfect Lamb of God came. In Jeremiah 31 and portions of verses 31-34 we read; “The time is coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah…I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts…I will be their God, and they will be my people…For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
It’s always amazing to me that the Gospel, as we know it, was preached so clearly in the Old Testament. They looked forward to this deliverance from sin and bondage to the law but didn’t see its fulfillment till Jesus came.
On to Psalm 48 and the name “Zion” – This word is used many times in Scripture and evokes all kinds of memories. Zion was first a Jebusite stronghold that David captured when he became king. Over a period of time the name became synonymous with the Tabernacle of David, then with the location of the Temple of Solomon, then the whole City of Jerusalem and finally even the entire Nation of Israel was referred to as Zion.
In symbolic terms, “Zion” can be thought of as the gathering of God’s people for the purposes of praise, worship, prayers, and receiving the Word of God. It has to do with the glory of God intersecting with us in a place of great beauty. Its no wonder that the Psalmist says Zion is “the joy of the whole earth”. (Psalm 48:2) When God shows up in a “Zion” kind of way, nations are drawn to His glory. “Indeed, of Zion it will be said, ‘This one and that one were born in her’”. (Psalm 87:5) Once you have been born into real praise and worship, you are part of the family of Zion and you will never be satisfied with a Christian gathering that does not exalt Jesus in worship.
1. In your own words, describe how you can be free from religious bondage or legalistic religion.
2. How does “Zion” happen in your life?