My road-trip through the Bible got stalled for a few weeks because I got caught up in yet another deadline — and, I’ll admit, because I’m in Leviticus, which isn’t exactly an enthralling book. Thankfully, our God is a forgiving God, and a patient God. But He’s also a consistent God. Once He asks us to do a thing, and once we agree to do it, He expects us to follow through.
He has been gently impressing upon me the need to continue this journey, and so here I am again this morning, having just read Leviticus 5 and 6. God didn’t ensure that Leviticus was in the Bible just so we could get a history lesson. It’s here because it contains truths and instruction that pertain to us even today.
Chapter 5 is all about sin offerings, and about how a person might sin without knowing it but (and this is the biggie) once the person becomes aware of the sin, s/he must repent of it. Back then, it required offering unblemished livestock, breaking the neck just-so, but not severing the head, dealing with the animal’s blood in particular ways. Now, thanks to the atonement of Jesus Christ, we have it much easier. But the concept of having to atone for our sins, even those we committed before we knew they were sins, remains the same.
Once we become aware of a gospel principle, we’re accountable for what we do with it. We don’t get to UN-know it or ignore it just because it’s not convenient or it cramps our style, or it’s something we’d rather not know. I think some of us might decide that if that’s the case, we’d rather not know at all. Maybe that’s why we slam doors in missionary faces and get angry when someone tries to testify to us about Christ. We somehow think that if we just don’t know, if we refuse to know or just refuse to believe, we’ll somehow be able to skip the hard stuff.
But that’s simply not true. Refusing to believe a truth doesn’t make it untrue. I could categorically deny that there’s oxygen in the air, refuse to listen to anyone who tells me there is oxygen in the air, and argue about it until I’m blue in the face but my stubborn refusal to believe what’s true won’t change a thing. Like it or not, there’s oxygen in the air. Like it or not, the only way to “be okay” is to atone for our sins, and for the past 2,000 years or so, the only way to do that is through Christ.