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The Forty-Seventh (Living Sacrifice)

I hope you had a great week! Another week done, another week closer to His return! This week we're going to take a look at an interesting topic, as you can probably tell by the title. We'll see what "a living sacrifice," means, and how we apply it to our lives.

The idea of a living sacrifice comes from Romans 12:1. In this chapter, Paul talks about using spiritual gifts to serve Yehovah and how we should act. This doesn't quite capture the whole story though, especially for those of us that are unfamiliar with giving a sacrifice. To Paul, this was a well known act, and as a result meant something different to him than it does to us. So, let's take a look at this first, to get some background.

You likely already know that sacrifices were made before Jesus' crucifixion. These were given as atonement, or reconciliation, of the sins of the person giving the sacrifice. The interesting part is when you take a look at where that process is explained (Leviticus 17:11), it specifies that the atonement is for the soul. It doesn't say the person as a whole, the spirit, or the body. Remember, we are composed of the spirit, body and soul, and the soul is where we make decisions. We choose either to let our body, our fleshly desires, the thing that connects us physically to the world, to lead our decision-making, or let our spirit, our connection to the Holy Spirit if we are believers, to lead our decision-making.

This is one key piece to us giving our bodies as a living sacrifice. Paul specifies the body, not the person as a whole, the spirit, or the soul. So, if the blood is the atonement for the soul, as Leviticus 17:11 says, and we present our body as a living sacrifice, complete with blood, our blood is then the atonement for our soul. And since we're still living, blood still pumping, this atonement is continuous. But what makes this possible? Obviously, the original sacrifice process was imperfect, being in a sinful world that was corrupted by the fall of man. There was no perfect sacrifice available to cover sins in perpetuity. Hence, the reason Jesus, Yeshua, the perfect sacrifice, came to earth to atone for our sins. But, that was to fulfill a covenant made thousands of years before.

Abraham (originally, Abram), was a righteous man who lived while Melchizedek (remember that name!) was priest (Genesis 14:18-20). Yehovah made a covenant with Abraham that He would be a blessing to all nations based on his faith and obedience (Genesis 22:18). He was willing to sacrifice his son simply based on God's word (Genesis 22:1-12), and based on that willingness, Yehovah sent His Son to be the sacrifice for our sins. Additionally, if you notice, Abraham put Isaac on the altar alive vice killing him and then putting him on the altar to burn. I may be reading too much into this, but that sounds like a living sacrifice to me!

So why do I bring up Melchizedek? Because he connects Abraham to Jesus to us. Taking a look at Hebrews 6:20, we see Jesus has become the High Priest, after the order of Melchizedek. And what did the priest do? Present the sacrifice to Yehovah to atone for the sins of the people! So as you can see, Jesus is who we provide ourselves to as the living sacrifice Paul talks about, and He presents it to God! He even told us that no one comes to the Father except by Him (John 14:6).

But I hear you, "What does that mean to me? How do I apply that to my life?" Paul gives us the answer in verse 2 of Romans 12. He tells us we are not to be conformed to the world, but to prove the will of God. We are to live by His will. In fact, Jesus used this to combat Satan in the wilderness. We are to live by the words that come from Yehovah (Matthew 4:4, Deuteronomy 8:3). These words come from His will just like our words come from our will. And our will comes from our soul. God has a purpose for each and every one of us, in fact that purpose is literally what we were made for (Ephesians 2:10).

Have you ever been given a task, or been in a job, that didn't excite you or you just weren't quite suited for? It's quite miserable, even if you try to make the best of it. You're looking to the end, when you'll no longer have to do the task/job, not getting any fulfillment out of it. God knows what you will get fulfillment from, and He knows what you are suited for. You were made for a specific part of the body of Christ, and whether you're the little toe or the heart if you let Yehovah's will dictate where you go, what you eat, who you talk to, what you do, etc., He will lead you to that part where you will be fulfilled more than any worldly purpose! You know, a lot of people look at sacrifice as causing unhappiness, but God knows what will make you happy and He wants you to be happy even more than you do. So let Him lead!

Shabbat Shalom and God bless you! I hope you have a wonderful week!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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