Saturday, February 12, 2011

February 12 - Exodus 30:11-16

The Lord spoke to Moses:
When you take a census ... all of them
shall give a ransom for their lives to the Lord,
so that no plague may come upon them
This is what each one who is registered shall give:
half a shekel ... from twenty years old and upward ...
The rich shall not give more ... the poor shall not give less
... bring this offering to the Lord to make atonement for your lives.
[as] a reminder to the Israelites of the ransom given for your lives.
Exodus 30:11-16
Just before sitting down to write this lesson, I followed a news link, that told me that the world’s richest divorcee — $1.6 million dollars a week — has apparently blown it all. We are told that the former nude model (should have been a red flag before the marriage), spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to create in Virginia the greatest vineyard in the world ... overnight. Greed. Impatience. False visions of grandeur.
Maybe that’s why today's verses struck me. "Each person ... shall give ... half a shekel ... The rich shall not give more ... The poor shall not give less."
We are accustomed to fairness. (And surely, the rich must always pay more, right?) But apparently, God has a different accounting system. He sees all of us equally. And on the day of judgment comes -- when we don’t get to bring money, vineyards, or job titles with us -- we all will stand equal ... including, equally guilty.
Fortunately, this passage also tells us that a ransom has been made for us -- including offerings, incense, and lots and lots of blood had to be shed.
Doesn't all that bloodshed sound a little barbaric? But if it hadn’t have been for all the bloodshed through all those Hebrew centuries, maybe we wouldn’t have understood why the son of God had to shed his blood for "the ransom of your lives."
And it's only when we realize that our sin cost Jesus a whole lot, that maybe we'll acknowledge that it ought to cost each one of us too. And rich or poor, no one needs it more. And no one needs it less.
In Christ’s Love,
a guy who needs a calculator
(I owe Jesus a lot. And so do you.
And I'll bet it's the same amount ...

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