READING: Numbers 28-30
Today’s reading is, for the most part, a listing of offerings and festivals and sacrifices and vows — none of which is necessarily exciting reading. In the midst of these lists, though, we learn much. First, the sacrifices were numerous, all pointing to the horror and the predominance of our sin. Second, God gave specific guidance about the sacrifices. Whether the sacrifice was grain, drink, or animal, the people were to follow God’s direction precisely. The Creator had the right to set the rules for atonement, and the people were simply to be obedient.
Third, the animal sacrifices were to be unblemished. Indeed, the phrase “without defect” (NIV) occurs fifteen times in these chapters (Num 28:3, 9, 11, 19, 31; 29:2, 8, 13, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, 36). Because the sacrifices foreshadowed the death of sinless Jesus (the “lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” [John 1:29]), the sacrificial animals were themselves to be without blemish. That’s why the people were to “Be sure the animals are without defect” (Num 28:31).
We know these truths, but I doubt we think often enough about our Redeemer who was Himself without defect. We’re grateful He was tempted in all ways like we are because He can relate to us, yet we think too little about His perfection in the face of those temptations. The enemy directly and indirectly sought to lead Jesus into sin — but to no avail. The devil aimed his arrows at the Son, but they found no landing place.
Here’s the way Charles Spurgeon, one of my favorite writers, described Jesus: "How distinctly was our Lord proved to be without blemish! Naturally born without sin, practically He lived without fault. In Him there was neither deficiency nor excess. In no virtue did He come behind, and no fault could be found in Him. The prying eyes of the prince of this world could find nothing in Him, and the still more accurate search of the all-seeing God found no fault in Him” (emphasis added).*
Jesus Christ, our sacrifice, was tempted, yet without sin (Heb 4:15). He was without defect.
ACTION STEPS: Consider these steps:
- Meditate on the perfection of Jesus today.
- Specifically thank God that Jesus never surrendered to temptation.
- When the enemy tempts you today, RUN to the One who has already defeated him.
PRAYER: “God, I praise You that Jesus is the Redeemer without defect. Thank You for Your Word that always points to Him.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Numbers 31-32