“It’s My Work”

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation…  And you shall not do any work on that very day, for it is a Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. You shall not do any work. It is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. It shall be to you a Sabbath of solemn rest.'” Leviticus 23:26-28,31-32

The Day of Atonement, when the High Priest entered behind the veil to present a sacrifice of atonement for all the people, was for the ‘recipient’ of that offering’s accomplishment a day of rest. All the bloody work was borne by the unblemished lamb, performed by the Priest, the Mediator, and those for whom it was effective were justly pronounced, without any effort of their own, atoned for. All that was needed was not theirs to do; it was for them to rest, and to receive.

Sheep looking through fence, South Africa

Subversive to our natural inclination to do something and earn a reward, we cannot contribute to our atonement; our salvation rests (and we can rest!) fully in the finished work of Christ. It’s His work. For many, this is too ‘easy’ to be adequate so it is too hard to rest in. We want to be good enough, either without the need for atonement at all, or to make some kind of recompense or restitution ourselves. But the truth is, none of us is good enough, all have fallen short, and only Jesus can atone for our sin by His perfect sacrifice. We are justified because His death on our behalf fulfilled the justice we deserve. We must never forget His gift of redemption pictured on the day of Atonement, nor neglect the great salvation His once-for-all offering of Himself has accomplished for us. Rather, we can rest fully in this work that is His and has been finished, free to love and serve without fear and with great abandon. (Psalm 14:1,3; Romans 3:23-26; Hebrews 2:3;5:9;7:27;9:12-14,26)

What works am I grasping, or wont to busy myself with, that need to be laid at the beautiful altar of sacrifice, to be covered with His blood? When will I surrender my effort in order to to rest in my Savior’s, which He completely and perfectly finished? (John 19:30)

“Not the labor of my hands can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know, could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone.                                             Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling;                                                        Naked, come to Thee for dress; helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly; wash me, Savior, or I die.”  Augustus Toplady  ~1776 

My Father, thank You for the unblemished Lamb of God Who has taken away my sin. May I ever rejoice in Your finished work, and so live in the freedom and joy and rest it brings that others want to know You and receive it also. (John 1:29)




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