Thursday, May 20, 2010

Numbers 16.41-17.13, Luke 20.1-18 - Lectionary for 5/20/10 - Thursday, Easter 7

Today's readings are Numbers 16.41-17.13 and Luke 20.1-18.

"Are we all to perish?" (Numbers 17.13b, ESV).  When we see the power of the Lord as the people of Israel did in Numbers 16 and 17 we also should be moved to ask this question.  The fire of God's wrath burns against unbelief.  He rages against those who despise him, who do not believe his commands are true, who do not acknowledge his mighty power, even those who look down upon those he has appointed.  Yet we realize we are doubters.  Every last one of us enters into unbelief.  We don't really accept the Lord's rulership of all.  We reject him, like the wicked tenants in Luke 20.  So are we all to perish?  Fact is, the answer to that question is that we are.  We do not have the wherewithal to live of our own accord.  We all need atonement to be made for us.

Unlike the people of Israel who perished before Aaron was able to make atonement for their sin of unbelief, we find that our Lord has himself died in our place, that he has made atonement for us, once for all time, giving himself into death so we could live.  So it is not that we are able to live, but that he has lived and died for us.  We see this clearly in Jesus' statements in Luke 20.18.  He himself, the rejected one, is the one who is ultimately invulnerable.

This is a profound mystery.  Yes, we are all to perish.  Yes, we become immortal through the death of the immortal one who perishes in our place.  Rejoice!  Full atonement has been made on your behalf!

1 comment:

  1. good preparatory reading for Pentecost and those cut to the heart, eh?