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February 25, 2004

Flesh & Blood

Leviticus 17:11
For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.

I have yet to see "The Passion of The Christ"; it opens nation-wide today - Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season. Over last few weeks there has been a lot of media coverage about the violent nature of this movie. I've seen some specials about "The Making of The Passion" and how Mel Gibson wanted this to be "shocking" in it's violence. I saw picture of the makeup being applied to Jim Caviezel and how the wounds were so open, fleshy, and bloody. So much of the controversy about this film has to do with it's bloodiness. And people want to act like it isn't necessary. But, "it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul."

Instead of the blood of a slaughtered lamb, it was the blood of God's son. Instead of an altar of stones within the temple grounds, an altar was made of a public hillside. Over the centuries, the truth given to Moses is as true today as the day he presented it.

Postcript to Friday, Feb 20: I should have heeded this morning's devotion as a warning. I found myself becoming "intoxicated" with a extended period of success in an area in my life which God has working in me. Instead of remaining resolute in my conviction and attention to the issue, I found myself not paying attention and compromising what God had been doing in me. Order has been restored, repentance and forgiveness exercized, and a serious lesson learned.

June 28, 2007

The Scarlet Thread of Redemption and Restoration

Ruth 4:13-15 (NKJV)
12 May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring which the LORD will give you from this young woman.”

13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! 15 And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.”

As we were praying today (during our BoD meetings) there was a spirit of introspection and repentance. The Lord brought me to this passage in Ruth as I recalled the words of v 15, "may he be to you a restorer of life..." These words were spoken to Naomi, a widow weary and bitter because of her perspective of how God has dealt with her in the past. As I began to meditate on this passage I skimmed the overall story of Boaz, Ruth, and Naomi. I want to try to record my observations for my personal future reference.

First, v 15 has some imagery that I'd like to connect. It's understood that Boaz is a picture of Jesus, the Kinsman Redeemer. The "he" in v 15 has an application to him. "He" also refers to the LORD "who has not left (her)." The "he" could also refer to the child born to Ruth and Boaz who brings comfort to Naomi and will sustain her, like the Holy Spirit does, and is the validation of her identity. This is so important to Naomi who feels she had lost everything. Upon her return to her homeland (Bethlehem), she is so wounded that she tell those who come to greet her to call her "Mara" - bitter. Mara(h) is the place where the bitter water became sweet after the staff had been cast into the waters - a picture of the cross removing the bitterness of sin. Now Naomi (which means "pleasant"), has experienced God's restoration and redemption. God had taken the shame of her past and honored her. This happens to the entire genealogical line of Ruth and Boaz as well.

Boaz's own family line (and Naomi's as well as a distant relative to Boaz) is filled with shame as well. His great, great, great, great-grandfather Perez was the offspring from the nearly incestuous relationship between Judah and his daughter-in-law Tamar (read the story here). Tamar's story is one of rejection and broken promises - a woman who felt forced to take her situation into her own hands. Her resulting pregnancy with twins brought forth Perez, the one who has "broken through," had the "scarlet thread" tied to him to become the holder of the birthright. The shame of Perez's conception was covered by a legacy of blessing. That "scarlet thread" of redemption now has tied Naomi and Ruth not only to Boaz, but to the Messiah who would come through this line.

The last words regarding Naomi leave her nursing the fruit of her own suffering. What a tender picture! From shame to honor, bitterness to fulfillment, breakdown to breakthrough! He is a restorer of life.

About Redemption

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to JustJeff | Life Journal in the Redemption category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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