Ezekiel 18: 1—19: 14
Two things to remember this morning. First context is king. Ezekiel is not revealing a loophole where we can in fact get saved from Hell if we work righteously. He is speaking to being saved from death vs. living out the Exile as described in Jeremiah 29: 11. Secondly, remember how in the Commandments and in Deuteronomy how God told His people that the outcome of sin was so bad the impact of it would affect generations to come? Well as we sinners do, the people of Israel who are staring down the Exile have decided that they did not do anything wrong, that they are in fact victims dealing with the impact of their parents’ sin. God corrects this thinking by telling them that each soul will be judged on their own merits or failures. The funeral dirge at the end speaks to this too. God had set them up to be strong lions but because they wanted their own way, they are now planted in hard and dry ground. The branches of Israel are no longer strong enough to support a king of their own. And after the Exile there would not be another king in Israel until Jesus returns as the Scepter.
As a side note, because this popped into my head as I was reading this today…Let’s be brave and ask ourselves who we are blaming for the way our lives have turned out? Is it our parents, God, our country, our leaders? If we want to live out truth, God revealed to us all today we have to admit that the blame game is not how to get right with God.
Hebrews 9: 1-10
The Tabernacle was a visual aid to help Israel, and us, understand that we are born separated from God. (Thanks Adam and Eve) (Oops, I just said above we should stop playing the blame game, forgive me.) Anyway, the curtain or veil that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place shows us all that we cannot just barge into God’s presence without offering a sacrifice for our sins first. Blood is required because remember sin = death. God’s plan was never to have these priests do this forever for all time. It was meant to teach us what a sacrifice provided by God, to end the Tabernacle worship, would accomplish.