For the four Thursdays leading up to Easter, I’m going to be focusing on the reason there is a holiday: Jesus.
In my personal devotion time, I am reading through the Bible. I saw something in Leviticus that reminded me of something I had heard before that I would like to share with you. The twelfth book of Leviticus contains instructions for purification after childbirth.
“And when the days of her purifying are completed, whether for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the entrance of the tent of meeting a lamb a year old for a burnt offering, and a pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering, and he shall offer it before the LORD and make atonement for her. Then she shall be clean from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who bears a child, either male or female. And if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. And the priest shall make atonement for her, and she shall be clean.” Leviticus 12:6-8
After Mary gave birth to Jesus, she was considered unclean for thirty three days after his circumcision (Leviticus 12:3-4). Then Mary and Joseph took Jesus to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord and to give the sacrifices according to the law in Leviticus. Mary was unable to afford a lamb. She brought the two turtle doves or two pigeons (Luke 2:22-24).
The Lamb who was slain for my sins was born to a woman who could not afford a lamb for an offering.
Not only did Jesus give up everything to be human, He gave up His status and was born to a poor unwed mother (Joseph and Mary weren’t married until after the birth of Jesus. See Matthew 1:24-25, Luke 2:5). Instead of being worshipped and adored, he was scorned as the bastard child of Joseph’s fiancee. His paternal lineage is questioned to this very day.
Jesus went through that humiliation for something bigger than other people’s opinion of Him. He went through it because God loved you and me. God loved us so much that He couldn’t bear for us to be apart from Him, so He sent His Son to be our sin offering.
Mary didn’t have a lamb for her offering. She unknowingly raised the Lamb to be her ultimate sin offering and ours.