Yesterday morning in Exponential2:2, the men’s discipleship group I lead, we talked at length about sin being first and foremostly a deep offense against God. That it is only secondarily an offense against ourselves or against others, and always primarily an offense against God himself.
But even as one begins to grasp the fact that sin is always primarily an offense against God, it remains difficult (for me, at least) to imagine just how deeply offensive it is without some illustration or picture of God as offended. I came across a good (or awful) illustration of it this morning in Leviticus 26:27-33, where the people of God are being warned by God himself concerning disobedience to God:
“But if in spite of this you will not listen to me, but walk contrary to me, then I will walk contrary to you in fury, and I myself will discipline you sevenfold for your sins. You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters. And I will destroy your high places and cut down your incense altars and cast your dead bodies upon the dead bodies of your idols, and my soul will abhor you. And I will lay your cities waste and will make your sanctuaries desolate, and I will not smell your pleasing aromas. And I myself will devastate the land, so that your enemies who settle in it shall be appalled at it. And I will scatter you among the nations, and I will unsheathe the sword after you, and your land shall be a desolation, and your cities shall be a waste.”
We should move from this text to the Cross. We should see God’s wrath propitiated at Calvary. But not so fast.
If we jump too quickly from this text to the cross, we will cheapen it, rob it of its force, and ignore the very reason it was recorded for us in Scripture. We are meant to linger here over the dead human bodies, stacked on top of the bodies of slaughtered animals. We are meant to linger here over the ruined, devastated cities, and over the horror of the corpses of cannibalized children until we feel the weight of our sin and realize the massive offense it is to God.
Only when we have felt this will we behold the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ in all it’s dazzling glory.