Christian Living · Devotionals · Things I'm Learning

First Station: Hand Washing

If someone were to ask you what the Bible is all about, how would you answer? Would you say,

“It’s a story about redeeming love.”

“It’s a story about God and His people.”

“It’s an adventure story.”

“It’s a story about Jesus’ rescue mission.”

It’s all those things and more. The Bible opens in Genesis with God creating everything in existence. Men and women were created in His image, the Bible tells us, and Adam and Eve, were our first parents. God saw all He had made on Earth and called it “good.” He gave humans the power of making choices in life. God told Adam he could eat from every tree, but one in the garden.  Genesis 2:16-17 says “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Satan as a serpent sought out the couple. He deceived Eve, and she disobeyed God by eating from that tree. She gave some of the fruit to her husband and he ate as well. Their eyes were opened to their nakedness. Sin and Death entered God’s perfect world. The couple wanted to hide from God when they heard Him walking in the cool of the garden that night. Sin separated them from God, but He made a promise to Adam and Eve before they left the garden. He would send someone to crush the serpent and defeat him in the future: His Son Jesus would come to Earth on this rescue mission. The Bible says “…the wages (or cost) of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

Before Christ’s coming, the invisible Almighty God dwelled with people in the Tabernacle. He provided guidelines through Moses that members of the tribe of Levi, part of Aaron’s family, would become the ones allowed to officiate within the tent of the Tabernacle. (More can be found in Leviticus, the book covered in April 2023 edition of Today in the Word.) A rectangular fence would surround the Tabernacle, and a bronze laver stood between the fence and tent. The priests would wash at the laver before serving. Despite their cleansing, these priests could not approach God directly. They could only enter the Holy Place. A curtain separated them from God in the Most Holy Place. They would have to continually place sacrifices at the altar to atone for sin and seek forgiveness in order to have fellowship with Holy God. For more information, read “How is the Tabernacle Fulfilled in Jesus” by Steve Ham.

Do: Imagine you are one of the priests of Levi. Wash your hands as they would have done before serving in the Tabernacle.

Reflect and Engage: All humans have been tainted by that first sin. Washing at the laver symbolizes our need for spiritual cleansing that would come later for all of us through Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on the cross. Christ would die once for all sinners and fulfill the Law. His death and resurrection would end the need for keeping these ceremonial rituals, making Leviticus’ instructions obsolete. His death tore the veil, or curtain, so we can boldly approach our Father in Heaven. Jesus became our mediator and changed everything about how we humans approach the Living God.

Prayer Starter: Father God, Thank you for sending your Son Jesus on this rescue mission to save us from our sins. You fulfill Your many promises in scripture, we know full well. Thank you for making a way for us to have a relationship with You through Your only Son Jesus Christ. May Your Spirit within us reveal any sin we need to repent of that causes us to turn away from You, to run and hide, when we desperately need You. We pray as King David once did, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” In Jesus’ name.

Psalm 51:7-12

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.


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