"May You Never Recover from This"
Updated: Feb 9, 2021
Week 6 in the Word
This past week we “camped” with the Israelites at Mt. Sinai where God made a covenant with them and gave them His law to govern their moral, civil, and religious life. In Matthew, we followed Jesus and the disciples into Jerusalem for the final week of His public ministry. Jesus was seen as both King and Prophet in these final days leading up to His arrest.
In this sixth week in the Word, we come to the close of Exodus and the beginning of the book of Leviticus where God unfolds more law for His people. The tabernacle and furnishings stand completed. The people and the priests receive laws about sacrifices. The priesthood is instituted. But then two priests die for disregarding God’s law. Next, we find instructions about uncleanness and leprosy.
In the New Testament, Matthew records Jesus’ Mount of Olives discourse concerning the coming judgment followed by the events surrounding the “Last Supper.” These events occur in the Garden of Gethsemane and include Jesus’ prayer, His betrayal by Judas, and His arrest.
A Warning from “Prof”
After expounding on some crucial truth, the late Dr. Howard “Prof” Hendricks would often pause and exclaim, “May you never recover from this!” He was not talking about infectious diseases, but about the need to allow great biblical principles to grip us deep in our souls. In this week’s readings, we will be discovering a constellation of truths about the gospel of Jesus Christ from which we should never recover. This constellation includes the following:
The depth of our spiritual need is worse than we think, much like the dread disease of leprosy which could infect a person throughout their body. The leper was in danger of death and was contagious to others. The sick had to be isolated from the social or religious community of healthy people.
We are powerless to change it. Like leprosy, sin is incurable apart from divine intervention. Personal discipline like diet, rest, and exercise can never bring a cure.
We need a priest. In ancient Israel, lepers had to be diagnosed by a priest. They needed an objective third party to determine their condition. If they improved, a priest would have to rule on the case. As fallen humans we are inclined to judge ourselves spiritually healed, that is, without sin and in need of nothing and no one. But our judgment is flawed.
There is a cure. By the goodness, mercy, and grace of God, Jesus came to save sinners (John 3:16).
The gospel requires repentance and faith. Jesus came announcing the kingdom of God and calling on everyone to repent and believe the gospel (Matt. 4:17; Mark 1:14-15).
The cure is complete. Jesus, our High Priest, saves all who come to Him and He saves them completely (Hebrews 7:25).
Those whom He saves serve. Jesus taught that those who are His are not apathetic. They use the talents they are given to serve the Lord living in anticipation for the return of their Master and their Bridegroom. They know they are saved only by grace through faith and not by their works, yet they serve the Lord out of gratitude and joy.
Tip. Keep the New Testament truths of the gospel before you as you read the Old. The laws in the OT can be tedious, but they remind us of how great and gracious the Lord has been in making an offering for sin that once-for-all provides forgiveness and assures us of our acceptance by God as His own children.
Week of February 5-11, 2021
February 5 /Day 36 Don’t Miss the Point (Exodus 37-38; Matthew 23:23-39) Audio here February 6 /Day 37 The Temple Destroyed (Exodus 39-40; Matthew 24:1-22) Audio here February 7 /Day 38 Can We Please God? (Leviticus 1-3; Matthew 24:23-51) Audio here February 8 /Day 39 Do Jesus’ Parables Teach Salvation by Works? (Leviticus 4-6; Matthew 25:1-30) Audio here February 9 /Day 40 The Gift Acceptable to God (Leviticus 7-9; Matthew 25:31-46) Audio here
February 10 /Day 41 Death at Church (Leviticus 10-12; Matthew 26:1-19) Audio here February 11 /Day 42 Spiritual Oblivion (Leviticus 13; Matthew 26:20-54) Audio here If you do not have a copy of my book you may want to order one here.
This week in the Word may we discover truth from which we will never recover!