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May 3 Today’s Reading: 1 Chronicles 6-7
“To Make an Atonement for Israel”
1 Chronicles 6:49
1st Chronicles 6 gives us the genealogy of Levi. How defective and fluctuating that legal priesthood of Israel was. — “And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death.” Reading of that priesthood that is no more, that priesthood that could never put away sin by all their countless sacrifices, how we ought to rejoice and give thanks to our God for him who continues forever an unchangeable Priest over the house of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, who is able to save to the uttermost all who come to God by him (Hebrews 7:4-25).
David appointed specific men to lead singing in the house of God, “after that the ark had rest;” and their singing was all about God’s greatness, God’s glory, and God’s salvation, everything looking to the mercy-seat and the atonement blood on the mercy-seat. So it should be in all our solemn assemblies. Let us speak to one another and to our God in “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts unto the Lord.” And let every song be filled with Jehovah’s praise, giving thanks to God for his great salvation through the blood and righteousness of his dear Son, our great Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Sons of Levi
As we behold the sons of Levi and remember their sacrifices to the Lord, Spirit of God, give us grace to remember our great Savior, who made his soul an offering for sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, and lift our hearts with joy to him in songs of praise and thanksgiving. How thankful we ought to be to and for the Lord Jesus, typified by these men, who wears a vesture dipped in blood and ever lives to make intercession for us by the will of God! He is our almighty, effectual, saving Priest of a better covenant, established upon better promises. The law made men priests which had infirmities; but Christ is our perfect, holy Priest, consecrated with an oath by him that swore and will not repent, “that thou art a priest forever, after the order of Melchisedec.” He takes our cause, our persons, our poor offerings, all that we have, and all that we are into his nail-pierced hands, and perpetually presents us an offering acceptable and well-pleasing to God, — acceptable and well-pleasing to God by the merits of his blood and righteousness, — acceptable and well-pleasing to God in union with himself!
1st Chronicles 7 continues with genealogical records. In the short span of these first seven chapters thousands of men, their lives, and their deaths are covered in a few short pages. How insignificant man is! What is your life? Nothing but a vapor that appears for a brief time and then vanishes away! Not even the memory of a man’s name commonly survives a generation or two. How utterly meaningless and insignificant is man!
Yet, the Son of God became one of us, “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us,” that he might save poor, worthless sinners like you and me, that he might make of vanishing, sinful mists sons of God forever!
Carry from our reading today the words of 1st Chronicles 6:49, “to make an atonement for Israel.” May God the Holy Spirit inscribe these words upon our hearts and memories. The atonement made by Aaron and his sons for Israel pointed to the death of our Lord Jesus Christ to make atonement for his elect, the Israel of God.
The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died upon the cross more than 2000 years ago. Though he was crucified by the hands of wicked men, he died according to the will and purpose of God (Acts 2:23). He died as a sin-atoning substitute for a specific people (Isaiah 53:8). By his death upon the cursed tree, the Son of God finished the work of atonement (John 19:30), brought in an everlasting righteousness (Daniel 9:24), obtained eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12), and purchased an inheritance in heaven (Ephesians 1:11) for somebody. Without question, all for whom he died shall be saved by his blood and enter into heaven at last, because “He shall not fail!” — “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.” His blood was not shed in vain. All for whom the Savior died must be saved! But, for whom did he die? Did the Lord Jesus Christ die for you?
He died for his sheep (John 10:11), for God’s elect. Is it not absurd to imagine that he died for those who were already in hell when he died? Christ died for those for whom he makes intercession. He makes intercession for some, but not for others (John 17:9, 20). Do you not think it ridiculous to hear men declare that the Son of God died for people for whom he refused to pray? — The Lord Jesus Christ died and made atonement for all who trust him. If you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, he died for you. Your faith in him is both the gift of his grace and the proof of his grace to you (Hebrews 11:1).