Do we add things to Jesus’ finished work? Do we fully rest on Christ Alone for our right standing before God? It behooves us to carefully think about these questions.
You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with anything leavened . . .
What is leaven? Merriam-Webster defines it as follows: “A substance (such as yeast) that makes dough rise and become light before it is baked,” and, “something that modifies or lightens.” The essence of leaven is to cause something to change—an addition that modifies an original state.
The Bible uses the word numerous times, primarily in a negative way. For example: “Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? (1 Cor. 5:6). Or, “For seven days no leaven is to be found in your houses. If anyone eats what is leavened, that person will be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a sojourner or a native of the land” (Ex. 12:19). That’s quite a serious consequence! Why is God so severe, even to the point of cutting off people?
When we consider the totality of Scripture, the answer is given in Galatians. That book is about adding works (the Law) to Jesus’ sacrifice. Paul wrote: “Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified [seek your right standing before God] by the law; you have fallen away from grace” (Gal. 5:2-4).
The Galatians started with Christ alone for salvation. Later on, however, they were persuaded that they also needed to add works in order to have a right standing before God. Paul is clear: Nothing should be added to His finished work, lest we fall away from God’s grace. We can only hold on to Jesus. At the moment we also try to hold on to the Law, we lose Him.
Paul continued: “A little leaven leavens the whole lump” (Gal. 5:9). Even if we add just a little bit of the Law to Christ, it will ruin the purity of the gospel and the beauty of God’s grace. In light of these revealed truths, today’s verse becomes clear: there should be no addition to “the blood of my sacrifice.” Jesus’ blood is all-sufficient; it should never be “enhanced” or modified. At the moment we add anything to His finished work, we commit spiritual suicide.
The Devotional Writer
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