Peace Lutheran Church Sussex, Wisconsin

Congregation at Prayer: September 10, 2023

The Catechism: The Ten Commandments—Fifth and Sixth Commandment

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — The Sacred Liturgy of the Old Testament Church — Many Christians view the Old Testament Liturgy of the Tabernacle as both works righteous and unnecessary. Some consider the material in Leviticus to be boring. Unfortunately, all of these views are misguided and fail to see how this liturgy was given by God and intended to catechize the congregation of Israel for the coming of Christ. The Burnt Offering showed the priest imputing the sin of the congregation to the sacrifice by laying his hand upon the head of the animal. In the same way, the sin of the world was imputed to Jesus. The Burnt Offering was the all-encompassing sacrifice that gave the congregation access to the presence of the Lord. In Christ’s sacrifice we all have access to God. The Sin Offering was made for specific sins, some of which were known, some of which were unknown. In any case, Christ’s offering upon the cross covers all the specific sins we have committed, even those we are unaware. The Restitution Offering taught that sin not only needed to be atoned for, but also that the devastation caused by sin needed to be made right. Jesus came to pay for sin and to restore that which had been ruined by sin. The Ministry of the Priests Begins points to the ultimate priestly ministry of Jesus. He is sanctified for His service by the shedding of His own blood on our behalf and by virtue of His atoning sacrifice upon the cross, He has the authority to intercede on our behalf before the throne of grace as the Levitical priests did for the congregation of Israel. The Profane Fire of Nadab and Abihu teaches us how seriously the Lord takes His divine service. Christ’s Word is to be preached according to the Holy Scriptures and His Sacraments are to be administered faithfully according to Christ’s institution. Anything less, profanes the Lord’s divine service even today as it did in the days of Nadab and Abihu. Every sacrifice, every offering, and every ceremonial action of the Old Testament Church finds its fulfillment in Christ and His sacrifice upon the cross. How fitting then it is that Holy Cross Day should be celebrated this week in which so many of the Old Testament prophetic allusions to Christ’s sacrifice are heard.CP230910