When the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem. (Luke 2:22)
How many times have you attempted to read through the Scripture and get as far as Leviticus and just give up? Well, reading through Leviticus helps us to understand why many things happen in the New Testament, including Mary. Leviticus 12 tells us what the Jewish women needed to do after giving birth for “purification”. Mary, of course, was a Jewess. Now, forward to Luke 2. It was time for her sacrifice of purification. We are told Mary had two turtledoves (or pigeons), which tells us Joseph and Mary were not affluent. The required offering was a year-old lamb, unless you could not afford one, and then the requirement was the doves. They were given to the priest and the priest would follow the sacrifice ritual for Mary’s atonement.
Be assured, the altar was not a spic ‘n span clean and shiny place. Blood was everywhere, as usual. Each person coming to the temple would have a sacrifice for whatever sin, disease, purification ritual, needed to be done. Nancy vividly reminds us:
“Fountains of blood streamed down from the altar as a means of restoring the relationship between sinful humans and a holy God. “Under the law almost everything is purified with blood,” the writer of Hebrews would later write, “and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins'” (9:22).
Do you see the link between Leviticus and this scene is Luke? Mary comes to the temple with Joseph and Baby Jesus, offering her doves to God, out of obedience to His Law. Those doves would be killed so she could be purified. And with her, was the “infant Lamb of God” who would be the Perfect Sacrifice. About 32 years later, He would be offering Himself for Mary’s sins, our sins, and the world’s sins.
This is another quote from today’s devotional reading by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth in “Consider Jesus:”
“It’s such a striking picture, made all the more precious because it reaches back so many centuries into the heaviness of the Old Testament and rushes through first-century Palestine on its way to us here today, this Christmas. It reminds us that the gospel is as old as it is new and that the blood of Jesus still purifies.”
Father, Thank you for reminding us that Jesus being the Perfect Sacrifice was the plan from before the beginning. Thank you that His blood is still purifying today, even a wretched sinner, like me. Amen.
Here is today’s part of “Away In A Manger.” I hope you enjoy!
I pray your day is blessed!