You shall redeem with a lamb the first offspring from a donkey; and if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. You shall redeem all the firstborn of your sons. None shall appear before Me empty-handed. – Exodus 34:20
Because God had spared the first-born of Israel in the final Egyptian plague, He required at the annual Passover that every first-born male (human or animal) be dedicated to Him. In the case of an animal, it would be sacrificed but in place of killing a first-born son, a family would pay the redemption price of a half-shekel to the priests. It was in this context that God warned against an empty-handed obedience. An understanding of personal redemption required an act of sacrificial obedience.
We who belong to Christ have likewise been “passed over.” The price of our redemption, the reason we have been spared, was the sacrificial offering of God’s own Son, Jesus. If a person who claims to belong to Christ lives as if God has no claim on his life, then his is a clear, living example of an empty-handed faith.
A person may not have much, but each of us has a life, and that life belongs to God in Christ Jesus.
With complete consecration comes perfect peace. – Watchman Nee
Dr. David Pope is President and Founder of POPE Initiatives, a non-profit organization committed to providing executive-level management and support services for major global mission efforts.
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