“But Aaron and his sons made offerings on the altar of burnt offering and on the altar of incense, doing all the work of the most holy place, to make atonement for Israel, according to all that Moses the servant of God had commanded.” 1 Chronicles 6:49
The people bring their sacrifices to the priest. Those sacrifices were “the first and the best” of that which the people had to offer. The priest then performed the ritual of burnt offering which could be translated “cooked meat”. The priests make atonement by cooking meat on this most holy place, giving thanks to God. Do we realize what happened with this cooked meat? It is given to the people who gather together to receive the meal from the priest. The offering/sacrifice given to God in thankfulness is returned to the people in the form of a community meal. These sacrifices made atonement or covered over the sins of the people. Jesus, our High Priest, offers one final sacrifice, “the First and the Best” once and for all. His sacrifice offers forgiveness, a complete wiping out of sin not just a covering over. He invites all who are need of grace, are in need of forgiveness of sins to his table to receive the body and blood of the sacrifice. Oh Give Thanks to the Lord! God is a giving God, a God of blessing. All any of us has comes from God. God asks that we return a tithe, the first and best ten-percent to Him with thanksgiving, then God gives it back so that we may receive forgiveness of sins. That’s good news! O that I/we always, in every moment, in every instance realize the blessings of God, return the first and best of those blessings to Him in faith, knowing we are invited to receive those blessings again as spiritual nourishment – the forgiveness of sins – sins erased, wiped out, we are made holy and pure and able to be in the presence of God Almighty! O give thanks to the Lord for his love endures forever!