by Rev Jason Phua
Bible Readings: Ezekiel 45:13-46:24; Proverbs 28:11
READ (Verse chosen for reflection)
Ezekiel 45:17 “It shall be the prince’s duty to furnish the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and drink offerings, at the feasts, the new moons, and the Sabbaths, all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel: he shall provide the sin offerings, grain offerings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings, to make atonement on behalf of the house of Israel.”
Who is this “prince”? He couldn’t be the Messiah since Jesus would never be asked to furnish the various types of offering in God’s temple. Furthermore, such a temple as described in Ezekiel 40-48 was never found in other biblical references. No less, if we take this figuratively, it could mean that the prince was a “type” of Christ that represented God’s unfailing mercy and love for His people. God’s mercy and love for His people is perfectly fulfilled as Jesus the Christ atoned for all sins through the offering of Himself as the perfect sacrifice. Even as Israel sinned grievously against God; God was relentless in providing them the message of hope through the prophet Ezekiel.
We can never fully comprehend God’s love and mercy for us because we know precisely what we are capable of. Some of us might still be struggling with the one sin that seems so difficult to overcome and wonder if God will eventually forsake us to our dark deed. When we think in this manner, we are not really helping ourselves to know God better; or to get closer to He who is Love. For our holiness does not depend on what we have done or are trying to do; but on what Christ did and how we are subjecting ourselves to His Lordship. Only Christ can save and the only way for us to lead holy lives is to consistently surrender and bow down in faith to He who is able. As Hebrews 4:15-16 says: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
God of mercy and love, help us to understand what it means to draw near to the throne of grace, even as we feel that we might not be able to overcome. Amen.