Tuesday, July 22, 2014



Consecration of Firstborn.

The LORD spoke to Moses and said:
2 Consecrate to me every firstborn; whatever opens the womb among the Israelites, whether of human being or beast, belongs to me.
3 Moses said to the people, “Remember this day on which you came out of Egypt, out of a house of slavery. For it was with a strong hand that the LORD brought you out from there. Nothing made with leaven may be eaten.
4 This day on which you are going out is in the month of Abib.
5 Therefore, when the LORD, your God, has brought you into the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perrizites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he swore to your ancestors to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, you will perform the following service in this month.
6 For seven days you will eat unleavened bread, and the seventh day will also be a festival to the LORD.
7 Unleavened bread may be eaten during the seven days, but nothing leavened and no leaven may be found in your possession in all your territory.
8 And on that day you will explain to your son, ‘This is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.’
9 It will be like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead, so that the teaching of the LORD will be on your lips: with a strong hand the LORD brought you out of Egypt.
10 You will keep this statute at its appointed time from year to year.
11 “When the LORD, your God, has brought you into the land of the Canaanites, just as he swore to you and your ancestors, and gives it to you,
12 d you will dedicate to the LORD every newborn that opens the womb; and every firstborn male of your animals will belong to the LORD.
13 Every firstborn of a donkey you will ransom with a sheep. If you do not ransom it, you will break its neck. Every human firstborn of your sons you must ransom.
14 And when your son asks you later on, ‘What does this mean?’ you will tell him, ‘With a strong hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of a house of slavery.
15 When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the LORD killed every firstborn in the land of Egypt, the firstborn of human being and beast alike. That is why I sacrifice to the LORD every male that opens the womb, and why I ransom every firstborn of my sons.’
16 It will be like a sign on your hand and a band on your forehead that with a strong hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt.”
                                                                Exodus, chapter 13

Redemption is not a one time payment that gets us off the hook because the Son of God died for us.  Redemption is a continual relationship with the Son of God who like Isaac and Moses was given a higher form of life that He shares with us at every moment of our existence.
Redemption does not come from the sacrificial act of dying for us.  No.  Even that is not a high enough price for us to be redeemed.  We are redeemed in the fulfillment of the law dictated to Moses that the first born human son had to be redeemed.  God would have violated his own law had He sacrificed His first born Son, once and for all.  How could we be redeemed by an act that would be a disobedience of the law by the very one who had promulgated it?

Abraham could not sacrifice Isaac for the good of the descendants of his father because Abraham did not have the authority to raise Isaac to a universal, life giving existence.
Moses had to live a human life for the salvation of the people so that they could all get their reward.  Moses did not just save the human lives of the people, but continues now, by the Grace of God, to serve as a spiritual sign for their well-being.  Sadly, they do not recognize the life that being redeemed gives.

It has a special meaning when we call Jesus the Lamb of God.  He is the One Human Being whom God Himself sacrificed as His first born, unblemished male offspring.  God did what he could, and the real mystery of redemption is that God the Father found to a way to sacrifice His First Born Son, redeem His human sons in the process and exult His Son and His people to a new level of life beyond the sacrifice. 

Yes, Jesus, human and divine, was sacrificed and redeemed by His Father and in the process they redeemed their people. 

This is not a difficult conclusion to reach for the human who is open to listening to the words of Jesus peppered all through the Gospel.  There are at least two ways to say that “Whoever saves his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will save it.”  (Matt. 6:25 | 10:39 | 16:25.
Mark 8:35 and Luke 9:22 – 27)  It is sure that in that mix there are some first born males to be found.  Also, for sure, some first born females are a part of that wondrous mix.  ALL of whom are told the same thing, that it is in and through the sacrifice of Jesus joined to ours that we are redeemed.  God the Father and God the Son have shown us the way to do it.  You heard me right, it is a WAY to do it, not a $1,000,000,000,000,000.00 ransom.  It is the WAY to the LIFE lived in the LIGHT of the TRUTH. (John 14, 6)

You see, our Redemption is the complete package of Sacrifice and Resurrection.  Our Redemption is a life consecrated and dedicated to God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Our Redemption is the grace of living life in an on-going relationship with The ONE who gave His life so that He might find a better one.  By doing this He taught us that His promise is true, “Lose it to Find it.”

This is not a single historical event that took place in a small country of the Middle East 2,000 years ago. This is the on-going, dynamic history of Salvation that has been going on now for thousands of years.  God, His Son and His Holy Spirit are outside of history.  We err when we use history to define God.  We err when we reduce the existence and the acts of Jesus to carpentry and ransom aimed at “Redeeming” us.  Redemption is much more than being sprung out on bail.  Redemption is participating in the sacrifice of the Lamb in obedience to the Father (The Holy Eucharist) in order to have the spiritual strength and enlightenment (Their Holy Spirit) to live a life of missionary zeal as their apostles in their company.

It is a rare moment when I write more than 1,000 words.  One of you got me going on this the other night.  I figured that if I write something long enough, I’ll have time to do something else while you all spend time reading this.

Before I call down God’s blessing of peace and joy on you all I insist on reminding you to not even think of crying at my funeral.
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