Intentional Grace for Unintentional Sin

*Today’s post came from the beginning of January.  It was during a time of break and a time when I had read a part of Leviticus in a new way.  I know that doesn’t always work well for people, but today I share with you a devotional from Leviticus.  We are back to new material tomorrow. *

I am considering petitioning to have school during Christmas break next year.  It is not that I am against family celebrations or extended family times.  It is just that it is probably the worst time to have an extended break.  This break amounts to the perfect storm of circumstances to drive parents to insanity.  First you have a holiday that involves sugar cookies, sugar candies, sugar plums and other forms of sugar.  Now, I know they say it is a myth that sugar causes children to go crazy.  If you think it is a myth, come hang out with my kids.

Secondly, it gets dark at 4:15 p.m.  That means the kids are inside for an extended period of time.  This is fine for a little while, but by the time dinner is over, it is time for a wrestling match.  Summer is far better because we can go outside after dinner and wrestle out there.

Playing Nice

Third,  it is the time of year when we experience a lot of rain.  So, even if it is not dark out, it very likely is raining.  That means they have more time in the house trying to make their siblings mad.  If you are a parent you will understand this perfectly.

There is one phrase that drives us parents crazy: “It was an accident.”  This usually comes after we hear a blood curdling scream and an “I’m sorry.”  How many times can you accidentally push down your brother?  How accidentally is it when you take a pillow and whack them over the head with it?  How genuine is the newly acquired good behavior when the child looks at you after you take something away from him and says, “well you should have told me you were going to take that away if I was naughty”?

There are legitimately times that we make mistakes and do things to people without realizing it.  I remember one time at a youth event I had the teens dress in some sort of costume surrounding a theme.  This girl came with a pirate outfit on and as a part of the event I was going to highlight those that took time to dress up.  I looked at her and said, “ok, what did you dress up as?”  She looked at me and said, “This is how I always dress.”  She never came back and she never forgot it, bringing it up to her friend often.  How am I supposed to know that she was a real pirate?  I unintentionally offended her and I did apologize, but to no avail.

We might use this sort of logic with God.  We might rationalize some sort of sin as something that was “an accident.”  “God, I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to do that.” Well, interestingly enough I want to point to the book of Leviticus for the answer to this problem. That’s right, the book of Leviticus.  This is amazing!

“If the whole Israelite community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD’s commands, even though the community is unaware of the matter, they are guilty.” Leviticus 4:13

“When a leader sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the commands of the LORD his God, he is guilty.” Leviticus 4:22

“If a member of the community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD’s commands, he is guilty.” Leviticus 4:27

There is an entire section of the law devoted to unintentional sins and the process to go through in order to make them right.  It didn’t matter whether the sin was intentional or not, it was sin. Wow!  Can you hear the implications here for us? Sin is always sin, even if you don’t know it is sin.

The good news for us is that Jesus Christ is the remedy for that sin problem.

“We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. ” – Hebrews 10:9

“Then he adds:  their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” – Hebrews 10:17

God has provided an intentional grace to deal with our unintentional sins.   This goes to show once again that our best intentions fall far short of where they need to be.

Be encouraged today in the complete forgiveness that you have in Jesus Christ.

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