“To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.”
– Proverbs 21:3
In Leviticus, God gives specific instructions to Moses and the people regarding sacrifices. They were to be done in the Lord’s prescribed manner, without deviation. Concerning the trespass offering, it was required when the person realized they had sinned. It was then that they became guilty. This, then, is the beauty of the law. It brings each person individually to a place where sin can be exposed. And, it reveals our need for atonement through the blood of Jesus the Christ.
These sacrifices at one time had deep inward personal meaning for the individual. As time past, however, we see in the Bible how the sacrifices simply became religious rituals done habitually. No longer was the inward heart intent on being part of the outward action. It has been rightly said, “external acts of worship, though according to biblical prescription, are repulsive to God when the heart of the worshiper is wicked.” Sacrifice done in this manner has then become an “abomination to the Lord.”
As Jesus set His heart to go to Jerusalem as the perfect sacrifice, a lawyer approached Him on the journey. This lawyer asked what he must do to receive the inheritance of eternal life. Jesus’ reply was straightforward, “what does the law say?” The man gave the correct answer, but it was said with no passion or compassion. It was the right answer with the wrong heart. He repeated the letter of the law without interpreting the spirit of it. There was head knowledge but no heart knowledge. When Jesus finished the conversation with this scribe, the final words said were “go and do likewise.” Go live for the Lord and others with unconditional love.
Living for the Lord, loving Him and others is the person that has a changed heart. That is the person who does righteousness and justice. The heart of the “Good Samaritan” is the heart of Christ. You can only obtain that heart when Jesus becomes your Lord and Savior. Where do you find yourself today? Are you busy with religious activity for yourself or a compassionate heart of God for others?
“The Samaritan’s one deed of mercy has inspired sacrificial ministry all over the world.”
– Warren Wiersbe