Suffering the Reproach with Christ!
Hebrews 13:9-16, Leviticus 4:1-12
Think about the sacrifices our men made on (D-Day) June 6, 1944. Also the death of President Ronald Reagan who died on June 6, 2004. Dan Rather said, “may we always remember him when the west wind blows.”
Also, remember to pray for our country to come back to God and acknowledging that Jesus Christ, His Son is Lord of Lords.
In the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, Americans received word that three years of concerted war efforts had finally culminated in D-day — military jargon for the undisclosed time of a planned British and American action. During the night, over 5,300 ships and 11,000 planes had crossed the English Channel and landed on the beaches of Normandy. The goal of every soldier and civilian involved in that effort was to drive the German military back to Berlin by opening a western front in Europe.
General Dwight David Eisenhower was in command of the invasion, which was code-named Operation Overlord. Just months prior, the 1915 West Point graduate had led the invasion of French North Africa. The U.S. entered the war without the infrastructure and logistical support necessary to win. To overcome this deficit, Americans worked around the clock. Donald Nelson, Chairman of the War Production Board from 1942-1944, said, “The American war-production job was probably the greatest collective achievement of all time.”1
Sixty million Americans mobilized to win the war. They held concerts and sold war bonds to raise money; rationed foodstuffs and gasoline; and salvaged scrap metal to transform it into machinery. Civilians produced everything from guns to socks for the men in the field — 25 billion rounds of 30 caliber ammunition, over 88,000 tanks, and 460,000,000 pounds of cabbage. Every twenty-four hours, factory workers rolled five new B-26 bombers off of the assembly line. At the Higgins plant in New Orleans, the first fully-integrated work force in the U.S. produced 20,094 newly-conceived landing craft, 1,500 of which put troops ashore on D-Day.
At about 3:00 A.M. on D-Day, on the four-meter swells of the English Channel, Allied troops transferred to those landing craft, some twelve miles off the French coast. British troops headed left toward Caen, the Americans right toward Utah and Omaha beaches nearer Cherbourg. For the Americans, Omaha was a near-suicide mission. First, a powerful undertow swept away lives and weapons; ten landing craft with twenty-six artillery guns and twenty-two of twenty-nine tanks were swamped. Then, they faced a maelstrom of bullets. Within ten minutes of landing every officer and sergeant of the 116th Regiment was dead or wounded. Yet, by 10 A.M., as Americans received the first news of D-Day, 300 men had struggled through mortar fire, across the body and equipment strewn beach, and up a bluff to attack the German defenses. By nightfall, the Allies had a toehold on the continent, yet, on “Bloody Omaha” alone, 3,000 Americans lay dead. The Library of Congress, Today in History.
This is truly a picture to be seen and worth a thousand words. These Hebrew children lost their temple, priesthood and sacrifices only to gain Christ, which is far greater.
You will recall that Christ rejected the temple and called it a den of thieves (Mathew 21:13).
He also rejected Jerusalem because He was crucified outside the gate (John 19:20).
This tells us that Hebrews was written before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Because Jesus was outside the camp.
Here we see the comparison of the Old Testament sacrifices made by the priests with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ; since both suffered outside the camp.
Leviticus 16:27, “And the bullock for the sin offering, and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the holy place, shall one carry forth without the camp; and they shall burn in the fire their skins, and their flesh, and their dung.” Read Leviticus 4:12, 21.
The Hebrew was being tempted to go back to their old sacrifices and ritualism of Judaism, but, Paul gives and adamant “no” and tells them to go without the camp and suffer the reproach with Christ. Luke 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
1 Timothy 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
Hebrews 11:26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. 13:13, Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
This is a wonderful message to us: as we go “within the veil,” we have fellowship with Christ Himself. And as we go without the camp we become witnesses for Christ.
Here is an important lesson for us: As the Old Testament Christians gave their sacrifices, so too must we offer our spiritual sacrifices for Jesus.
1 Peter 2:5, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”
Not the bloody offerings they offered such as the blood of lambs and bullocks, but those which are the offerings of the heart, such as the sacrifices of prayer and praise.
As there is a priest, there is also involved the notion of a sacrifice; but that which is offered is such as all Christians offer to God, proceeding from the heart, and breathed forth from the lips, and in a holy life. It is called sacrifice, not because it makes penance for sin, but because it is of the nature of worship. Barnes Notes
Look at verse 15. These sacrifices were not designed to make peace or friendship with God, but to preserve it.
Burnt-offerings, sin-offerings, and trespass-offerings, were all on account of sin, and were designed to remove or cover the transgression, but their peace-offerings were regarded as friendship with God, and the oblation was a sign of a thankful confession for blessings in the past.
Now, here is a thought: I believe they gave these offerings so that future blessings, favors and friendship with God can be assured. It also tells us that our praise is such a sacrifice; to assure blessings, favor and friendship with God. WOW!
Read Leviticus 4:1-12. The blood is all about the Blood of Christ. Only Jesus has this blood, so we ought never to quit preaching or talking about it.
The fat pictures prosperity, goodness and righteousness. Jesus is all of these. So this is talking about Jesus Christ. The Kidney is a picture of the purity of the Blood of Christ.
They were to take the Bullock out of the camp where it is clean and then burn it there. Burn all the fat – picturing our own abilities, talents or gifts. Burn them up because God wants us and not our talents.
When you burn there will be a bad odor and that is a picture of our condition in the world. They do not like the sweet savor-smell of God in the world.
Here is a thought: good Christians will never smell good to the world. In other words, good Christians will never be in favor with or be loved by the world.
To be a living sacrifice for Christ does mean exactly that and we must be ready to lose friends, get hurt, be troubled and even to give our body as a living sacrifice for Jesus.
Sitting majestically atop the highest hill in Toledo, Spain, is the Alcazar, a 16th-century fortress. In the civil war of the 1930s, the Alcazar became a battleground when the Loyalists tried to oust the Nationalists, who held the fortress. During one dramatic episode of the war, the Nationalist leader received a phone call while in his office at the Alcazar. It was from his son, who had been captured by the Loyalists. The ultimatum: If the father didn’t surrender the Alcazar to them, they would kill his son. The father weighed his options. After a long pause and with a heavy heart, he said to his son, “Then die like a man.” Daily Walk, April 16, 1992.
God’s way is not only the best and only way, but it is always the right way; though it may not always be the easy way,
Ephesians 5:18-19, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;”
Psalm 27:6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
Psalm 69:30-31, I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.
SPIRITUAL SACRIFICE OF OUR BODIES
Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
The story is told that Cyrus, the founder of the Persian Empire, once had captured a prince and his family. When they came before him, the monarch asked the prisoner, “What will you give me if I release you?” “The half of my wealth,” was his reply. “And if I release your children?” “Everything I possess.” “And if I release your wife?” “Your Majesty, I will give myself.” Cyrus was so moved by his devotion that he freed them all. As they returned home, the prince said to his wife, “Wasn’t Cyrus a handsome man!” With a look of deep love for her husband, she said to him, “I didn’t notice. I could only keep my eyes on you- -the one who was willing to give himself for me.”
It is said that on his retreat from Greece after his great military expedition there, King Xerxes boarded a Phoenician ship along with a number of his Persian troops. But a fearful storm came up, and the captain told Xerxes there was no hope unless the ship’s load was substantially lightened. The king turned to his fellow Persians on deck and said, “It is on you that my safety depends. Now let some of you show your regard for your king.” A number of the men bowed to Xerxes and threw themselves overboard! Lightened of its load, the ship made it safely to harbor. Xerxes immediately ordered that a golden crown be given to the pilot for preserving the king’s life — then ordered the man beheaded for causing the loss of so many Persian lives! Today in the Word, July 11, 1993.
SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES OF BALANCED PRAYER
Psalm 141:2-3, “Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.”
He means the passion he used in prayer: referring to the sacrifices by God’s commandment offered in the old law.
Incense was offered every morning and evening before the Lord, on the golden altar, before the veil of the sanctuary.
He appears to have been at a distance from the sanctuary, and therefore could not perform the Divine worship in the way prescribed by the law.
What could he do? If he could not worship according to the letter of the law, he will do it according to the spirit; then prayer is accepted in the place of incense; and the lifting up of his hands, in gratitude and self-dedication to God, is accepted in the place of the evening sacrifices.
THE SPIRITUAL SACRIFICE OF A BROKEN HEART
Psalm 51:17, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
These words are very expressive. They signify exactly the same as: to break into pieces; to reduce into splinters; to pound out thin, such as the beating of metal into thin plates.
So, the spirit and the heart are broken all to pieces, or stamped and beaten out, these are the sacrifices which God requires and these ‘thou wilt not despise.’
In his retirement, Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia. Because Jefferson trusted that students would take their studies seriously, the code of discipline was lax. Unfortunately, his trust proved misplaced when the misbehavior of students led to a riot in which professors who tried to restore order were attacked. The following day a meeting was held between the university’s board, of which Jefferson was a member, and defiant students. Jefferson began by saying, “This is one of the most painful events of my life,” was overcome by emotion, and burst into tears. Another board member asked the rioters to come forward and give their names. Nearly every one did. Later, one of them said, “It was not Mr. Jefferson’s words, but his tears.” Today in the Word, March 29, 1993.
THE SPIRITUAL SACRIFICE OF BRINGING A SOUL TO CHRIST
Romans 15:16, “That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering (sacrificing) up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.”
Some more information D-Day Operations
The invasion itself gave prominence to land forces but provided major roles for air and sea components. Allied air forces carried three airborne divisions into battle, protected the force as it crossed the English Channel, and attacked targets throughout the invasion area before and after the landing in support of the assault forces. More than 5,000 ships–from battleships to landing craft–carried, escorted and landed the assault force along the Normandy coast. Once the force was landed, naval gunfire provided critical support for the soldiers as they fought their way across the beaches.
In the invasion’s early hours, more than 1,000 transports dropped paratroopers to secure the flanks and beach exits of the assault area. Amphibious craft landed some 130,000 troops on five beaches along 50 miles of Normandy coast between the Cotentin Peninsula and the Orne River while the air forces controlled the skies overhead. In the eastern zone, the British and Canadians landed on GOLD, JUNO and SWORD Beaches. The Americans landed on two beaches in the west–UTAH and OMAHA. As the Allies came ashore, they took the first steps on the final road to victory in Europe.
The landing by regiments of the 1st and 29th Infantry divisions and Army Rangers on OMAHA Beach was even more difficult than expected. When the first wave landed at 6:30 a.m., the men found that naval gunfire and prelanding air bombardments had not softened German defenses or resistance. Along the 7,000 yards of Normandy shore German defenses were as close to that of an Atlantic Wall as any of the beaches. Enemy positions that looked down from bluffs as high as 170 feet, and water and beach obstacles strewn across the narrow strip of beach, stopped the assault at the water’s edge for much of the morning of D-Day.
By mid-morning, initial reports painted such a bleak portrait of beachhead conditions that Lt. Gen. Omar Bradley, United States First Army commander, considered pulling off the beach and landing troops elsewhere along the coast. However, during these dark hours, bravery and initiative came to the fore. As soldiers struggled, one leader told his men that two types of people would stay on the beach–the dead and those going to die–so they’d better get the hell out of there, and they did.
Slowly, as individuals and then in groups, soldiers began to cross the fire-swept beach. Supported by Allied naval gunfire from destroyers steaming dangerously close to shore, the American infantrymen gained the heights and beach exits and drove the enemy inland. By D-Day’s end V Corps had a tenuous toehold on the Normandy coast, and the force consolidated to protect its gains and prepare for the next step on the road to Germany.
In the predawn darkness of June 6, the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions were air dropped behind UTAH Beach to secure four causeways across a flooded area directly behind the beach and to protect the invasion’s western flank. Numerous factors caused the paratroopers to miss their drop zones and become scattered across the Norman countryside. However, throughout the night and into the day the airborne troops gathered and organized themselves and went on to accomplish their missions. Ironically, the paratroopers’ wide dispersion benefited the invasion. With paratroopers in so many places, the Germans never developed adequate responses to the airborne and amphibious assaults.
The 4th Infantry Division was assigned to take UTAH Beach. In contrast with OMAHA Beach, the 4th Division’s landing went smoothly. The first wave landed 2,000 yards south of the planned beach–one of the Allies’ more fortuitous opportunities on D-Day. The original beach was heavily defended in comparison to the light resistance and few fixed defenses encountered on the new beach. After a personal reconnaissance, Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr., who accompanied the first wave, decided to exploit the opportunity and altered the original plan. He ordered that landing craft carrying the successive assault waves land reinforcements, equipment and supplies to capitalize on the first wave’s success. Within hours, the beachhead was secured and the 4th Division started inland to contact the airborne divisions scattered across its front. As in the OMAHA zone, at day’s end the UTAH Beach forces had not gained all of their planned objectives. However, a lodgment was secured, and, most important, once again the American soldier’s resourcefulness and initiative had rescued the operation from floundering along the Normandy coast. Sources: D-Day, The 6th of June, Center of Military History Map Guide, Washington, D.C. 1994 Normandy, U.S. Army Campaigns of World War II pamphlet, Center of Military History, Washington, D.C. 1994.