Lent Devotional: Leviticus 26:40-45
by Jonathan Haefs
Leviticus 26:40-45 (click here)
…if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers in their treachery that they committed against me…
…then I will remember my covenant with Jacob, and I will remember my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham… (Leviticus 26:40 and 42)
Do Christians need to practice confession? Is there a place for repentance in the Christian life?
When we read a passage like Leviticus 26:40-45, I think it is easy for us to dismiss it as something belonging to the Old Covenant that has no application for us today. I mean, God is warning his people about what will happen to them if they forsake him… the wrath they will endure unless they repent and return.
But as Christians… hasn’t Christ borne the wrath we deserved upon himself on the cross? Isn’t all of our sin covered? When we initially repented and trusted in Jesus… didn’t that take care of all our sin past, present and future?
The answer to all of those questions and a resounding YES!
So why would we ever need to confess or repent of sin again if “it is finished”?
Scripture’s response to this query is to declare that yes… we have a permanent union with the triune God through the cross of Christ… AND we also experience a daily, dynamic communion with the triune God that is not static!
In other words, when we sin as Christians our union with God is not affected. He is still our father and we are still his children, but we absolutely experience a break in communion! It is through repentance, turning again from our sin back to communion with Christ, that our communion is restored and we experience what Christ achieved on the cross in real time!
Jesus himself calls Christians to experience this restoration of communion through repentance in Revelation 3:19-20, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Jesus is speaking to Christians who have “shut him out” through their sin. They are not communing together… and he calls them to repent… to turn back to him!
Repentance and faith are the inhale and exhale of the Christian life! I live turning from sin and self to Christ!
So be encouraged today, Christian! Repentance is not a call to beat yourself and wallow in guilt and shame… no… it is a call of hope! It is a call to turn back to your first love and experience his embrace of grace again and again! It is a call to experience true life in Christ!
Paul’s call of repentance to the Corinthians Christians says it best. 2 Corinthians 7:9-10, “…I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”