Last week as I was reading my Bible, I came across a gripping passage that caused me to reflect on the beauty of the gospel. In Ezekiel 44:28, God describes the inheritance of the Leviticus priests,
“I am to be the only inheritance the priests have. You are to give them no possession in Israel; I will be their possession."
Now at first glance this may not be that interesting. How does the inheritance of a Levitical priest over 4,000 years ago impact my life at all today?
Great question! In reading the Old Testament, there are two questions we should always seek to answer:
1. What is the original author trying to communicate to his original audience? In other words, what did this passage mean to Israel at their time and in their culture?
2. How is Jesus revealed through this passage? I would argue that for followers of Jesus this is the most important question we could ask. After all, Jesus himself indicates that the grand narrative of the Bible is fulfilled in him (cf. Matt. 5:17; Luke 24:44)
It is important to always answer both of these questions in order. To mess up the order may be to unintentionally distort its meaning and application for our lives. My intention in this short post is to answer the second question by briefly examining how Ezekiel 44:28 can encourage our love and faith in Jesus.
How is Christ revealed in this passage and how does this impact my life?
The most direct answer to this question is found in 1 Peter 2:9,
"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."
The Levitical priesthood was required to have no inheritance in the land that God was providing for all the other tribes of Israel. He alone was to be their only inheritance and prized possession (cf. Num. 18:20). Their financial provisions were to come directly from the other tribes (cf. Num. 18:8-14). But in 1 Peter, the priesthood is no longer limited to one tribe, but now is available to all who call upon the name of Jesus as Lord.
We are now the priesthood!
Just as God was to be the inheritance to the tribe of Levi, we too find our complete inheritance in Christ.
We belong to Jesus, our God and King! He is our possession and we are his!
Our God delights in us, therefore we are to solely delight in him! But are we always satisfied and thankful to have no inheritance or portion in this world, but to be completely content by having Jesus as our sole possession? Do we try to fit Jesus into what this world is doing, or with my other interests which are committed to controlling my affections? Is Jesus simply a means to an end, or is Jesus the end itself?
These are important questions to answer because they will dictate if we are following King Jesus or being led to follow something false and potentially destructive. As long as we are diligently seeking earthly possessions we will miss and reject the only possession worth our affections: Jesus! With a thankful heart, let's give Jesus the recognition and proclaim his praises today because he has brought us from death to life. Let’s be thankful for God’s provision in our lives. In wealth or poverty, health or sickness, life or death let us continuously return to the grace of our great Lord Jesus!