...and the offering would be made for each of them.
Thoughts for Today:Paul had been instructed by the leadership of the Jerusalem church to join some men in a "purification" ritual which would demonstrate his obedience to Mosaic Law. The final act and conclusion of the "days of purification" would be to go to the temple in order to make a "sin offering." I am quite sure that Paul probably made an alternate "fellowship" rather than "sin" offering. The book of Hebrews (which some attest to his authorship), points out very clearly that Jesus is the ultimate offering for sin. Hebrews 10:11-12, "Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest [speaking of Jesus Christ] had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God [sitting down indicates the work was completed]."
Unfortunately in my opinion, the Jerusalem church (despite its many other fine attributes) was still caught up in ritualistic Jewish traditions. The point in Hebrews is for Hebrews to stop being Hebrews: "Day after day... again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins." In other words, why perform rituals that don't work (take away sin) and are completely unnecessary (Hebrews 10:14, "because by one sacrifice he [Jesus] has made perfect forever those who are being made holy").
This might on the surface seem to be an academic lesson, but is it? If I look at who I am as a Christian, what pieces of the old me and the world still remain a part of who I am. Which are unnecessary? How many have I carried forward into my new life? What traditions and practices still need to go?
Questions to Ponder:In James 1:23-24 the Bible teaches, "Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like." When you look in the mirror of Scripture, what does it tell you about change in your own life? Are you still holding onto some of your old ways and habits? Has it gotten in the way of your spiritual growth -- your spiritual maturity? Maybe it's time to stop being the old "you." Will you resolve to change?