Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - Lev 7:26,27
"And wherever you live, you must not eat the blood of any bird
or animal. If anyone eats blood, that person must be cut off from his people"
"The life is in the blood": Lev 3:17; 7:26,27; 17:11,14; Deu
12:23. Blood is the source of life -- its red blood cells supply oxygen and
nutrients to every cell in the human body.
A very instructive contrast is intended here: Christ's blood
is a "transfusion" of life to us: "Drink my blood" (Joh 6:53-57; 1Co 11:25-27;
Mat 26:27,28). What was FORBIDDEN -- that is, the partaking of the natural
blood, of other sacrifices -- is COMMANDED of us, on a spiritual level -- in the
symbolic partaking of Christ's "blood". It is only through Christ and his shed
blood that we may have life.
And so, as the Letter to the Hebrews emphasizes time and
again, all the offerings and sacrifices of the Law of Moses could never take
away sin... BUT the one perfect sacrifice of God' Son could and did and has
taken away sin -- once and for all time, and -- prospectively, and on the basis
of faith -- for all men!
Reading 2 - Psa 106:13
"But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for
his counsel" (Psa 106:13).
This is Exo 32:8. Literally, "they made haste to forget" (AV
mg), that is, they wanted to forget! After the mighty works of Exo 14:21; 15:1
there came (starting only three days later! -- Exo 15:22) the grumblings of Exo
15:24; 16:2; 17:2; etc.
"Their problem was forgetting. And forgetting came because of
lack of understanding and of a deep intelligent impression. Day after day they
witnessed the results of God's mighty power on their behalf, and therefore lived
by sight. But the impression made upon their animal minds was faint and
superficial. They gobbled and grunted when He filled the trough, and squeaked
and squealed when He did not, but they never really knew Him" (George
Reading 3 - 1Co 15:10
"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me
was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them -- yet not I, but
the grace of God that was with me" (1Co 15:10).
"Grace must find expression in life; otherwise it is not
grace" (Karl Barth).
"I am not what I ought to be. How imperfect and deficient I
am! I am not what I wish to be, although I abhor that which is evil and would
cleave to what is good. I am not what I hope to be, but soon I shall put off
mortality, and with it all sin. Though I am not what I ought to be, nor what I
wish to be, nor yet what I hope to be, I can truly say I am not what I once was:
a slave to sin... I can heartily join with the apostle and acknowledge that by
the grace of God I am what I am!" (John Newton).
I AM WHAT I AM: May this not also be a reference to the Yahweh
Name? Paul was a manifestation of the Name (Purpose) of Yahweh, in the world of
NOT I, BUT THE GRACE OF GOD THAT WAS WITH ME: Paul is using
the familiar Hebrew idiom here: "not only... but also". "Not only did I work,
but -- especially -- the grace of God worked with me!"