They brought Him (Jesus) up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord…and to offer a sacrifice…a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. Luke 2:22b, 24 (NASB)
Climbing to the upper level of Grandpa’s barn, my cousin and I were excited because we had never been that high before. As I turned around, I noticed a nest with two tiny birds. We called down to tell Grandpa, but he warned us,
“Don’t touch those baby turtledoves or their mother will not take care of them. They will die.”
Later, Grandpa explained that if our human scent contaminated the baby birds, their mother would abandon them and they would starve to death.
As I reflect upon that childhood memory, I am reminded that Jesus left the perfection of heaven to be born into our fallen, human world. Under the Law, every firstborn male baby was called holy to the Lord and a sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or pigeons was to be offered.
How ironic that my human touch would result in the death of the baby turtledoves I found, but turtledoves were offered as a sacrifice for the baby Jesus.
The Old Testament sacrificial system required that sacrifices be made repeatedly for the sins of the people. But in the New Testament Jesus shed His blood as the final sacrifice for our sins and ushered in the new covenant. There is no longer a need for the shedding of the blood of birds and animals because Jesus’ sacrifice satisfied God’s anger toward our sins. We have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. When He touches us, we come to life.
Father, as we celebrate Jesus’ birth, may we remember His sacrifice for us.
© 2013 Diane E. Hussey