Scripture Reading: Luke 2:19-24 (New International Version)

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived. “When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons”” 

Thought for the day:

In order to understand this verse, we need to look at the ‘Law of Moses’ quoted in the verse: Leviticus 12:6-8 “‘When the days of her purification for a son or daughter are over, she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting a year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a dove for a sin offering. He shall offer them before the LORD to make atonement for her, and then she will be ceremonially clean from her flow of blood. “‘These are the regulations for the woman who gives birth to a boy or a girl. If she cannot afford a lamb, she is to bring two doves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for her, and she will be clean.’”

This is just a short study for today and I only want to bring a couple of things to your attention. The law states that there is an alternative option for anyone who cannot afford the sacrifice. Instead of a lamb, the woman was entitled to bring a pigeon or a dove. From our text in Luke, it seems that Mary brought doves or pigeons and therefore we can assume that she didn’t have the money to afford a lamb. We could apply this to our experience and recognise that none of us are able ‘to purchase’ our salvation. Only Jesus could pay the debt that we owed, and we simply have to accept Him as our Saviour in order to have a right relationship with God. 

The second thing is that, in a similar way to Abraham and Isaac in Genesis, ‘The Lord will provide Himself a lamb’. Even though Mary brought the doves/pigeons, The Lamb of God was also with her. God had indeed provided not just A sacrifice, but THE sacrifice. Jesus was the Lamb of God and would take away the sin of the whole world. What a great provision we see here in this simple verse. God incarnate, deity. Jesus, the Messiah. Our Saviour!