“If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD. And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him (on his behalf) to make atonement for him.”Leviticus 1:3-4
I have heard many people say that they are a “perfectionist”, and a smile comes to my face as I think of what perfection looks like. I also giggle because the pursuit of perfection is a lofty one, one that cannot be attained by a fallible human being. We cannot expect perfection from a imperfect person, and although we can strive for it, it will always be outside of our grasp.
I recently embarked on my last class in my master’s degree program, and I really wanted to finish strong. My parents had bought me quite a special gift in anticipation of my graduation, so I knew that I had to perform. I had been waiting for this gift for quite some time, and it is a once in a lifetime type of gift. I did not take it lightly, and it only incentivized me to do my best and get the highest possible grade. I was excited to take my final class on negotiations, and I waited impatiently for the first day of class to see what the syllabus would reveal about our assignments. I thought this would be right up my alley, but the syllabus was filled to the brim with assignments and readings that made me rethink taking this class as my final elective.
I was scared about the assignments and readings, and I knew I was going to need to buckle down or I would be in danger of not passing my class. The first week started off with a bang, and I was required to interview a classmate and then make a video of me introducing my new classmate. I was also tasked to read a book, and then also conduct a negotiation via email with my new group that I had just met. Typically, in the first week you introduce yourself and get your feet wet before delving into the meat of the class. I was not sure about this class and it seemed to get progressively harder each week, and the assignments and stakes only ratcheted up as we went on. The reading was informative and quite technical, and I found myself dozing off as the book hit me in the face while I lay there reading. My quest to complete the class with a 100% was not looking well, and I was bummed when I missed 2.5 points on a weekly quiz.
My dreams of a perfect score went out the window, and I missed an additional 2.5 points on another quiz which frustrated me as I changed my answer at the last minute and should have just stuck with my first answer. I am thankful to report that those 5 points were the only points I missed all semester, and I was able to complete the class with a high score. The fear of failing pushed me to focus, and the drive for perfection motivated me to finish out strong. Although I did well, I was not flawless in any of my classes I took in my master’s program. I learned a long time ago that I am the opposite of perfect, but yet it is still a goal I pursue.
The only perfection that can be found is in Jesus Christ our Lord. As the sacrifice for our sin, nothing less than perfect would do. John 1:29 states, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” He was the spotless Lamb that was sent to earth to die for our sin. God requires perfection for the atonement of sin, and this has not changed since the time of burnt offerings. Many in this world have tried to balance their good works versus their bad works, but God does not use that scale. God’s scale has always been perfection and it requires is to accept the only solution available, His Son Jesus, the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Will you accept His perfect gift of salvation or will you attempt to reach Heaven by your own pursuit of perfection, even though it is not possible? May you come to accept the gift of the spotless Lamb, and may you not depend on your imperfection, which will only lead to eternal death in hell. Will today be the day you accept Him as your Lord and Savior?