Summary: Elvis put it on everything . . . rings, necklaces, even his jet. It was more than the name of his band, it was his slogan. TCB is more than a slogan for us. It is our misson. This examination of our daily duties as priests will help you TCB!
In the 1950’s, Elvis led the rock n roll revolution. In the 1960’s he concentrated on his successful movie career. By 1968, it had been more than 7 years since he had appeared on stage in front of a live audience. The 1968 “Comeback Special” was taped in June 1968 in Burbank. It first aired on
December 3rd on NBC. It stands as one of the great moments in rock music history.
But as I have for the last 3 weeks, I remind you that Elvis’ career was not his own. In fact, he was so nervous about performing live again that the director came up with the idea of having the members of his TCB Band on stage with him. He named the band this and placed the insignia on practically everything he owned because he TCB had become his motto for life.
You will also remember that I mentioned that we too should be TCB. We have been designated as priests. And with that designation comes great responsibilities that most of us have either forgotten or have been uneducated in. So we began an examination of the daily responsibilities of the priest. These responsibilities or duties speak to us. We should be taking care of business as well.
Let me remind you what duties we have already covered:
1. Diagnose and provide remedy for sickness.
2. Transport glory.
3. Remove the ashes from our lives.
4. Keep fresh fire burning.
5. Burn the incense – or develop a persistent, saturated, passionate prayer life.
6. Replenish the Oil – with no oil there is no light, no crushing no oil, oil isn’t just for church.
And as we celebrate Easter today I want us to finish this examination of our duties as priest. The final duty that we are responsible for is found in:
36Offer a bull as an Absolution-Offering for atonement each day. Offer it on the Altar when you make atonement for it: Anoint and consecrate it. 37Make atonement for the Altar and consecrate it for seven days; the Altar will become soaked in holiness—anyone who so much as touches the Altar will become holy. 38“This is what you are to offer on the Altar: two year-old lambs each and every day, 39one lamb in the morning and the second lamb at evening.
9“On the Sabbath, sacrifice two healthy yearling lambs, together with the Drink-Offering and the Grain-Offering of four quarts of fine flour mixed with oil. 10This is the regular Sabbath Whole-Burnt-Offering, in addition to the regular Whole-Burnt-Offering and its Drink-Offering.
3And thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto Jehovah: he-lambs a year old without blemish, two day by day, for a continual burnt-offering. 4The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at even;
Each and every morning and evening the priest had to TCB. They had to approach the Brazen Altar and offer a lamb as a sacrifice. Then on the Sabbath they had to double that and offer two lambs in the morning and two lambs in the evening. This was their duty.
The last duty I want to draw your attention to is that the priest had a duty to make sacrifice.
I want to stop here and make some important points.
a. The sacrifice was not pretty.
The priest was instructed to slit the throat of the animal and catch its blood. Then they had to sprinkle the sides of the altar with the blood and then pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. This was not a pretty system. The sacrificial system was gruesome, it was brutal, and it was bloody.
Stop and think about this:
Over the course of a 12 month period when you take into consideration the daily sacrifice which would total 706 animals a year. The double sacrifice of the Sabbath adds another 96 more animals a year. The new moon sacrifice, the Passover sacrifice, the sacrifice required during the Pentecost Week, the Trumpet Feast, the Day of Atonement, and Tabernacle Sacrifice the priests by duty sacrificed almost 1300 animals each year. This was not a job for the squeamish. This was not a job for the weak stomached person. It was a gory daily task.
b. Constant sacrifice – The second thing I would say is that this sacrifice was a constant sacrifice. Every morning and every evening continually. It wasn’t a singular event. It was a lifestyle of sacrifice. They couldn’t go one day without thinking about making a sacrifice.
c. The sacrifice wasn’t the only point, obedience was equally important.
If we focus on the blood and guts of the sacrifice we miss the point. Samuel understood this. He speaks to Saul who has just lied and disobeyed the command of God to destroy the Amalekites. Saul claims they have left the cattle alive to make sacrifices to God. Samuel makes this statement, “Do you think all GOD wants are sacrifices—empty rituals just for show? He wants you to listen to him! Plain listening is the thing, not staging a lavish religious production.” Or in another version, “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.” God was more concerned about the obedience of the priest than He was with lambs and goats.