Pay Up



Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body to you as a living sacrifice.

Jesus, we belong to you. 

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. 

Leviticus 6:1–5

The Lord said to Moses: “If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the Lord by deceiving a neighbor about something entrusted to them or left in their care or about something stolen, or if they cheat their neighbor, or if they find lost property and lie about it, or if they swear falsely about any such sin that people may commit—when they sin in any of these ways and realize their guilt, they must return what they have stolen or taken by extortion, or what was entrusted to them, or the lost property they found, or whatever it was they swore falsely about. They must make restitution in full, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the owner on the day they present their guilt offering.”


We are entering the final week of the Lenten season usually referred to as Holy Week. From the Palm Sunday processional to the final Passover meal to the crucifixion and the resurrection, we will see evidence of Jesus’s sacrifice not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually. This is also the last of the five offerings from Leviticus. The guilt offering, or the asam, was sometimes referred to as the reparation offering and was given to atone for sins, but in contrast to the sin offering from last week, these were sins where restitution could and should be made. In other words, these are the sins that demand payment.

Restitution, or payment for our sins, is required because we are accountable for our obedience to God, the way we treat what is holy, and the way we treat others. Notice the connection in this passage of an offense against a neighbor and our faithfulness to the Lord? That is because when we sin, we might be able to repair or replace something that is physically damaged, but there is also relational damage, and that damage can only be fully restored through the grace of God. Over the next few days, we are going to sit with some hard passages and Jesus is going to invite us into doing the hard work of visiting the pain we caused or the pain we’ve experienced because of others. The great news is that Jesus also promises restoration when we are willing to surrender our pain to Him.

My hope is that you have been taking advantage of the invitation during this Lenten journey to understand the sacrificial system of offerings that God created for the Israelites and see how they anticipate Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice and fulfillment of God’s covenant. He was, in fact, a perfect burnt offering, grain offering, peace offering, sin offering, and guilt offering, and because God so loved the world that He gave His only Son as an atonement for sin, we no longer live under these laws. But let’s not jump to the end too quickly, because this offering reminds us that we have a debt to be paid. It reminds us that we injure our relationship with God when we are disobedient, and we injure our relationship with others when we sin against them. This week, our offering and altar story helps us learn how to surrender our pain and gain restoration so that we might respond to disappointment, grudges, and all manner of hurts in a restorative way.


Lord Jesus, steady our hearts and give us the courage to surrender our pain to You. Help us also to feel the absolute joy of knowing that You are the sacrifice that was given for our restoration. Amen.


Why do you think it was important to connect sin against another person and sin against God? How does that affect how you view sin? When you have tried to make restitution for a sin you had committed against another person, did you try to make up for it by doing more or giving back more than you took? Why or why not?

For the Awakening,
Susan Kent 

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

2 Responses

  1. Repentance includes a real effort to make restitution. It involves sincerely seeking to reconcile, repair, and restore broken relationship with God and with people. This becomes possible when we receive the mercy and forgiveness of God that was purchased by Christ on the Cross and let the risen Jesus live within us and continually empower us to love God and to love our neighbor.

  2. It seems like the flashing, illuminated sign for Leviticus 6:1–5 is don’t lie. By hook or crook, deception, or false witnessing, don’t intentionally fib.
    Growing up, my parents were adamant that I should never lie to them or I’d face the consequences. Yet, I noticed they lied abundantly.
    Our natural tendency to lie became a permanent part of humanity after the fall. We lie for many justifying reasons, or so we surmise. Sometimes, we’ll tell a little white lie to taint the truth or to spare someone hurt feelings, yet all lies are for self-preservation. What are we persevering? Aw, consequences.
    A friend gave me a pie she’d baked.
    The pie looked mouthwatering, but it wasn’t very tasty.
    “How’d you like the pie,” she asked
    “You sure bake a good pie,” I replied.
    The flavor of the pie was my opinion, not the truth or a lie. We should never express an opinion to hurt someone, and the brutal truth will never encourage another. They will not hear the truth, only the emotion of cruelty.
    Lies, like life, are about intent and motive.
    Lies are selfish. Truth is selfless.
    And whichever we proclaim, we receive.
    That is the God’s truth.

    Galatians 6:7
    Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

    Staying 💪’n Christ
    Ephesians 6:10
    Finally, be strong IN the Lord and IN His mighty power.

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