In the Old Testament, God created laws for the Israelits in regards to which foods they could and could not eat. The animals they were allowed to eat were considered “clean” and those that God said they could not eat were considered “unclean.” God gave the Israelites these laws in order to set His people apart for Himself and to be different from their neighbours who didn’t believe in God. Since God is a Holy god, God wanted His people to be holy too, by obeying His food laws (Leviticus 11:43-44). In this week’s lesson, God gave Peter a vision and He showed it to him three times so that he could understand that all animals can now be eaten for food.
Did God change? Did God make a mistake before? No, of course not! The Bible tells us that God is immutable, He is constant—which means He never changes! God did not change His mind about wanting to create separation between sin and holiness. What God wanted Peter to understand is that when Jesus died, He died for us all! He buried all our sins with Him and made all things that were once unclean clean. We as believers in Christ no longer need to follow these food laws because our sins are completely forgiven. When Jesus was raised from the dead, we as believers were raised with Him. There is no longer a separation between clean and unclean, or Jew and Gentile—which is just a fancy word for everyone else. We who believe are ONE BODY in Christ! Praise God!
We did an activity that allowed us to see how Jesus cleans our hearts and gives us new hearts when we become believers. As we wrote down our unclean sins, attitudes, and habits, we thought about just how often we did these things and how hard it is for us to be perfect, even if we desire to be good all the time. Thankfully, Jesus’ blood paid for all our sins and gives us new life with new clean hearts. After washing away our old sinful ways of living, we wrote in contrast what a clean heart would look like.
Thank God for how amazing He is, that He would save us while we were still sinners and allow Jesus to take on the punishment that we deserve. Thank God that He always forgives us for our sins when we confess them to Him and repent of them. Thank God that He made a way for us and gave us His Holy Spirit who helps us to be able to live in a way that glorifies God. And finally, let us thank God that He loves us so much that He doesn’t want us to stay unclean, but that He desires to give anyone who believes in Him a new and clean heart! When God told Peter that He made the food clean, God showed Peter that the Good News is for all people. God wants believers to tell everyone the Good News so that they can have new life with Jesus also.