God appointed Aaron, the brother of Moses, to be the first high priest of the Jewish nation. After Moses followed God’s instructions in anointing Aaron and his sons, Aaron was then able to offer the prescribed sacrifices to God, Everything offered had to be without blemish or the sacrifice was not acceptable. These were offered on the altar and when they were offered properly, God would accept them as a sweet smelling sacrifice and forgive the sins of the people. Aaron understood the weakness of the people and their inability to refrain from disobedience. He suffered from the same weakness. (Read Exodus 32 for that story). So he could have empathy and compassion on the people as he offered the sacrifices for both his and their sins. This was a temporary fix that God allowed until a true sacrifice could be given.There is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood, Since sin came into the world through the disobedience of the first man, Adam, complete permanent remission of sin would have to wait on the sacrifice of a perfect man, Jesus Christ.
32 “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! 33 And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! 34 And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.35 “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. 36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.–Luke 6: 32-36 (NLT)
What is compassion? Is it not just love? I once heard a preacher give this comparison of love and compassion. If you are watching your toddler try to climb upon a sofa and he fails repeatedly, love says to to help him. Compassion says to let him keeping trying until he succeeds. So, compassion comes from a deeper place than love. Love, like sympathy, leads us to feel sorry for someone else’s misfortunes. Compassion is more like empathy. It gives us the ability to understand and, yes, even to share the feelings of another person. I can sympathize with others, but I really need to work on “emphasizing”. So, compassion must be at least a two headed entity. I could watch as my children tried and tried until they succeeded. But I have problems “weeping with those who weep” Romans 12:15. I want to learn to be compassionate because Jesus says we must be compassionate. Pray that I will let God’s Spirit do that work in me.