Search

Breaking with the Bad Leviticus 16:14-17



Originally this lesson was shared with the inmates at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City, Indiana during the General Christian service. The outline here is in the format of my speaking notes. It is written here as it was delivered to that audience. Hopefully you can track my thoughts.


Introduction

While I was off work, I binge watched the hit TV series, “Breaking Bad.” Over the course of five seasons and sixty-two episodes viewers were captivated by the main character, Mr. Walter White. We are taken a long a journey as the meek and mild high school chemistry teacher, diagnosed with lung cancer, is transformed into his alias, Heisenberg, the ruthless Meth kingpin sporting a black pork pie hat. The change in Walt’s behavior, values and morality is mirrored in his wardrobe as his clothing becomes darker and darker.


Walter’s trademark? A sidekick named Jesse and a recipe to produce 99.1% pure Methamphetamine with the appearance of a sky-blue colored rock candy!


Set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Walt’s trade secret, Blue Sky meth, was founded in a small basement lab, then traveled to the desert in a stolen Winnebago and came to its final resting place in Heisenberg’s state-of-the-art super lab built beneath an industrial laundry.

Image adapted from wallpapersafari.com through Free Culture License.


In episode sixty-two, in the final moments of his life, we no longer see Heisenberg and his black pork pit hat. Walter returns to the simple attire of high school teacher – khaki pants and tan jacket. The chemist turned drug lord is silent as he admires his work.


Like a General inspecting his troops Walter walks part a row of meth cookers in cadence to Bad Finger’s song “Baby Blue.” As he reviews each piece of equipment Bad Finger’s “Baby Blue” fades into the scene. Walter’s eye catches a glimpse of a cooker’s mask. He pauses and gently caresses one of his tall stainless-steel cookers with his blood-soaked right-hand.


The eye of the camera focuses in on the reflection of Walt’s face being mirrored on the surface of his cooker. His baby blue meth now a mere reflection of the man.


In the final moments of the final scene, we are given a bird’s eye view of Walter White laying face up on the concrete floor. as the camera slowly pans upward. With sirens sounding and police lights are flashing, the police storm the lab. Walter, fatally wounded, lying on the floor in a pool of his own blood.


White’s crystal blue rebellion led to his own demise and the destruction of his family and friends. Walter’s heart became ensnared by the business of methamphetamine. The changes in his character, his appearance and the work of his hands were merely a reflection of the condition of his heart.


Like a tornado, his brand of rebellion left a wide path of destruction with family and friends becoming the collateral damage as his obsession contaminated the entire Southwest. Even after the meth cookers have either died, been arrested, or just disappeared, the house left behind must cleansed if it is ever going to become a home again.


Breaking Bad is an example of how the darkness of our hearts, left un-cleansed, can manifest itself in many “bad habits that hold us back” as well as infecting and contaminating everyone and everything around us even the very House of God where we worship!


In the book of Leviticus, we read how the Lord designated one day a year just for the purpose of hitting the Reset Button for people He loved could start fresh with a clean slate.


But before the people could be set free His House had to be Set Free!


His House had to be cleansed from the stain of the people’s bad habits


and the darkness in the hearts of the people.


Leviticus 16:14-17 JPS 1917

14 Then he is to take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the eastern face of the atonement lid, and in front of the atonement lid he is to sprinkle some of the blood seven times with his finger.


15 “Aaron must then slaughter the sin-offering goat which is for the people. He is to bring its blood inside the curtain, and he is to do with its blood just as he did to the blood of the bull: He is to sprinkle it on the atonement lid and in front of the atonement lid.

16 So he is to make atonement for the Holy Place from the impurities of the Israelites and from their transgressions with regard to all their sins, and thus he is to do for the Meeting Tent which resides with them in the midst of their impurities.


17 Nobody is to be in the Meeting Tent when he enters to make atonement in the Holy Place until he goes out, and he has made atonement on his behalf, on behalf of his household, and on behalf of the whole assembly of Israel.


3 Levels of Atonement Required – v. 16

16 So he is to make atonement for the Holy Place from the impurities of the Israelites and from their transgressions with regard to all their sins, and thus he is to do for the Meeting Tent which resides with them in the midst of their impurities.


The Holy Place required cleansing from three bad habits of the people.

1) Impurity

2) Transgression

3) Sin


Impurity - ṭûm'âh (toom-aw') - Ethical and Religious Impurity similar to a “Dirty Rag”


Examples of Impurity of the people - Plagued by Uncleanliness!


A. Business Dealings between each other

1.) no longer followed biblical guidelines

2.) become foul and unethical

3.) “What’s in it for me?”


B. Righteous Living

1.) became soiled, filthy

2.) did not maintain their purity

3.) little by little allowed the world around them to pollute their souls!


Transgression - pesha‛ (peh'-shah)


A. Rebellion – rebellious spirit

1.) “I know the difference between right and wrong.”

2.) “But I’m still going to do what I want to do when I want to do it! Like shaking your fist at God!!!

B. Rebellion that grows deep at all levels

1.) against Individuals

2.) against the Congregation

3.) against the Lord


Have you reached the point where you no longer think about or concerned with the impact you are making on others. “Seared Conscience” “Scorched everything.”


Sin - chaṭṭâ'âh (khat-taw-aw')

A. Sin – Hebrew word

1.) Archer’s term for Missing the Mark or the Target.

2.) “Missing the Target Altogether”

· Gave it your best shot but its been a while since you followed God’s ways . . .

· Out of practice doing the right thing.

· You miss the target more than you hit the bullseye.


Atonement Started with the Leadership – v. 17

17 Nobody is to be in the Meeting Tent when he enters to make atonement in the Holy Place until he goes out, and he has made atonement on his behalf, on behalf of his household, and on behalf of the whole assembly of Israel.


The dirty deals and unrighteous living, the rebelliousness, and the sin of the leader effects everyone.


A. The leader must take responsibility for his own actions before he can intercede on behalf

of his family or congregation.


B. As a chaplain I must exercise caution when a former pastor enters prison and then comes

to our chapel and asks to teach or preach other inmates. As hard as it is for us to hear this

word today we must keep in mind that the former pastor must first, take responsibility for

his impurity, transgression and sins.


Conclusion - 2 Chronicles 7:14 (Net Bible)

Even King Solomon may have tossed and turned on many a sleepless night.

After he encouraged the people to unify - After the people built the stone edifice for the Lord - After the people built the stone altar - After all the preparations for dedication were complete - After the people brought the sacrifices


Solomon stood at the altar and prayed . . . for the presence of the Lord to dwell within the midst of the people. And the Lord answered Solomon’s prayer with yet one more requirement . . .


If my people, who belong to me, (those who worship me) humble themselves, pray, seek to please me, and (enter my presence) repudiate their sinful practices, (turn from their sinful ways) then I will respond from heaven, (I will hear you) forgive their sin and heal their land (restore the damage done).


As we close the service this morning please allow me to share a video with you that was filmed in this very prison a number of years ago. The title is, "When God Touches a Man."


"When God Touches a Man"

This video was produced by the writer and all of the men portrayed in this video gave written permission for their voice, image and likeness to be used in this video. The video was produced while the writer was a volunteer chaplain at the Indiana State Prison in August of 2008. Permission was granted to film inside the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City, Indiana by Superintendent Ed Buss. May his memory be a blessing.

138 views0 comments