1 Samuel 15:22 – “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” (NIV 1978)
My Musings – In the Garden (Eden) there was disobedience. God covered Adam’s and Eve’s nakedness, presumably from animals that were sacrificed. The blood that was shed also covered their sin.
On the mountain (Moriah), Abraham was prepared to obey and sacrifice his son, but God prevented Him from doing so. To obey is better, because it requires no sacrifice.
In the Garden (Mt. of Olives) Jesus prayed that if there was any other way, that He be spared from sacrificing His life. Yet in obedience, He said “not my will but yours.” In this instance, obedience (His) would necessarily lead to sacrifice because of disobedience (ours).
On the mountain (Golgotha), Jesus was sacrificed to atone for our disobedience. There was no staying of the hand as in the case of Abraham, because there was no other way. Christ’s obedience was more than sufficient to remove (not merely cover) the stain of our disobedience.
In the garden, the stone was rolled away and the tomb was empty, as death (the “deep magic”) turned into life (the “deeper magic”). The fall of mankind in one garden comes full circle with the redemption of mankind in another.
My Advice – We have victory over sin, death and judgement because of Christ’s obedience. And while no further sacrifice is required, we nevertheless should still live a life of obedience. If we confess our sins, He will forgive them. But why go there in the first place? Let’s show our appreciation for God’s “deeper magic” that overcame the curse of “deep magic.”
“But what does it all mean?” asked Susan when they were somewhat calmer.
“It means,” said Aslan, “that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who has committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backward.”
(From “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis)