Saw Home Alone 2 the other day. Caught the scene where Kevin (the home alone boy) gave one of his two turtle doves to the pigeon lady in Central Park, New York saying "One turtle dove for you and one turtle dove for me to mean we are friends forever".
It reminded me of the song "The 12 days of Christmas"
On the second day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.
In the world today, dove symbolises peace, love, friends forever. I wondered if the two turtle doves had any connection to the bible? So I started digging.
Yup. I found it in Leviticus 5:7
"But if you cannot afford to bring a sheep, you may bring to the LORD two turtledoves or two young pigeons as the penalty for your sin. One of the birds will be for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering.
When Samson ate the honey from the carcass, he should have offered a sin offering because he defiled himself. But he never did! It is so difficult to keep God's laws. That's only one minute part. He wanted to show us that it is impossible for anyone to obey God's laws fully yet it was required of them before God can dwell amongst them and that too behind the thick veil (a barrier) in the tabernacle and that too only once a year during the Day of Atonement and that too only by a high priest appointed by God.
A sin offering is a sacrifice for sin which has brokened the relations with God.
Leviticus 5:8-10 NLT
You must bring them to the priest, who will present the first bird as the sin offering. He will wring its neck but without severing its head from the body. Then he will sprinkle some of the blood of the sin offering against the sides of the altar, and the rest of the blood will be drained out at the base of the altar. This is an offering for sin. The priest will then prepare the second bird as a burnt offering, following all the procedures that have been prescribed. Through this process the priest will purify you from your sin, making you right with the Lord, and you will be forgiven.
We deceive ourselves if we think we can work our way to God through sacrifices and repentance according to our ways because we fail even our very own resolutions, our very own standards, what more a holy God who is perfect who cannot stand sin. He gave us 1500 years to try before God (true love) sent Jesus into the world to demonstrate that we needed a saviour.
Jesus was the perfect lamb (two turtle doves/ pigeons if you are poor or flour if you are VERY poor, bullock if your are Tan Sri) who shed his blood for us, making us right with the Lord so that we are forgiven.
Dear turtle dove,
Thank you Jesus that you interceeded for me. Thank you that like the turtle dove you offered your life for me - pierced, crushed, punished - to cover me with your blood to avert Father God's judgment meant for me. Thank you by your single act on the cross, you have adopted me into your family and made me right with God again and I am forgiven. Thank you my King, my friend. We are forever friends now.
Liz, the other turtle dove
PS: The other turtle dove was placed on the bronzed altar as a burnt offering symbolising the dedication of the whole life to God and it just means to receive Jesus into your heart and believe, yes he did come to the world to save me (what we could not do for 1,500 years) and just be thankful and stand back and watch how the holy spirit works in your life!