Leviticus 1:1-9 (NIV, @2011) The LORD called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting. He said, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When anyone among you brings an offering to the LORD, bring as your offering an animal from either the herd or the flock. “‘If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, you are to offer a male without defect. You must present it at the entrance to the tent of meeting so that it will be acceptable to the LORD. You are to lay your hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on your behalf to make atonement for you. You are to slaughter the young bull before the LORD, and then Aaron’s sons the priests shall bring the blood and splash it against the sides of the altar at the entrance to the tent of meeting. You are to skin the burnt offering and cut it into pieces. The sons of Aaron the priest are to put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. Then Aaron’s sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, including the head and the fat, on the wood that is burning on the altar. You are to wash the internal organs and the legs with water, and the priest is to burn all of it on the altar. It is a burnt offering, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.
In today's day and age, digesting this instruction from God is impossible with the big thrust on animal rights and all the attention that is poured on the issue.
Was this God's instruction or man's smart thinking that produced a culture of blood and gore?
Soon after the fall of man through Adam and Eve's sin, animal sacrifices were instituted by God. Animal husbandry and farming were the key profession of the people of those times and was everything they knew.
God in His eternal wisdom instituted the need for animal sacrifices as a way for man to atone for his sins before God and seek God's forgiveness.
The sacrifice cost the atoner a hefty price because the animals were to be the best of their herd or flock and without blemish, not just any dying old animal.
To relate the unacceptable animal sacrifices in today's time, we can contrast our culture of sex, violence and drugs.
In today's day and age, promiscuity has no relevance as we as a race are openly shedding every concept of morality and anyone who stands up against it is considered 'old' and not 'keeping with the times'.
Lets consider the sacrifice God instituted through Moses. This sacrifice was relevant until the coming of Jesus who became the perfect sacrifice and spared us the need for any more bloodshed.
1. The animal to be offered was to be without blemish. This signified the strength and purity that were in Christ, and the holy lives that should mark His followers.
2. The owner had to offer it of his own free will. What is done in religion, so as to please God, must be done with love. Christ willingly offered himself for us.
3. The sacrifice had to be offered at the door of the tabernacle, where the brazen altar of burnt-offerings stood, which sanctified the gift. The one sacrificing was not considered worthy to enter which acknowledged that a sinner could have no relationship with God, but by sacrifice.
4. The offerer had to place his hand upon the head of his offering, signifying his desire and hope that it might be accepted from him, to make atonement for him.
5. The sacrifice was to be killed before the Lord, in an orderly manner, and to honour God. It signified also, that as Christians, the flesh must be crucified with its corrupt affections and lust.
6. The priests were to sprinkle the blood upon the altar. The blood typifying life and it is which made atonement. This signified the softening and purifying of our consciences, by the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ upon us by faith.
7. The beast was to be divided into several pieces, and then to be burned upon the altar. The burning of the sacrifice signified the horrendous sufferings of Christ, and the sincere worship with which we Christians must offer up ourselves, our entire spirit, soul, and body, unto God.
8. This was said to be an offering of a sweet tasting aroma. As an act of obedience to a divine command, this was pleasing to God; and the spiritual sacrifices of Christians are acceptable to God, through Christ.
As we continue to explore and understand God's word, I pray that each of us would be drawn closer to Him and be transformed by His love for us.
In His Loving Service,
1 Peter 2:4-5 (NIV, @2011) As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
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