Sacrifice in the Bible, however, is the bloody reality of a bellowing animal being butchered on an altar.
What Is It
Imagine the sensory overload of this experience—the violent resistance of the animal, the spurting of blood, the feel of pulling the animal apart, the smell of its burning flesh and bones. Imagine the emotional and spiritual impact of offering this sacrifice, knowing that it was your sin that made this death necessary. Why should we study these details of the various sacrifices in Leviticus, since we are no longer required to offer sacrifices?
We should do so because they help us to understand how the work of Christ saves people like us from our sin. By offering these sacrifices in faith, the people of the Old Testament demonstrated their faith in Christ, the superior, once-for-all sacrifice, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. The burnt offering was the most important sacrifice at most Israelite festivals and was offered once every morning and once every evening. Bringing the burnt offering was a very personal experience, intended most certainly to make an impression on the Israelite offering his sacrifice:.
He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.
Neither the offerer nor the priest ate any of the meat; it was all burned in the fire. This was sacrifice in its purest form—a valuable animal given up wholly to God. Along with the burnt offering, offered twice each day, was the grain offering of fine flour, oil, frankincense, and salt, which expressed gratitude to God and served as a way of asking the Lord to remember the offerer with favor Leviticus 2. The fellowship or peace offering was more than a sacrifice; it was a festive meal. A bull, a sheep, or a goat was shared by the Lord, the priests, and the one who offered it Leviticus 3.
In fact, the worshiper was allowed to bring family and friends along to spend a couple of days enjoying the meat in the presence of God at the tabernacle.
The act of the offering reminded the worshiper that the only way he had been able to come back into the fullness and joy of fellowship and communion with God was through the blood of a perfect substitutionary sacrifice. Sin pollutes and corrupts. The sin offering was offered to cleanse away the filth of sin. In this offering, something unusual was done with the blood:. The priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle part of the blood seven times before the Lord in front of the veil of the sanctuary.
A period that demands great sacrifices
And the priest shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of fragrant incense before the Lord that is in the tent of meeting, and all the rest of the blood of the bull he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering that is at the entrance of the tent of meeting.
The blood cleansed the tabernacle, the priests, the people, and the land from the defilement caused by the sin of the people. There was blood on the veil, blood on the horns of the altar, and blood poured out.
Everywhere the sinner looked was an unavoidable statement about the pervasive nature of sin and need for atonement. The guilt offering asked for something beyond sacrifice; it required restitution. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Superior Sacrifices , please sign up.
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