Question: Why must the temple offerings be so violent and gruesome? For example, “Then he shall kill the bull before the Lord, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall bring the blood and throw the blood against the sides of the altar that is at the entrance of the tent of meeting” (Leviticus 1:5). Yuch! And wasteful–completely destroying the best of the herd.
We easily speak of sin, almost trivially, at times. Certain lies are white. Venial sins are not mortal sins. If it doesn’t hurt anyone, it is argued, why not do it? Through the eyes of a sinner, sin appears ordinary. The Bible shows us our world through the eyes of God.
The Lord, our holy God, created the heavens and the earth and filled the earth with his creatures. At the very end, he created something special, something above and beyond, some ones in whom he placed his very image. Adam and Eve were holy, without blemish, until they sinned, and their sin, though slight by a sinner’s standard (eating a mere piece of fruit), was catastrophic. You could say it was violent and gruesome and wasteful if you saw it through the eyes of a holy God.
God’s image remains in us, though badly marred, and we do not readily recognize the destructive force of sin, nor the amazing mercy of a holy God who provides forgiveness. The offerings, though violent and gruesome, remind us of purity lost and damage done. They are a foreshadowing of the great cost of sin paid in full by the sacrifice of One like us, though without blemish, Son of Man and Son of God, who took the full force of sin and wrath, and restored us as holy sons and daughters of a holy God.
My God and Savior, what a wonderful creation. I see it today through the smog of sin, but the glory of Your handiwork is still evident. Someday, to see it restored, to live in a holy Kingdom filled with righteousness and peace, what a wonderful hope. I’m so sorry for the damage I do when I choose my own way. Thank You for rescuing me.
God, do not let me make light of sin. Remind me of its harmfulness and its cost, so that I will hate it as You do, and love grace all the more. I have the good news of my Savior, Your Son, to share to this world. You saved me with an amazing love. Thank You.