Lev 1:3-9 (NKJV)
If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord. 4 Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. 5 He shall kill the bull before the Lord; and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall bring the blood and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 6 And he shall skin the burnt offering and cut it into its pieces. 7 The sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar, and lay the wood in order on the fire. 8 Then the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat in order on the wood that is on the fire upon the altar; 9 but he shall wash its entrails and its legs with water. And the priest shall burn all on the altar as a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord.
What a bloody mess!
This is the second day in a row, I’ve read this passage and what jumped out of the text to me is the fact that each person bringing their sacrifice (be it a bull or a sheep) had to kill and skin and cut it into parts so that the priests can make the offering to the Lord on his behalf.
Here is what the offer-er was physically responsible for in the burnt offering:
– slaughtering the animal himself before the LORD (v5, v11)
– skinning the animal (v6)
– cutting it into pieces (v6, v12)
– wash the entrails (guts) and legs in water (v9, v13)
Have you ever slaughtered a bull… by hand… with a knife? As gross as it may be, can close your eyes and imagine that? Can you imagine what a mess that would be? Can you imagine skinning a bull by hand? How does one manage a dead carcass 3x or 4x his own body weight? Where would one wash the entrails and legs? I expect that meant hauling all those parts somewhere to wash them and hauling them back.
Here’s my point. A burnt offering wasn’t a quick prayer at the end of a 30 minute sermon. I expect it was no small feat or quick little ritual. I expect this was a quite long ordeal. I expect by the time one was done, he was probably covered in the blood of the sacrifice.
In our “everything gets wrapped up in a 30 TV show” culture, I fear we don’t have a grasp on what it means for us to be “covered by the blood of the sacrifice.” I know I don’t. Way too often, I treat confessing my sin much too lightly.
Christ suffered a long, painful, multiple hour ordeal when He became the sacrifice to atone for my sins. Galatians 2:20 tells me that I’ve been crucified with Christ. Have I killed my self in this crucifixion? Have I labored hours over that sacrifice? Am I a bloody mess at the end of it?
I hope to be. I need to be…
Running After Papa…