I think I take sin too casually. Perhaps, it’s that I take forgiveness to casually.
I’m reading through the Bible again this year, but this time chronologically. I just started Leviticus. I’m not sayin’ I’ve read this book as often as I’ve read, say, James. However, I have read Leviticus a time or two and something just slapped me in the face today.
“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.” (Leviticus 1:4, 5 NKJV)
“… He shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering…”
“… He shall kill it before the LORD…”
Let that sink in. Imagine being “he”.
The first part of the process, I remember – the transferring of my sin to the animal to be offered. My sin. My actions, thoughts, attitudes and disobedience – what I did – becomes the cause of what is about to happen to this animal.
It’s the next part that gave me a bloody nose today. What hit me is that in this practice, I kill the sacrifice – by hand – with a knife. There was no lethal injection or medicine to put the animal down and make this easy, clean and painless. No, this is ugly, loud, and messy. It is bloody and painful and gruesome. I can only imagine how difficult it is and how much work it was.
It turns out, the last time I read this passage a couple of years ago, I was struck in a very similar manner – see the post here: “What A Bloody Mess!”
Here’s where it’s different.
I believe if I had to perform that perform that sacrificial ritual – that bloody, exhausting, sacrifice – each and every time I wanted forgiveness, every week , every month, every day – I believe I’d behave differently than I do.
How would my behavior change if I had to gruesomely slaughter a bull to get forgiveness? How would my behavior change every time I wanted forgiveness, I had to take the life of another animal?
Jesus died a vicious, bloody, painful and gruesome death – so I could have forgiveness. How would my behavior change if I had to watch “The Passion of The Christ” before every confession? If I had to visualize the beating and abuse He endured for me?
But I don’t. Jesus died for me to have forgiveness – and that forgiveness comes easily. I only have to ask for it.
At the very least I should remember what my Savior did and endured for me and EVERY one of my sins. I should remember it every time I ask for forgiveness…
Thank you LORD for dying for me and providing forgiveness and eternal atonement.
Running After Papa