I’ve been reading in Leviticus the past several days as I make my way through the Chronological reading plan of the Bible on youversion.com.
Leviticus is hard to read. It’s list after list of laws, regulations and instructions. There’s a whole section on how the sacrifices were to be performed. When reading through those chapters, I was struck with the bloodiness of that system. It’s not that I didn’t realize it was messy before now. It’s just that I realized that I don’t usually “see” the consequences of my sin.
But that was, in a very visceral way, what the people of Israel experienced on a regular basis. They were constantly reminded that their sin resulted in the shedding of blood. The ground around the altar (and the altar itself) would have been stained by the blood of the animals. They would have heard the animals cry out and smell the odor from them burning on the altar. I’m sure that reminder was a fairly good motivator for holy living.
I don’t think about my sacrifice (Jesus) enough. I need to consider the horrible, bloody experience. I need to take time to stop and remember the great lengths he went to on my behalf. Otherwise, there’s no real motivation to change. My sin is just a “bad habit” or a vice that needs to be overcome. I need to remember that it was my sin that Jesus went to the cross to forgive.
I need to “see” the consequence of my sin.
As I was writing this post, I remembered a video that a friend posted a few months ago. It’s a look at the annual sacrificing of lambs by modern day Samaratians at Mt. Gerizim. It’s not overly graphic, but it might not be pleasant for those with weak stomachs…