The sacrificial system was a bloody, messy affair. Slaughtering animals, sectioning them, burning some parts, washing others, pouring blood here, not there. Birds were pulled apart by the wings…
I tried to imagine the priestly garments and the altar, with blood splashes here and everywhere. Like I said, the sacrificial system was a messy affair.
As I think about it, life is a messy affair. Because of human sin we hurt one another, stain one another, curse one another, speak ill to and about one another. Relationships start and grow and break and are wounded. So, somehow it seems right that the system that keeps us connected to God, mirrors the mess we have made of life.
I thought about the symbolism of placing one’s hands on the animal to be sacrificed. Symbolically the individual identifies with the animal to be slaughtered. It is as if the person is saying, ‘I offer this animal in my place. What You, God, do to it, should be done to me.’
That is powerful imagery. Atonement is personal. Atonement is costly. And atonement, like this, shows grace, a lesser offered in place of a greater.
That last sentence makes me think about the wonder of Jesus’ gift of atonement for us, because on the cross the greater is offered for the lesser.
Thank You, Jesus, for giving Your life for mine and all who believe and trust in You. Thank You, thank You, thank You. In Your name, I pray. Amen.