This morning as I was reading in Leviticus, once again struck by all the gory detail and specificity of the sacrificial system, I started once again to ponder, “Why?”
I know God has inspired everything in the Bible and he has infinite meaning and purpose behind every word. I recognize complete understanding will not be mine until I see him face to face. However, I’ve been asking the Holy Spirit to give me insight into what I read each morning that I might know my Heavenly Father better. Here is what he gave me today. It would be helpful if you read Leviticus 4 first….just saying!!
The very specific, public, and graphic procedure of dealing with sin for the Israelites engendered a heightened awareness of the incredible cost and consequences of sin. Think about it, watching all those baby bulls, lambs, goats slaughtered because YOU told a lie, coveted, got in a fight with your neighbor…whatever. Not to mention the lengthy process in atonement, the priests have to be sanctified and prepared, the table, the incense, the animal…all that blood! Over and over again!
God in his infinite wisdom was teaching his people, the wages of sin is death. It is a BIG deal and something or someone innocent pays the price.
Years ago when I watched The Passion of the Christ in a theater for the very first time. I was incredibly shocked and disturbed at the price Jesus paid for my sin. Watching his betrayal, abandonment, humiliation, torture and death, I sat there asking myself, “Why?” Not the same, “Why?” as when I read Leviticus, but “Why?” would he do this for me? I finally had a clear unavoidable picture of the wages of my sin.
It is interesting the way time works. I can understand why God made such a “big deal” about sin and the sacrificial system to the Israelites. He wanted a constant reminder to his people of the cost of sin. It had to be in their face continuously. How casual I’ve grown in my approach to sin in the years since I’ve view the Passion of Christ in that theater. I mentally grab 1 John 1:9, say a little prayer of confession, add a whole lot of grace and I’m good to go. Maybe I need to slaughter a baby bull or two…or maybe watch The Passion of the Christ…..