Cut up the ram, wash its insides and legs, and lay all of its parts on the altar, including the head. Then make sure that the whole animal goes up in smoke with a smell that pleases me.
~Exodus 29:17-18, CEV
Sin must be dealt with God’s way
There is one problem with my group that is reading the bible through in 2019 and it is not lack of enthusiasm: they are asking me questions that I can’t answer. The bad thing is I preached through the entire bible [took me 28 years] and have researched these things before but I cannot remember. One of the questions has been on the subject of animal sacrifice. A lot of pagan cultures practiced animal sacrifice but no one did it like the Hebrews. If I’m not mistaken, there were five basic types of sacrifice but there were many sub-types. In other words there were hundreds. The books of Exodus, Leviticus and numbers give us the details but the details are overwhelming. The details regarding sacrifice and worship were so many and so minute, it took a trained priest to help you worship. No Israelite could take it upon himself to go to the sacred tent and worship. Moses regulations made a priest absolutely necessary. You could not worship without and offering or a priest. Before you went to the sacred Tent were the altar was, you had to think about what you were doing: you just did not, on a whim, burst into the Tabernacle and make your offering yourself. With Moses, you would only attempt this once. You would be dead before you got the knife in the animals throat. Jesus is both our Priest and our Sacrifice and we cannot truly worship the Father a part from the Son.
But this blog is not about the proud and rebellious who think they can worship God anyway they please. My original intent was to talk about the whole burnt offering. The two things that distinguished the Hebrew animal sacrifice was the emphasis on the blood and the whole burnt offering. In the whole burnt offering, the flesh of the sacrifice was totally consumed. It was totally obliterated by the fire and the only things left were: the smoke that went up toward heaven and the ashes that fell to the earth. Via the offering, the physical was converted to the metaphysical–flesh to smoke. The flesh was totally consumed by the fire. Of course this is a shadow or picture of our atonement. Christ became our whole burnt offering. He allowed Himself to be totally consumed. This is God’s will for you and I, to be totally consumed. This is what I mean when I pray for the fire of heaven to fall and consume everything in me that is not like Jesus. You thinking, “that would be all of you,” and you are right–thus we have the whole [all] burnt offering.
Of course the blood of bulls and goats never actually pleased God but He was well pleased with the sacrifice of His Son. I am so glad that I live on this side of the cross. We don’t have to worry about all the endless details of the sacrificial system, all we need to do is surrender our will to Jesus. He does all the rest by GRACE. I love Jesus and I am thankful for grace.
The Brewer girls will play tonight. Lance and Decatur Heritage will play tomorrow night and West Limestone boys Friday night. They sure don’t make it easy on us North Alabama folks. The sunshine the past couple of days has been great. A lot of trees are trying to put out and the Bradfords are in full bloom. If we don’t get some cold weather soon, the mountains are going to be turning green which is OK by me. We have only one more Sunday before we go back to Daylight Savings time. January and February went by in a hurry for me.
The picture on yesterday’s blog was not a lake: it was the backwater from the creek that runs through Florette. I was standing on the Pines Road when I took the picture, less than a mile from Grace Point. Flint Creek is not going down. No business has not gone down a lot. I think Wheeler is holding back, trying to relieve the pressure on Wilson and Picwick.