Saturday, February 2, 2013
Blood on our Hands
You birthed it.
You fed it.
And now you are going to have to kill it.
God says so.
When a Hebrew penitent came to the temple under the old sacficicial system, the priest prayed over the lamb he'd brought, but he handed the knife to the penitent. An obedient Hebrew cut the throat of his own animal himself.
At the moment of the animal's death, two things happened.
First, the Hebrew did the deed. He was full of blood from it. He knew the stench of it. He expended the effort to raise it, to bring it, and to kill it in the name of God.
Second, he was deprived of it. One of the best of his flock, that animal could have fed his family, but now it would not.
Today, even after Jesus' final blood sacrifice, we do not escape that God requires the same from us.
What we bring to the temple looks quite different, but is often no less messy or painful.
And it still has the same two components.
We bring the sacrifice of doing what we do not want to do.
And we bring the sacrifice of not doing what we desire.
They are not the same thing.
One does not substitute for the other.
The sacrifice of doing.
And the sacrifice of doing without.
When any of you brings an offering to the Lord, bring as your offering an animal from the herd or the flock... He is to lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. He is to slaughter the young bull before the Lord...Leviticus 1:2-5
The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences for acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!--Hebrews 9:13-14