I’ve been reading the book of Leviticus as part of a bible-in-a-year study. The first four chapters describes the sacrifices the Jews were to offer for atonement. There were burnt offerings, grain offerings, peace offerings, and sin offerings. It’s easy to read through these and skim because they (a) don’t apply to us today and (b) become repetitious after a bit. But stepping out of the monotonous rhythm of the requirements is a picture of what the priests were actually doing.
Look back at Exodus 25 – 28 and see the meticulous detail of the building of the ark, the table, the lampstand, the tabernacle, the altar, the court, and even the priests’ garments. The materials were donated by everyone in the camp. They were not purchased by Moses but given from the possessions of the people. God provided specific instructions and the end result was a beautiful place for God to settle and for the priests to bring the offerings to Him. Imagine how wonderful all that bronze, gold, colorful yarn, and jewels were. Think of the Taj Mahal and its beauty and magnify it. Wow! Can you picture it? Nothing on earth compared. This was God’s magnificent place where His Glory rested. Wouldn’t you have wanted to be a priest in those days to be able to enter that place every day and take in its awe?
But that’s where the kicker is. Moving into Leviticus, we read the descriptions of the sacrifices the people were expected to make to receive atonement for sins. We know now this is foreshadowing to Christ’s sacrifice for us. His blood shed for our sins. His blood. Shed. The animals’ blood. Shed. Poured out. Splattered. Sprinkled. Thrown. Drained. On the altar. The brazen altar made of bronze and acacia wood. On the front of veil. The veil made of blue, scarlet, and purple yarn and fine linen with cherubim weaved into the pattern. On the horns of the golden altar where they burned incense as a sweet aroma to God. Every day. Every week. Every year. Year after year. Animal after animal. The beautiful places were no longer magnificent but blood stained.
A reminder that while God is perfect and beautiful He wants us to empty ourselves of our sin onto Him. It’s why He went to the cross. A messy, painful event. Our relationship with him shouldn’t be pristine and perfect but messy. We shouldn’t hold back our sin from him but openly pour it out at the foot of the cross. He wants to see it. He wants to take the mess from us so we can stand up and be clean. The altars and the veils were covered in blood so the people could be clean. How often do we hold on to sin so as to not dirty God’s hands and feet. We feel we need to keep His temple clean and holy. What is more holy than being obedient and emptying ourselves of our sin onto Him who was without sin? He came to cleanse us. To heal us. This Lenten season, pour your sin out. Open yourselves to be cleansed. And on Easter morning, you will see the power of the resurrection. Christ died for you. He’s already been covered in blood. Go ahead. It’s what He’s asked you to do.