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In Case You Missed It -- Leviticus 4:1-5:14, Psalm 59

At this point. you might be asking, “Why so many sacrifices?” or “Why these sacrifices at all?” My hope is that you will receive clear answers to these questions in later reflections. Today, let’s focus on the “guilt sacrifice”. Note the specific prescriptions for making sacrifices when priests sinned. The most Holy Place’s veil was to be sprinkled by blood (Leviticus 4:6); a priest’s sin defiled the tabernacle where they worked, so even the tabernacle needed cleansing. This added gravity and a solemn responsibility to the priests’ work for Israel. As mentioned in our time in 1 Peter 2 as a church, we are now the priests of God. As priests of the earth, having a great high priest does not mean that we should work without regarding our great responsibility for our world. God expects priests to live with an eye towards pleasing Him in all things. This was true in the time the tabernacle, and it is true today.

Also, consider just how the sacrificial system, when properly kept, should have caused one to pause before sinning recklessly. When you sinned, you lost an animal and watched it be sacrificed before your eyes as a reminder of the consequences of your actions. In contrast, the New Testament writers insisted that we have a better covenant and a better sacrifice, and these through the Spirit, God’s law on our hearts. As Christ died to save us, the grave nature of sin should give us every bit as much apprehension, and God’s better promises should motivate us even more to live godly lives. Perhaps we don’t think so because we lack of clarity on the depth of God’s good gifts to us when considered within the entire Biblical story.

Jeremiah Vaught