It’s been a minute since I’ve posted here. Life seems to keep getting in the way. Funny how that happens.
I started this space a few years back on a snow day, just like today. So here I am looking out at the ice and snow, taking a minute to do what refreshes my soul-write.
I’ve been reading the Bible starting at the beginning. It’s part of a yearly Bible reading plan. I’m in the Old Testament and it’s hard reading. I’m reading about the priests and the sacrifices-the sin offerings, the guilt offerings, there were so many rules. I found it interesting that even with some sacrifices, the priest ate portions of what was sacrificed. In essence the priest ate the sins of the people. It is oddly absurd to me and revolting.
The job of a priest was difficult, taxing, and often times disgusting. Having to understand the complete anatomy of animals and how to completely gut them (yes), was part of the job. There was so much blood too. Sprinkling the blood on certain places of the altar, on the ears and toes of the sinners-I cannot imagine the smell of the blood, the thickness as it ran down the horns of the altar and the charred smell as the sacrifices burned.
I’ve read these parts of the Bible for years, often skipping them. I mean, who needs to know the grotesque details? That was then, right?
Yes and no. It was then but we still need to know and understand and reflect on these Old Testament details, knowing that God’s perfect sacrifice in Jesus means we no longer have to be made right through priestly sacrifices. We no longer have to walk around feeling like we are not enough, never clean enough, never good enough, never made right in the sight of God. Because now we are made right by the blood of Jesus.
I’ve heard it all my life to the point that it had lost a lot of meaning but just as the Word is alive and active, dividing joint and marrow, it has opened my eyes to the gruesome sacrifices of the priests, to the blood that flowed, to my sin nature that needs atonement.
It’s taken 40 years but here I am. God keeps reminding me that I’ll never be “enough” in the world’s eyes, in my own eyes. But I am enough through the blood of Jesus. Thank God he sent His Son, thank God no priest will ever have the job of eating my sins and burning flesh on an altar.
Lord, Your word has pierced me. I see my need for you, for your blood. Thank you for the earthly priests you sent to help your people but thank You for Your sacrifice. Let me reflect, envision and understand the brutality of the sacrifices, the blood that ran over the altars, the smell of charred flesh. Let me also remember the lashings and flesh torn from your skin. The blood that flowed like a crimson river from the cross. It was not pretty like we try to make it seem. It was ugly, brutal and yet, through death, You have given life. You have made us enough. Thank you are feeble words but all I can offer.