Leviticus: slaughter-house…

Cover to Cover

Reading: Leviticus 1:1-4:35

Focus: Leviticus 1:1-4:35

As one reads through the details of the various sacrifices, one can’t help but notice that it paints the picture of nothing short of a slaughterhouse. Let’s not try and avoid the fact, the act of atonement for humanity’s sins is a bloody one. Any offering that involved animals would involve death. It is a sobering thought to be reminded that sins before God is not something to be taken lightly.

Though there are different prescriptions for how each offering was conducted, the constant element across them all was that the person involved laid their hands upon the head of the animal sacrifice and slaughter it. The blood would be sprinkled or poured on the altar by the priest , then various parts of the animal burnt according to the type of offering being made.

Regardless of what you may think of such a system, it is filled with harsh reminders and blunt realities of humanity’s fallen nature. The laying of hands upon the animal was representative of the animal taking the person’s guilt; the slaughter, bloodshed and burnt offering is the cost of guilt, that is, death. The cost of sin can only be remitted by the shedding of blood, as the apostle Paul taught the Romans, the wages of sin is death.

Ultimately, this bloody system of sacrifice pointed forward to the ultimate sacrifice, the ultimate slaughter, the ultimate remittance for sin…Jesus Christ. The holy Lamb of God, the One that was slain, whose blood was shed for the redemption of all humankind before the presence of God. Let’s not mince words: just as a guilty person laid their hands upon the head of a sacrifice and slaughtered the animal sacrifice; so must we recognise that our sins were taken upon the person of Jesus and that He paid the ultimate price, He was the Lamb slaughtered for our sins.

Next Reading: Leviticus 5:1-7:38