In a distant land, rural poor natives had gathered in the center of their community to witness the annual event.
From the hilltops to doorways of village huts, young and old have assembled in their best and most colorful outfits to observe the sacrifice of bulls and goats.
Old men sing in high pitched voices a song unknown to Americans, as the deep base drum drowns on in the background.
Well-developed young men have lassoed one animal after the next into the center of the village. There the living things will be beaten and forced onto the bloody dirty ground. Here, they will be gutted to death alongside the other slain animals.
The crowd watches with anticipation as each creature struggles with all its might to break free from the ropes, slipping about on the already bloodied ground.
To westerners such a practice is seen as brutal and horrific to any witness. Yet, similar types of services were held on bloody altars of our Jews ancestors not so many years ago.
Ezekiel 18:4:20 proclaims that sins require death. Romans 6:23 phrases it this way…”For the wages of sin is death.” How many of us as kids remember learning Hebrews 9:22? “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin,” (KJV.)
Atonement for man’s sins in the Old Testament was accomplished with the blood of animals on the tenth day of the seventh month of each year (Lev. 17:11.) From the New Testament forward, the shed blood of Jesus atones for our sins.
Hebrews 10:4 makes it clear that the blood of bulls and of goats could not take away our sins. The only perfect spotlessly clean sacrifice for our sins was and is our Lord Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 9:11-14.)
Without the healing cleansing power of His sacrifice, little American kids might be standing a village crowd watching as their family livestock (pets perhaps) were being sacrificed for their sins.
In our sterile and spotlessly clean sanctuaries, it’s too often easy to forget the violent bloody cost of our atonement.
Won’t you take a couple of minutes this morning to thank your Lord and Savior for his mind-boggling sacrifice so that you and I can worship with a clean heart? Have a great day and week!