Old Testament Difficulties, Part 2, The Law

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.”
Leviticus 17:11

It must be noted that that sacrificing animals was not a part of the original Garden of Eden master plan. But ever since we in our collective descendants have willfully parted ways from our Creator there needed to be a bridge back. Why by death is such a veritable bottomless topic. But God promised Adam if he ate of the forbidden fraught he would die. So die he did. Since then his descendants continued on a highway marking greater and greater separation from the presence of God. Even today, in all our intellectual wisdom and genius and technological brilliance we see little use for Him since we “know” that all that exists is what we see with our senses; We are rather focused on our smart phones our computers, our blogs, our 3-D HD widescreen TVs, our laptops and tablets, our GPS equipped cars and cameras, our Tweets and Facebook, is there really any need for an invisible, untouchable entity from the dark ages to chain us to the past when our technology is propelling us so quickly to glorious heights of the future? This sadly dilutes many an Evangelical Christian’s spiritual fervor since in our modern times does it really make sense that God would intimately intervene daily in our lives? So many of us have bought into the secular world view that He surely would not!

This is the world view that scoffs at the disgusting depiction of a primordial God who demands such wholesale slaughter of animals as a delightful pleasantly appeasing device. And, of course, they say that any understanding of God’s wisdom by such puny mortal beings such as ourselves is a base cop out is a typical Christian argument. But it is the Biblical statement, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. (see Hebrew 9:22 which refers back to Lev. 17:11 above.)

So it must be stated that is is by the grace of God that He gave all of mankind a way out of this horrible predicament, that we are all dead in our sins. Without a way of redemption death would be the only answer – eternal separation from God. No hope in this life, nor after! But with the plan of redemption that was spelled out in the Law, the plan that was a tutor that was to foreshadow the once for all and final sacrifice that the prophets revealed later in Israel’s history that would come by God’s Son Jesus Christ mankind would have the way back to fellowship with God. Mankind would be able to see with a new heart and new eyes that this reality only visible by our five senses is only a small part of the ultimate reality. The ultimate reality of God’s entire creation that He wants us to share in.

The blood of man and even beast is precious. It is not to be spilled lightly. But we have so desperately and depravedly lost our way that we kill each other indiscriminately. We have “fun” video games glorifying massacres, we buy weapons on the street almost without even trying, we can wear them openly even into churches, we slaughter each other in so many ways each day around the world we are almost completely desensitized to the shedding of blood. If, like in the Old Testament Law, we had to bring an animal to an alter and slaughter it when we sinned do you think that would have an impact on your behavior? I think it was supposed to in the Old Testament times. But it didn’t seem to. It probably wouldn’t today either.

To the Christians out there, when you are born again and the Holy Spirit dwells within you and transforms your life, does that have an impact on your behavior? Does that help you resist temptation? Are you able to resist the sins that so easily beset you in the past? I have to confront myself with the answers to these questions. But the Spirit dwells within. We have the power. He can help us employ that power. That is the power of the blood. That is one of the reasons the blood of the Lamb was shed. We can do it. By His grace.

[Scriptures taken from the New American Standard Bible © 1995]

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