These chapters are not for the squeamish.
The kinds of animals and grains to be used for offerings are described in great detail (no yeast — only unblemished animals) as well as exacting specifications for the sacrifices. These offerings were a way for the people to get back in a right relationship with God when they sinned — whether they sinned on purpose, or not, a sacrifice was required.
Tonight I am left with more questions than answers.
Why is blood so important throughout the Bible? The smearing of blood on the door frames protected the Hebrews during the Passover. The various animal sacrifices involved the priests taking the blood of the animal and sprinkling it on the altar. Jesus shed his blood for us.
Is it because blood represents life? Sin requires death as a consequence, so the animal is allowed to die in place of the person who sinned?
One of the most difficult things for me to “get” as a Christian was why Jesus had to die. I could spout off the answers — to take on the sins of the world, for example — but I still really had a hard time understanding why the Lord didn’t make another way for us to get right with him besides death.
….but then I realized the rest of the story.
Jesus died in order to reveal God’s glory once and for all. Sure, people had heard of him raising the dead before…but who raises up the healer if not God himself? Jesus’ resurrection is the reason for his death. His message spread far and wide on the wings of the resurrection story, bringing life to all who believe…
So, in that way, Jesus’ blood itself was life-giving because it revealed God’s glory and His plan for us to be with Him eternally.
I am hopeful that studying the original sin offerings in these chapters will help open a window to understanding the ultimate one we were given in Christ.