Leviticus 1:1‐3:17; Mark 1:29‐2:12; Psalm 35:17‐28; Proverbs 9:13‐18
You Want Me to Do WHAT with that Goat?
Burnt offerings? Seriously? And why all the detailed instructions?
Frankly, I doubt that the Lord was particularly concerned with the details of the sacrifices called for in Leviticus. What has always been important, however, is that we do God’s work in God’s way. Part of being a disciple of any master, whether an artisan, a craftsman, or the Lord, is following the example and teaching of the master, whether we understand all the “why’s” or not.
When children are small, they follow the example of their parents in the greatest detail. As they grow, they realize that there may be more than one way to accomplish a task. One cannot simply tell a child, “Do the laundry.” We begin with detailed instructions, and the child learns to sort, fold, etc. exactly as the parent does. As our children grow and mature, they begin to understand the why’s, and this gives them the freedom to begin to do things their own way.
In much the same way, the people of Israel followed the instructions of the Lord simply because that was part of discipleship, obedience, and learning. And what they, and we, learn in this sacrifice is that service matters and life matters. Life has power. These repeated sacrifices brought the people of Israel into grace and forgiveness through the giving up of life. In so doing, we begin to learn what it will mean for Christ to come and give His own life for our lasting grace and forgiveness.
The Rev. Eric Turner