I was reading about Moses and the Tabernacle and all that jazz. I guess through all these years of church, I became familiar with the notion of animal sacrifices, and of course Jesus' sacrifice. But once I started thinking deeper about it, I can't understand why something had to die. Is it because the wages of sin is death, and instead of me dying it would be an innocent animal? When reading about how this and that animal sacrifice were a 'pleasing offering' to him, I wonder why would he want something to be killed, or the blood, or fatty portions, of animals? Why would those kinds of things be pleasing to him? Yes, the heart has to be right, but I can't understand why he would want death, or blood, or the death of an animal for that matter...I may be thinking too hard about this, but I want to be clear. -- Nanyana

You are right. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Sin is so bad, and God is so good, that we cannot enter his presence in our sinful state. Sin is a challenge to the righteousness of God. It declares, "I will take you on; I can do whatever I want and get away with it."

The entire planet is in a state of rebellion against its Creator. See Ecclesiastes 7:20, Habakkuk 1:13, and all of Romans 3. Of course in a showdown with God, we cannot possibly win. Any righteousness of our own, even among the best of us, is completely counteracted by our sinfulness. Rather than allowing our former master to destroy us--Satan owned us--Jesus ransomed us. He took our place, suffering terribly. The entire Old Testament dispensation was a period of preparation, pointing the way to the perfect sacrifice in Jesus Christ.

Finally, let me recommend John Oakes's book, From Shadow to Reality (IPI, 2005), which should answer every question you have about the O.T. sacrificial system. Available at www.ipibooks.com.

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