Truth be told, Old Testament readings about animal sacrifices don’t “do” much for me. I tend to whiz my way through these passages in hopes that the day’s New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs readings will give me something more relevant to day-to-day life. After all, what do sin, burnt, and fellowship sacrifices have to do with my marriage and family life? Or the integrity with which I do business? Or my attitude toward someone who irritates me?
Turns out, the Old Testament sacrifices have a lot to do with me. Yesterday I heard a fantastic sermon that helped me understand. Here’s a brief summary:
- Sin offering – This was a mandatory offering representing Christ’s death on my behalf. I must trust Him as my Savior in order to experience salvation – that’s mandatory.
- Burnt offering – This was a voluntary offering. It represents complete surrender to Christ’s lordship, which is optional for believers. God wants us to be totally devoted to Him but He’s not going to force us.
- Fellowship offering – This represents restoration of community and communication, healthy relationship with other believers.
As I read through the Old Testament, I stand amazed at how God provided visuals for the people so they could accurately understand His truths then and now. Pretty smart Guy, He was and is. Here’s a link to the sermon which contains some great material. Take a listen!