Being an animal lover, one of the things I have always struggled with is the idea of animal offerings.
It causes me to ask a laundry list of questions.
Why does God take sin so seriously? I mean, it was only a lie. It was only a few hundred bucks. It was only a little bit of an attitude towards my mom. Does He simply take it as a personal offense? Does it make him mad or sad or disappointed? Sin makes us unholy. And if we are unholy, we cannot be with God.
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Psalm 51:10-12
Is God cruel to require that animals be killed to make offerings to Him? It is important to realize that he only asked of this in the Old Testament. Animal sacrifices were meant to foreshadow the death of Jesus on the cross. That would make sense. God required that the animals be spotless, as close to perfect as possible. But once Jesus was sacrificed on the cross, we no longer needed to require anything else. Thank God, because I would hate to have to kill a poor little animal.
In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. Hebrews 9:22
With that being said, animal sacrifices were meant to be stopped. All together. They are no longer necessary. God has taken care of the blood shed for us. Now all we need to do is believe, have a relationship with him and become fishers of men.
More on the seriousness of sin. Why does God take sin so seriously? Maybe we should flip the question and ask why man takes sin so lightly? Maybe we’re just making excuses for ourselves. We don’t understand what holiness is, and we won’t understand the severity of our sins until we are no longer on earth.
Now don’t get me wrong. Animals were a gift from God for us to use. This means we are supposed to eat them, use their products (wool, eggs, milk etc) and give them jobs (cattle dogs etc). We also have the opportunities to form relationships with these animals. I have dogs and cats and love them very much. They are like family to me. But they are just animals. Just animals. That phrase may seem condescending, but “just animals” isn’t meant to be a bad thing. “Just animals” simply means “not human”. And I feel like, for the most part, we should value human life over animal life. Now do I think there are some exceptions? (mass murderers, rapists etc) Absolutely. But if an animal and a human were standing in front of me, and I was forced to shoot one of them, it would absolutely be the animal.
Ok. I’ll get off my soapbox now.
TODAY I will thank God for sacrificing His son for me.