Leviticus 1:1-9 The Lord called Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When any one of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of livestock from the herd or from the flock. “If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer a male without blemish. He shall bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the Lord. He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. Then he shall kill the bull before the Lord, and Aaron's sons the priests shall bring the blood and throw the blood against the sides of the altar that is at the entrance of the tent of meeting. Then he shall flay the burnt offering and cut it into pieces, and the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. And Aaron's sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, the head, and the fat, on the wood that is on the fire on the altar; but its entrails and its legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall burn all of it on the altar, as a burnt offering, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord.
In this verse we have a very detailed description of how God wants animals to be handled and sacrificed. Why is animal sacrifice necessary and why is God so explicit in his instructions? Why is each of these steps important? For instance, if the blood was not thrown on the sides of the altar, would the Lord still bless the individual offering the sacrifice? When other cultures or religions practice animal sacrifice it is seen as barbaric and cruel. Why are the same animal sacrifices not only endorsed, but demanded by the God of the Old Testament? If animal sacrifice was an important theological lesson for Christians and Jews, then why did the practice originate long before even Judaism arose? Why is the tradition no longer practiced in Christianity? Does God change his mind about the practice of animal sacrifice?Read More