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Today we begin to read about the Old Testament sacrifices (Leviticus 1-3) There were four kinds of animal sacrifices:
- The Whole Burnt Offering – completely burned up on the altar signifying complete dedication to God.
- The Fellowship Offering – providing the worshipper with a chance to eat a fellowship meal with God. Some of the meat was burned and some eaten by the worshipper and the priest.
- The Sin Offering – to make atonement for sin.
- The Guilt Offering – to make atonement for sin where restitution is required.
There was also a Grain Offering given with the Whole Burnt Offering or Fellowship Offering.
Some lessons for us as we read about these sacrifices:
- The wages of sin is death. The person offering the sacrifice would place their hands on the head of the animal, transferring their guilt. And then the animal was slaughtered.
- Blood atones for sin. Remember how the New Testament talks about the blood of Christ that cleanses from our sins. See 1 John 1:7 and Hebrews 9:22.
In our New Testament lesson (Mark 2:23-3:19), we see two distinct reactions to Jesus' ministry: hardness of heart by the Pharisees and the fervent desire of the people to get as close to Jesus as possible.
This Lenten season, as we see Jesus become the Great Sacrifice, taking on the wages of sin for us and shedding his blood to atone for our sins, may we join the crowds with a fervent desire to draw closer to Jesus.