Ps 51:17 – The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
Israel lived under the rules of the Law of Moses. The Law contains detailed instructions for sacrifices of certain animals and grains. It also contained instructions on things that were allowed to be eaten, the treatment of people, and the punishment for people that broke the rules of the Law or committed crimes against others in society.
Basically the only way that anyone could have forgiveness of sin was to bring the correct sacrifice to the priests, which were God’s chosen religious leaders. The priests would then kill the animal and burn it’s carcass on what was called an altar.
You may wonder why an animal had to die. What did it have to do with people’s sin?
Not one thing! That’s the point. An innocent animal died because someone else sinned.
Heb 9:18-22 says, that is why even the first covenant was put into effect with the blood of an animal. For after Moses had read each of God’s commandments to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, along with water, and sprinkled both the book of God’s law and all the people, using hyssop branches and scarlet wool. Then he said, “This blood confirms the covenant God has made with you.” And in the same way, he sprinkled blood on the Tabernacle and on everything used for worship. In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.
Now don’t get hung up in hyssop branches and scarlet wool. And don’t get stuck on the first covenant right now. I’ll cover all that later.
What I wanted you to really understand is the last part – that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. Just remember that.
In the Law the priests were allowed to keep certain portions of the animal for their food. Different animals were used for different sacrifices – lambs, goats, doves, and heifer cows.
A grain offering often consisted of baked bread, which some was also able to be eaten by the priests.
You can read the different things concerning the Law in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The Law also contains the Ten Commandments and each part of the Law is based on violations of a Commandment.
The Law is perfect in what it is designed to do – reveal sin.
It is written in Rom 7:7 – In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.”
Once a person knew they had sinned they would bring their sacrificial offering to the priest. So if you sinned by lying today, you’d bring the right sacrifice today. Tomorrow if you told another lie, then you’d have to bring another sacrifice. The more you sinned – the more sacrifices you would have to bring. The severity of your sin demanded more of a sacrifice.
It could get very expensive since animals cost money or you would start diminishing your herd of farm animals.
But there is more to it than that. I’ll continue with this subject next time.