Sunday, September 25, 2011

Shedding of Blood

Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

As our Pastor was preaching through the book of Hebrews in our Sunday morning services, the subject of animal sacrifices inevitably came up. He made a point that I think is well worth repeating (of course he made more than one point worth repeating, unfortunately I only have time to relate one of them here).

But first, a couple comments of my own. In modern day America, cruelty to animals has come to cause of more outrage than aborting babies. While I find that fact both shocking and disgusting, my attitude tends to swing too far the other direction. Because I see the hypocrisy of those who put animal life above human life, I tend to look at the abuse of animals a bit more cavalierly than is proper. As an example, I did not think Michael Vick should have gone to jail for the whole dog fighting scandal. That does not mean I condone what he did, I just did not see it as offensive enough to warrant jail time. It also does not mean that I lean toward disregard for animals in my own actions. Far from it; our dog is in the midst of allergy season with an accompanying disgusting odor, and yet I feel guilty about making her sleep in the garage. Yes, I can be pretty cruel!

I think a lot of Christians may be like me and wind up giving the impression that they have no regard for the welfare of animals, when in reality they are just overreacting to the perceived hypocrisy of groups such as PETA. Truth is, the Bible is clear that none of God's creation should be abused.

Which brings us to one of our Pastor's points from his sermon. The whole issue of animal sacrifices as instituted in the Old Testament law was NOT evidence of a lack of compassion for animals, but rather evidence of a huge amount of compassion for sinners. The shedding of the blood of those animals, far from placing a low value on their life, was to show just how utterly life and death serious the matter of sin was!

If you go to Hebrews chapter 9, you will read how Jesus' death on the cross was the fulfilment of the sacrifice for sins pictured in the Old Testament. That is how serious sin is!


Anonymous said...

You nailed it. I do the same thing regarding animals. I love animals but tend to think they are there for food and also company. They serve many purposes. How do we protect them so much and care so little about babies? The sin condition is the answer. We are worthy of death and thank God we do not have to sacrifice animals to gain forgiveness anymore. Old testament sacrifice is a great illustration for Christ's sacrifice for us.

Dan said...

Right on Lee

A Watchman on the Wall said...

First time visitor - found your site when looking for info on 'christian chain letters' The last straw arrived today when I received not one - but two such emails. Thx for that post.

Shedding of Blood we find first mention in Genesis 3:21. I picture Adam and Eve standing watching God slaughter an animal, perhaps a sheep. An animal they had cared for now lay dead on the ground because of their willful act of disobedience. The acceptance of this Blood covering for them was their Salvation - just as it is for us.

Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin.

Thanks for this profound post.

St. Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
St. Lee said...

Thanks for stopping by Watchman. I know what you mean about the chain letters (though I don't seem to get so many anymore). From what you say, I would guess that you found my blog via a post from a couple years back which I titled "Spiritual Chain Letters." If not, here is the link that you can cut and paste:

ali said...

Thanks for the link - that was the one I found in my research.