The thought of Old Testament sacrifices has bothered me for a long time. Why does God require dead animals to atone for the sins of mankind? Why does the Temple ritual have to be so bloody? Does God really enjoy the smell of burning animal flesh?
I don’t think that I have come up with the most complete answer. But here goes nothing.
The New Testament is clear that sin leads to death and separation from God (Romans 6:23). Jesus takes our place and provides the perfect sacrifice that we can never be (Hebrews 5:9, 10:10-18) .
I believe the sacrifice has to be bloody. Hebrews 9:22 testifies that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” Jesus by meeting the requirements of the first law established a second, better covenant.
Talking about the blood of Christ offends modern sensibilities. Blood is a cultural taboo. But there may be no better way to understand it. Otherwise, we may forget just how precious is the price that was paid for our freedom.
May Jesus’ death never become ordinary to me. May I never see any sin as worth the price. I need the cross to be bloody so that I will understand just how serious and costly sin is.