Sights and Smells of Sacrifice


As I’ve been reading the beginning if Leviticus the last few days what has stood out to me is how big of a deal sin is. Contemporary culture doesn’t talk about sin much, or any sort of weakness or evil in us. Instead we all are good, everyone is right, I’m OK you’re OK.

But you can’t understand sin as no big deal and make sense of Leviticus. Sin is a very big deal and God’s people went through a lot to deal with it.

With all these regulations and sacrifices, sin was an unavoidable topic. Think about the constant reminder in the sights, sounds, and smells of the tabernacle. Seeing smoke rise up as a sacrifice for your sin, smelling the burnt fat, seeing others giving over first fruits and goats without blemish.

But as often as you’d be reminded of sin, you’d be reminded of the confidence the people had in knowing those sins were forgiven. The smoke rises up to heaven and it vanishes in the winds just as our sins when confessed are raised to God, forgiven, and then cast far from us, as far as the east is from the west.

Sin is not a fashionable subject, but it was a big deal then and it is a big deal now. It was so big that to save us from our sin God sent his Son to set us free. It makes no sense to speak at length on salvation and forgiveness and neglect what we are forgiven for and saved from. Sin is a problem that thankfully our God has overcome. Let’s not overlook our sin and in so doing diminish how great God’s forgiveness is.

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