Today I have been studying the Christian Old Testament book of Leviticus. Specifically, I have been studying the laws regarding sacrifice of animals. While reading, I come to the conclusion that there is a missing link. Something that may or may not be implied is implicit in the text.
If I have learned anything during my lifetime, I have learned that there is no “fast answer.” No one is going to “pedal my bike for me.” I stand before God with all my sins and imperfections. It is up to me to repent, to learn from my mistakes, and hopefully clean myself up and make myself presentable before God and the community.
I assert that the animal to be sacrificed was a gift as a pledge to God that the offender would do better. The offender was to take a bull, or a sheep, or a goat that was without blemish to the Lord–something of true earthly value. The offender would offer this perfect specimen to God as a promise and pledge to repent.
The priest would be there to witness the pledge, and, maybe in an Iron Age sort of way, offer encouragement to the person in need of change. This is the only answer regarding the sacrifice of animals that makes any sense to me. God could not eat an animal, nor taste of the aroma of the burnt offering. What God might do is sense the attitude and desire to repent. This may truly have been a sweet aroma to the Lord.
Fast forwarding to the time of Jesus, Our Savior, perhaps the only reason Jesus was willing to endure life on earth and death by crucifixion was to be OUR pledge—in the hope that We would repent and clean ourselves up, making our lives more presentable to God and the community.
In this spirit, the bulls and goats sacrificed during the Iron Age were not wasted. Neither was the sacrifice made by Jesus Himself, coming so long after, and continuing to this very age. Have faith.