Everything points to Jesus. Jesus is the resolution, He is the solution. He's the author and finisher of our faith. In our reading today in Leviticus and Numbers everything points to Jesus. And even in Moses' day everyone understood that everything pointed to Jesus. In Hebrews 11:26 it refers to Moses and says,"He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward." The children of Israel knew that Christ was where there redemption and solution relied. They knew that sacrificing animals was not removing their sins.Heb. 10:3-4 "But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins."
They knew their salvation would be in Christ not in animal sacrifice. Animal sacrifice was a reminder for them of their sin. Animal sacrifice could never take away sins. So each year they would sacrifice their animals to the Lord and their sins would move another year closer to the cross. Because of their obedience in animal sacrifice God was patient and was not holding them under judgment.
Rom. 3:25-26" God presented Him(Jesus) as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood. He did this to demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished. He did it to demonstrate His justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus."
Today's reading helped me to understand just how busy these priests were and how hard they worked. Numbers 28:1-8 gives instruction that each Israelite was to present two lambs a year at their appointed time. One lamb would be sacrificed in the morning, the 2nd lamb would be sacrificed that evening. I did a little math, 600,000 men, 352 days a year. The priests would be burning 1,704 lambs a day in the morning and then another 1,704 lambs each evening to appease this one food offering unto the Lord. And don't forget about all the bulls, goats, and birds that they were to present to the Lord as well. These priests were busy and hard workers at that. This is a whole lot of barbecuing going on. As a present day pastor this makes me very thankful to be a New Testament follower of Christ instead of an Old Testament priest. Thankfully Jesus has put animal sacrifice to rest.
Heb. 9:26b-28 "But now He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him."
As spring is right around the corner, this next time you fire up your BBQ make sure to thank the Lord, that God made you a New Testament believer.