Have you ever wondered why the condition of a sacrifice mattered to God? I mean think about it. In the Old Testament the Israelites were required to present an unblemished sacrifice to God in order to receive atonement for their sins. Why did the animal have to be “unblemished” if God created them all; blemish and unblemished alike?
“You place defiled food on My altar. But you ask, `How have we defiled You?’ By saying that the Lord’s table is contemptible. When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong?” Malachi 1:7-8
“You shall not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep in which is a blemish, any defect whatever, for that is an abomination to the Lord your God.” Deut. 17:1
God did not require ‘unblemished’ sacrifices because He himself though one animal was better than the other. After all He created them each one unique, each one different; some with flaws, some with perfections. God wasn’t looking for the best of the best in his creation because in His eyes, he loved all his creation.
The reason God required a flawless sacrifice was simply because of the value we place on flawlessness. As humans with a sin nature, we tend to value one animal higher than another. If an animal is blind we see no use in it. However if the animal is healthy, he is useful. God, knowing our nature, understood that when we present imperfect sacrifices to him we are demonstrating the insincerity of our hearts. If we truly don’t value what we are offering God, then we are merely doing what is convenient for ourselves and giving God our leftovers, which he despises.
Thankfully animal sacrifices are no longer required because God sacrificed His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, as the ultimate perfect, sinless, unblemished sacrifice. In doing this God demonstrated His sincere love for us because he sacrificed his very best to save us. God lived by the same rule he required his people to follow.
We may not have to perform animal sacrifices today, however we are required to yield our bodies as a living sacrifice to Him. Romans 12:1 infers, “offer your body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, for this is your true and proper worship.” If giving imperfect sacrifices in the Old Testament displayed the insincerity of their hearts, how much more does it uncover the insincerity of our heart when we give God our leftovers. Our leftover time, leftover money, leftover love. In effect we are offering God nothing but our blemished sacrifices.
Be the living sacrifice that He desires and knows you can be, after all God presented us with His very best, shouldn’t we follow his example?
(also blogged on www.vineoflifenews.com)