A lesson on sacrifice

As I was reading the Bible through consecutively to get a better understanding of God and my relationship to Him, things were going fine until I got to Leviticus. That book caught me off guard because it records in detail the Hebrew protocol for making animal sacrifices to God. At first glance, it seemed barbaric and, in our modern world, irrelevant. But as I read on, I began to see something more.

In the practice of sacrifice, the children of Israel were working on a system for continually keeping God at the forefront of their everyday lives, as individuals and as a community. They were practicing devotion from their highest sense of right, in accord with the customs of the day.

Since those ancient times, we have progressed in our understanding of the nature of God and our duty to Him. Christ Jesus taught that “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). The Apostle Paul explained, “God … does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things” (Acts 17:24, 25, New Revised Standard Version).

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