Summary: Launches off the sacrafices in the Old Testament and asks the question, "Does God ask us to make sacrafices today?". The answer is yes - pride, ego, selfishness, etc. We’re to sacrafice our whole self - Romans 12.
What is God asking you to sacrifice?
If you were a Hebrew living 3000 years ago God would ask you to sacrifice very specific things in a very specific manner. Open your Bibles to Leviticus Chapter one. While you’re making your way there I want to give away a secret – my marinade for barbequing steaks. You take a nice ribeye steak and poke a lot of holes in it with a fork. Then you sprinkle it with Worcestershire sauce and soak it in soy sauce. Finally, when you put it on the grill coat it with this – pepper seasoning. It’s simple, but absolutely delicious. I love to BBQ. Don’t you just love the smell when someone in the neighborhood is BBQing? The smell makes my mouth water.
I think God loves BBQing too. He told Moses to build a big BBQ. In Exodus God says this to Moses:
"Make an Altar of acacia wood. Make it seven and a half feet square and four and a half feet high. 2 Make horns at each of the four corners. The horns are to be of one piece with the Altar and covered with a veneer of bronze. 3 Make buckets for removing the ashes, along with shovels, basins, forks, and fire pans. Make all these utensils from bronze. 4 Make a grate of bronze mesh and attach bronze rings at each of the four corners. 5 Put the grate under the ledge of the Altar at the halfway point of the Altar. 6 Make acacia wood poles for the Altar and cover them with a veneer of bronze. 7 Insert the poles through the rings on the two sides of the Altar for carrying. 8 Use boards to make the Altar, keeping the interior hollow.
God told Moses to build a big BBQer – a big grill. And look how big it is. Seven feet square and four feet deep. It’s every mans dream grill (grunt grunt). Have you seen the all stainless steel grills? Man are the pretty. This thing though was all bronze – wow! God even tells him to make a set of grilling utensils to go along with it – it was like the ultimate fathers day gift.
God says to Moses – This is going to be a primary means for you to make sacrifices to me. What is God asking you to sacrifice?
Let’s look at some of the different sacrifices God tells the Hebrews to make:
This was a sacrifice they would make to pacify God’s wrath for their sins. It would cover over, or hide, their sins from God. Notice that it is to be all burnt up. It’s like God consumes all of the BBQed meat. And remember God told them to do this so that they may draw near to Him.
Turn to Lev 2:1-3
In this sacrifice Gods says to bring flour in the form of bread or just the ingredients for bread which included butter and sometimes frankincense. He says to put some on the grill and give some to the priests. I love the smell of fresh baked bread and that’s exactly what this was. It was a pleasing aroma to God and to the people making the sacrifices. God said sacrifice this bread so that you remember who gave you the grain in the first place. Remember that I love you and that I take care of you.
Turn to Lev 3:1-5
Here God says make a sacrifice for fellowship – of friendship. In this sacrifice some of the meat was burnt up on the big BBQ, some went to the priest, and some went to the person bringing the sacrifice. God said do this so we can hang out together. But look at what it involved. It involved someone bringing an animal to God to sacrifice. Something that they valued. Something that costs them.
God goes on in Leviticus and lays out all sorts of sacrifices that He wants the Hebrews to make in order for them to have a relationship with Him. There’s the
What is God asking you to sacrifice?
Remember God is telling the Hebrews – Make all these sacrifices because this is how I want you to have a relationship with me. It wasn’t the Hebrews trying to work for their salvation. It wasn’t them trying to manipulate God. It was God saying – Do these things in these particular ways. Living in the freedom of Christ sometimes it’s easy to look down our noses at the Hebrews. We tend to look at them in the same light we look at other religions trying to work their way to God. Remember it was God who said to them – This is how I want you to have a relationship with me. Sometimes it’s easy to take our freedom in Christ for granted. We can buy into the lie that sacrifices ended with the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Don’t get me wrong - did Jesus die for sin once for all? Absolutely! Can we do anything to pay for the sins we have committed? NOPE! Our salvation is not by works.