“'If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord. Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. He shall kill the bull before the Lord; and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of meeting” (Leviticus 1:3-5)
Sometimes, as Christian, we read quickly through some of these Old Testament passages which speak about animal sacrifices without thinking too much about them. If you take careful note of this passage you will see that the individual Israelite who was bringing this burnt offering had to LAY HIS HAND on the bull and kill it himself (Leviticus 1:4). He would feel the animal breathing and looking around before he killed the animal. Furthermore, after killing the bull, the person had to skin and cut up the animal (Leviticus 1:6). After this, the individual Israelite had to wash the animal’s entrails and legs himself before the rest of the animal was offered on the altar (Leviticus 1:9).
Why would God require a person to do this? I am not sure of all the reasons, but I do know that it certainly would make the person aware of the consequences of their own sin. They would see that their own sin against God caused the death of another. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). All of these animal sacrifices could not take away the sins of man (Hebrews 10:4). These sacrifices were offered in faith looking forward to the time when God would send His own Son Jesus to pay the price for the sins of the world (John 3:16).
How do I view my sin? Do I take it seriously or do I treat it as “no big deal” since everyone else is doing it? May such Old Testament passages as this cause us to see the serious nature of our own sin. This does not mean that as a Christian I should walk around with a sad face because of my sin. We rejoice as Christians because we have been forgiven of our sin through the sacrifice of Christ. Because of GOD’S GREAT LOVE FOR ME he provided Christ as the sacrifice for my sin.
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).