“Whatever man of the house of Israel who kills an ox or lamb or goat in the camp, or who kills it outside the camp, and does not bring it to the door of the tabernacle of meeting to offer an offering to the Lord before the tabernacle of the Lord, the guilt of bloodshed shall be imputed to that man. He has shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from among his people” (Leviticus 17:3-4).
This verse is not speaking about the killing of an animal for food purposes, but the killing of an animal as a sacrifice to God. God did not want such animal sacrifices to be made just anywhere, but insisted that such animal sacrifices be brought to the tabernacle of meeting (Leviticus 17:5). Notice what God would impute to the person who failed to obey this command of God: God would impute to them the “guilt of bloodshed” (Leviticus 17:4).
God considered the death of an animal as a sacrifice to Him as a serious and solemn matter: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11). God said that He had given the animal’s blood to make atonement for the soul of the Israelite.
As Christians, we do not offer animal sacrifices today. This is because the blood of God’s Son Jesus Christ was shed for our sins to make atonement for our souls (1 Peter 1:18-19; Romans 5:11). However, today is the Lord’s Day. We should gather today with our fellow Christians to remember the death of His Son whose blood was shed for our sins. Worship is a serious and solemn matter. This does not mean we should be sullen. We celebrate the love, mercy and grace God has shown to us as we worship Him together in the place where He has chosen for us to gather together to worship Him, His church.
“Praise the Lord! I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, In the assembly of the upright and in the congregation” (Psalm 111:1)