Then the anointed priest is to bring some of the blood of the bull to the tent of meeting; and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle [it] seven times before the LORD, in front of the veil. He shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar which is before the LORD in the tent of meeting; and all the blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering which is at the doorway of the tent of meeting.
The fourth chapter of Leviticus is about the sin offerings. I use the plural, because the offering is slightly different depending on whose sin is being atoned for. The priest has to bring a certain animal and do things a certain way (vv 1-12), the congregation as a group a different animal and slightly different procedure (vv 13-21), the leadership still a different animal and procedure (vv 22-26), and a member of the congregation another (vv 27-35). The verses on which I want to focus come from the section on the congregation’s sin offering.
First thing: the sacrifice for sin, no matter for whom, was killed outside the presence of God. The immediate presence of God was in the Most Holy Place which was with the Ark of the Covenant which was inside the veil which was inside the tabernacle. The altar of burnt offerings was placed by the doorway into the tabernacle and was the location on which the offering was killed. Jesus, when He was crucified, cried out asking why God the Father had forsaken Him — Jesus was, in that moment, not in the presence of His Father.
Once the sacrifice was dead, the priest was to take some of the blood into the tabernacle and sprinkle it around in front of the veil and basically anoint the horns of the altar of incense with that blood. Jesus ascended to the Father and His blood made atonement for our sins and sanctifies our prayers (altar of incense) so that we can be heard. The rest of the blood was poured out at the foot of the altar. Jesus’ blood was poured out at the foot of the cross.
The parallels are wonderful.
While seeing Christ in the sin offering is good, it does not avail me much if I cannot apply it to my life here and now. My application for this morning is gratitude. Where once there were regular sacrifices instated as symbols of the better that was to come (Jesus Christ), I live in the reality of those symbols and do not need to bring animals. The sacrifices, both the shadows in The Law and the better sacrifice of Christ, are stark reminders of just how terrible my sin is and what a monstrous high cost it carries. Let me be grateful that God paid the price I never could so that I could enter into His presence.
Thank You, Father, for sending Jesus to pay my debt. Thank You for wanting that fellowship and for being willing to do whatever it took to restore it after we, I and every other person who has ever lived or ever will, mangled it.