Read Number 29:7-11
If you’ve read through the Old Testament ever, you’ve seen long descriptions of offerings (like the one referenced above as our reading) that included animals “without blemish.” In our world today, we have a backwards understanding of perfection. We think it is about ourselves. We want blemish-free lives as well as blemish-free reflections smiling back at us in the mirror. Depending on the level of problem we have coveting the control of our lives, we want as many things as possible in our lives to be perfect. It’s difficult for us, as people with easy access to food to appreciate these sacrifices. Some of us find these verses offensive because of our love for animals as pets, a love that may even extend to the point of seeing them as superior in value to other human beings. All this combines to make us at least wince when Scripture calls for sacrifices of live animals “without blemish.” Of course, as Christians, every single requirement like this points to and finds fulfillment in Jesus Christ who was “without blemish.” Furthermore, we see the continual reference to this requirement in the Old Testament as one of the countless things sealing its connection with the New Testament. Jesus Christ was the perfect, sinless sacrifice. Faith makes this personal. His living body had to meet with a gruesome, bloody end in order to ransom us from an earned eternity of horror. Though many “sophisticated,” so-called Christians wave this thought away as morally repugnant and inferior, it stands as the purpose for which the Bible was written. Oddly, many now see the Cross of Christ itself as a blemish. Let’s not join them, either directly or indirectly through a striving, self-absorbed life of idolatrous perfectionism. We all only need one thing to be perfect: Christ’s crucifixion. Life abundant and eternal flows from this. Whatever our hands and minds find to do and focus on today is filtered through this. God loves us so much that He sent His one and only Son… the one and only Sacrifice without blemish… to die for us that we may live today and forever because we believe it.