Sermon:  Learning From the Sacrifices

1.  Several themes
	a.  Worship in Genesis
	b.  Sanctuary in Exodus
	c.  Sacrifice in Leviticus
2.  Since Old Testament is our school master, we will allow it to teach us on sacrifice

I.  Sacrifices were a major part of temple activity
	A.  Types of offerings in Leviticus
		1.  Burnt Offering  (Lev 1) - Whole burnt - atonement or dedication
		2.  Grain Offering (Lev 2) - Token portion, no leaven, priest eat portion, for 
		     general thanks
		3.  Peace Offering (Lev 3) - Fat, portions eaten w/priests, for thanks
		4.  Sin Offering (Lev 4-5) - Fat, portion priest, purification of sin, or unclean
		5.  Guilt Offering (Lev 5-6) - Fat, portion to priest, for guilt
		6.  For Consecration (Lev 8; 14:14; 16:19)
		7.  Day of Atonement (Lev 16) 
			a.  Most solemn day of the year, no work, Sabbath
			b.  Only time High Priest enters inside the veil
			c.  Offer bull as sin offering for himself first, & ram as burnt offering
			d.  Two goats, One a sin offering, the other a goat of removal
				- Incense into the veil first
				- Blood of bull on mercy seat
				- Slaughter goat of sin offering for people, sprinkle blood on 
				   mercy seat
				- Blood of bull and goat on horns of altar and on sides
				- Pronounce all sins of Israel on live goat, sent away
	B.  Various purposes depending on the type of offering
		1.  Can be grouped into two categories
			a.  Spontaneous gifts to God for praise or thanksgiving for 
			      blessings received, favors granted
			b.  Those God demands when the people sin
		2.  Israel was not the only nation that practiced sacrifices and built altars 
	C.  Israel's sacrificial system distinct from nations around it - (A key idea in 
	      Leviticus is 19:2 - Be Holy because God is Holy)
		1.  Not created by humans, but given by God
			a.  Many of the nations had detestable worship practices
			b.  Human sacrifices, fertility rites, etc.
		2.  The purpose for sacrifice was different
			a.  Many nations believed they were "feeding" their god
			b.  If they fed and cared for their god, their god would give them 
			     rain, crops, health, protection, etc.
			c.  (Ps 50:10-12) - But Yahweh does not "need" sacrifices
		3.  Purpose was for "atonement"
			a.  (Lev 1:1-4) - Atonement is used more in Leviticus than any book
			b.  What does atonement mean?
			c.  English word - "At-one-ment" - In a sense, expresses idea
		4.  So when sin, you make atonement through sacrifice
	D.  However, it is God that does the atoning  
		1.  (Lev 4:13-21) - An example
			a.  Lay hands on head of the animal
			b.  Priest takes blood to the tent of meeting, altar, in front of veil, 
			     pour rest at base of altar
				- Sin and guilt offerings always involved doing something 
				   with the blood
			c.  v.20 - They will be forgiven - It is ALWAYS passive, God does 
			     the forgiving
		2.  So, why go through all of this, why not just pray and forgive?
		3.  Lot to learn from all of this

II.  Lesson concerning Atonement
	A.  Doesn't really mean "at-one-ment," though the idea is there
	B.  Root meaning of KPR - "to wipe"
		1.  What does that mean?
			a.  Some scholars say "wipe on" as in covering up
			b.  Others say, "wipe off" as in cleaning or purifying
		2.  Probably wipe off  (Jer 18:23 - Parallelism)
			a.  Do not forgive (atone) their iniquity
			b.  Or blot out their sin from your sight
			c.  Parallel shows idea of wiping it away
		3.  Does this mean we get dirty?  Yes
			a.  All kinds of laws dealing with "purity" in the Old Testament
				-  Demonstrates we are to be a pure people
				- Need the impurities to be cleansed and taken away
			b.  (Ps 51:1-9) - David was impure and in sin, needed cleansing
		4.  Another related word is "corruption"
			a.  (Ps 53) - They have sinned and become corrupt
	C.  ILL:  Learned what a mud room was in looking at old houses
		1.  We are filthy with sin
		2.  God provides a "mud room" through sacrifice for sin
	D.  People became pure again through the offering of blood
		1.  See this over and over again in Leviticus
		2.  Usually don't think of blood making you clean

III.  Why does blood purify?  
	A.  Go back to the beginning
		1.  What did God give Adam
		2.  He sinned, and forfeited with God had given him - life 
		3.  Hebrew word "hattat" sin, to miss, or "forfeit"
		4.  Rom 6:23 - The wages of Sin is death
	B.  If you sin, abusing what God has given you, you forfeit it
		1.  ILL:  Heard stories about people getting cars repossessed
		2.  Not pay debt, it gets repossessed
		3.  Sort of the same way with sin
	C.  But had has provided a way to satisfy the debt without losing your life
		1.  (Lev 17:8-14) - Life of the flesh is in the blood
		2.  Back to beginning
			a.  God created man and animals with blood
			b.  They all (man and animals) are Heb: Nephesh Hayah
				- Living beings, living creatures
				-  Only man is in the image of God
		3.  Forfeit life, but it can be bought back through blood
	D.  So, atonement, "wiping away" is also wiping away our sin debt
		1.  Through the offering of blood, sin debt is wiped away
		2.  The red has been slashed out of the books
		3.  **But, it is not the blood of bulls and goats…
			a.  Sure they are living beings, nephesh hayah
			b.  But they are not in the image of God… 
			c.  All of this points to Jesus, the only one who could actually pay 
			     the debt and purify us
IV.  Jesus came into the world from God as a human
	A.  Jn 1:29 - Behold, Lamb of God, takes away sins of the world
	B.  (Eph 5:1-2) - Jesus offered up himself as a sacrifice, a fragrant aroma
	C.  (Eph 1:7-8) - Through his blood, we have redemption and forgiveness of sins
		-  Our sins are wiped away, and now we can come to God
	D.  (Col 2:13-14) - Jesus offered his blood, paid the debt
		1.  There is no longer a certificate of debt against you
		2.  The certificate of debt is NOT the Old Testament
			a.  Paul does not say this, and does not denigrate the Old 
			b.  If we had a New Testament without the blood of Christ, then 
			     there New Testament would also condemn you
			c.  Rom 2:17f - Jews with the law are condemned, and therefore 
			     have an unpaid debt they could not pay
			d.  Rom 1:18f Gentiles without the law are also condemned, and 
			      therefore have an unpaid debt they could not pay
		3.  Certificate of Debt is an analogy 
			a.  Greek:  Cheirographon - Refers to an IOU, note of unpaid debt
			b.  All, whether Jew or Gentile, had an unpaid debt due to sin
			c.  We all had an unpaid debt we could not pay
		4.  Jesus paid our debt

All can take advantage of the freedom from debt Jesus offers (invitation)