Give this command to the Israelites and say to them: “Make sure that you present to me at the appointed time my food offerings, as an aroma pleasing to me.” Numbers 28:2
The list of offerings in this chapter is overwhelming. Sometimes we may feel that we make great sacrifices to live for God, but these are insignificant when we look at the extensive sacrificial system in the Old Testament. The Israelites weren’t a prosperous community and eating meat was a luxury. What was the purpose of these offerings?
God was impressing upon them the outrage of their sins when compared to the holiness of God. Paul writes, “So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law” (Galatians 3:24-25 NIV 1984).
The laws God gave were intended to show that the offence of our sins is so great that we would never be able to repay God. We need a Saviour. However, at this early point in the Israelites history, they didn’t understand how offensive their sin was to God. So the continual offerings sought to demonstrate this, and teach them the immense holiness of God.
Today, I wonder if we realise the great offence our sin is to God? If we have been a Christian for a while, we may take Jesus’ sacrificial death for granted. It was 2,000 years ago after all. Nevertheless, sin is still obnoxious to a holy God. The provision of a Saviour is God’s greatest blessing to us. Not only are we relieved of the burden of continuously making sacrificial offerings, but we can live free from the guilt of past sins.