Sunday one of the lady’s in my Bible class said, “You need to move on and quit talking about slitting throats of animals–I’m getting sick.”
OK, well, we were talking about the time when I slaughtered a goat and hit my own shin with the sledgehammer. I was able to recover, and groaning, finished the task.
This led to an incredulous question from one lady about why I had used a hammer and not slit the goat’s throat. One elder popped up and said the next door neighbor of the church had two goats roaming on our parking lot and would I shepherd them. Hey, man, I’m not the shepherd. Did I not just tell you a story about what happens when I handle goats?
We had been talking about the atonement out of Leviticus 16 and cross-referencing Hebrews 9. Those are bloody chapters. The most striking are these two verses in parallel universes of Israel’s temple rituals and the altar of the cross of Christ:
I have provided the blood for you to make atonement for your lives on the Altar; it is the blood, the life, that makes atonement.*
Through the Spirit, Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead-end efforts to make ourselves respectable, so that we can live all out for God.*