Atonement for sin was a costly procedure in ancient Israel. Every day two lambs were offered to the Lord at the altar as public sacrifices. That does not even count private, individual offerings. In addition, on Sabbath, two more lambs were offered beyond this. Monthly on the first of the month (like today) two bulls, a ram, seven lambs, and a goat would be added to the tally. During feasts, that “first of the month” formula kicked off the the feast.
So sacrifice was a blood-soaked litany for Israel. It was part of the daily experience of worship at the altar. There was never a break from the constant atonement for sin. The tabernacle was a literal slaughterhouse where this occurred over and over, day after day, in obedience to God’s command.
This has led me to a significant Maundy Thursday reflection for this week. Jesus, my Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed once for all (1 Corinthians 5:7). I don’t need to have my focus fixed on how I will atone for my sin. Instead, I look to a Savior Who died and rose again to end my estrangement from God and forgive my sins.This is significant. I celebrate the completion and not the action of sacrifice. I trust in His saving work and celebrate it daily by offering Him the living sacrifice of my life (Romans 12:1-2).