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All right, so Alden is asking the Israelites were to bring an ox or a lamb as a sacrifice. How could a million people do that? If only one in ten obeyed? That would still be a hundred thousand animals.
Alden, thank you so much for your question. That is a good question and you’re right that this would be a lot of animals being sacrificed in the temple. But let me kind of clarify a few things with you just so you get a clear idea as to kind of how the Jewish economy worked as far as things surrounding the temple and then also just putting a few things in perspective. So first of all, when people were to bring a sacrifice to a sin offering, basically to the temple or a wave offering, there was a lot of different offerings that people would bring into the temple. It was a busy work. The day of a priest was very busy. There were a lot of animals coming in and out. And in the course of a year, yeah, it could have been about 100,000 animals. That’s very possible because it was dozens and dozens of animals being sacrificed on a daily basis. But the thing is, you have to understand too, is the animals brought by the citizens were only brought in the case of a very specific sin that needed to be offered for. And so these were like if somebody did a wave offering, they did very specific sins or like there was a specific sacrifice.
If a king sinned in a certain way, then they would need to bring like a he goat. And if a regular person sinned in a certain way, they would have to bring a she goat. It was very specific sins that needed very specific sacrifices. And there’s lots and lots of them as you read through the books of Exodus, Leviticus, numbers, they kind of go into all those details on a daily basis. There were several sacrifices going on. But I also want you to understand that the regular Hebrew who maybe didn’t do I don’t want to say a big sin, but a sin that required a specific burnt offering. They were able to at the morning and at the evening during the sacrifice, the morning and the evening sacrifice, they were able to turn to Jerusalem and pray. And there would be a sacrifice being done for the people every day, in the morning and at night. And that would cover a lot of the nation of Israel. And so that’s my understanding as far as why there wasn’t know even more, because I know we all sin, all sinned and come short of the glory of God.
So not as many animals were being sacrificed as know individual sins, I would say. Another thing is that typically what I understood too, it was it was the patriarch of the family that would bring that sacrifice and represent the family in many cases. So again, it wasn’t each individual person like it wouldn’t be a little kid and everybody it would just be kind of the patriarch of that family would be the one to bring those sacrifices in. But regardless of how many were coming in it was a lot. And don’t get me wrong because when you read in the book of Hebrews chapter nine, paul talks about this and he says basically talking about the first covenant which is what required the blood of animals to point forward to Jesus Christ who would be the fulfillment of that. That’s why we don’t do animal sacrifices today. Hebrews, chapter nine, verse one, he’s saying verily truly the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service in a worldly sanctuary. In verse two he says and there was a tabernacle made, the first wherein was the candlestick and he describes this is the earthly sanctuary he talked about in the time of Moses that we read about like I’m talking about with the sacrifices.
And then he goes on to say something interesting. Basically in verse twelve or in verse eleven. I’ll start there, he says. But Christ being come and high Priest of Good Things to come by a greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands that is to say, not of this building, neither by blood of goats and calves but by his own blood has entered once into the holy place having obtained eternal light, eternal redemption for us. In verse 13, he says for if the blood of bulls and of goats and ashes of a heifer, these animal sacrifices sprinkling the unclean sacrifice to the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the Eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God. And so basically what Paul is saying here know if back then people felt this need know provide an animal sacrifice for an atonement for their sin understanding that this animal could never save you, right? Only the Messiah will be the one that this is a symbol of will be the one to save you. How much more then, because Messiah has come and has died and has made that sacrifice will not only cleanse you of your sin but also give you that peace of mind, the clearing of your conscience that your sins have been forgiven because your redemption was not purchased by you buying an animal and sacrificing it.
Your redemption was bought by the gift of Jesus Christ, the son of God who died for you, for your salvation. So could there have been in a year hundreds of thousand possibly animals? It’s possible. I don’t know the exact number but there were we know whenever they talk about you look in the Bible the duty of a priest. They were up at 09:00 A.m. And done at 06:00 p.m.. It was six hour day of just nonstop animals, sacrificing animals and sprinkling of blood. It was a lot of work for a priest. There was a lot going on. And when you look at Jesus, when he came into the temple and they were buying and selling animals, it was a loud noisy place. It wasn’t like there was just one animal, there was lots. It was an ongoing process until of course Jesus fulfilled it. And I’m so thankful that he did because I definitely wouldn’t want to be caught up in that process. But it was a reminder to point the people in the Jewish nation forward to the coming Messiah. And I do believe that Messiah is Jesus Christ who fulfilled the first covenant and which is why we can walk in newness of life through his blood because his sacrifice atones us once and for all.
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