When was the last time you read Genesis? Perhaps it was not long ago; can you tell someone about the story of Genesis? It’s a very good story, but the people, circumstance and events within its pages are all true. Because many people think it is not, properly understanding worship escapes them.
In six days, the Lord created the heavens and the earth, and on the 6th day the Lord created the male and female. In Genesis 2, the Lord attached the female to the male and humanity has the divine introduction to the smallest unit in the community, the family. This attachment is very important for the family unit and for society. About the family, since the Lord does the attaching, the individual ways of thinking the male and female will certainly have must be bonded together under the banner (teaching) of the Lord to form one unit. Whose opinion holds sway when the perspectives are so different? The only perspective to hold sway is the Lord’s, thus the two become one flesh.
The Lord set up the family, the perfect creation of the smallest unit to beautifully enhance the community. It did not take long, however, before outside influences created havoc with the Lord’s perfect creation of the family. This indicates something important for us. The male and female were created perfect in all-respects, and that included with free-will, or the ability to choose freely. It’s up to each person to choose to do or not do whatever is desired. There are consequences to each choice, the but the choice belongs to each.
Adam and Eve both freely chose to eat fruit forbidden by the Lord, and with this choice sin corrupted the couple. This spiritual corruption could not be helped, but to also pass down to the children taught. Even if the vast-majority of that which was taught was virtuous and righteous, that little bit of corruption was still there! Since that time, man has “bent-over-backwards” to reach God, to bridge a gap that could never be bridged. So, in the interim, God gave a substitutionary method of being pleasing to Him.
The method was blood sacrifice. Why blood? Life is a gift of God, and the life of man is in his blood (Leviticus 17:11). Yet, man’s life (his blood) is now tainted/corrupted by sin. Thus, the life of a human being was not “taint-free” or “corruption-free” of sin. Select animals of God’s choice were not however. Why animals? The blood (life) of man could not atone for his own guilt, his own sin. Yet, the Lord did not want His creation to be left with no remedy to address the separation, wherein he could reach God. He gave man an avenue to cross the bridge to reach God via the substitutionary method of animal sacrifices. The blood (life) of animals was not tainted with corruption like the blood (life) of man. Since life is in the blood (cf. Lev. 17:11; Gen. 9:4-7), and man could not of his own ability bridge the gap to God, God gave a temporary substitute-bridge (the blood of animals).
Why did an animal have to die? When sin enters life, spiritual death results. God could justifiably take one’s life physically since He is the giver of life both spiritually and physically. God, however, chose not to do this. In His mercy, He chose the blood of creatures that could not have sin (ever) taint their blood (or life). Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (Hebrews 9:22; 10:4).
In Genesis, we read of man’s effort to get to God, of man’s effort to live without God and God’s redemptive plan unfold. RT