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R-Rated: Preaching on Sacrifice from Leviticus

Why it matters and how to do it.

R-Rated: Preaching on Sacrifice from Leviticus

In any culture, preachers will be tempted to skip certain portions of the Bible that are especially foreign to their context. It is perhaps no surprise that in most Western cultures, many preachers are tempted to skip Leviticus as a whole! Not only is it full of laws—detailed laws that seem to have no relevance today—it also spends a lot of time talking about animal sacrifice, a practice that is either unfamiliar or offensive to many in a Western context. But skipping Leviticus—and especially skipping passages about sacrifice—would be a huge mistake.

Why preaching on blood and sacrifice matters

On one hand, it is these very passages that serve as a stumbling block to many. What kind of God demands bleeding sacrifices on the altar? Why would we follow such a bloodthirsty deity? These kinds of questions do not go away by ignoring them; they need to be addressed head on. And those who are Christians need help in knowing how to address them as well.

At same ...

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Displaying 1–3 of 3 comments

Mary Lewis

August 24, 2015  5:23pm

Hi Jay, I remember you from seminary and really enjoyed this article. When you spoke of the fat in the offering, I was reminded of a conversation I had at GCTS with an Ethiopian student who worked in the caf, as I did. He was shaking his head that we Americans were so obsessed with getting rid of all the fat on our meat, because in his culture, only the father got the fat. In a place where starvation is not uncommon, the one with the most fat had the best shot at survival, so of course it was given to the most honored person.

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Greg Hollifield

August 24, 2015  2:59pm

Great stuff, Jay! Thanks for sharing.

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P Mclain

August 17, 2015  7:18pm

interesting and helpful new (to me) perspective on parallels between Israel's rituals and ours.

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