Scripture: verse 12
He is to bring [the bull] outside the camp to a clean place, where the ashes are emptied out. There he is to burn it on wood with fire; there, where the ashes are emptied out, it is to be burned up.
Observation: This passage concerns the sacrifice made for accidental or inadvertent sin. The sinner brings a bull, which is slaughtered. The blood (symbolic of the debt owed for the sin) gets poured out on the alter. The fat gets burned on the alter, as it did for a peace offering. The rest of the bull is taken outside the camp and burned there.
I can’t say I’m really certain why this happened. It kinda sounds like accidental sins need an offering that’s less “sacrifice-y” than the normal kind, which makes sense.
But it seems to me that this part gave the sinner some time away to think about things, while he stood and watched it burn. It gave him a chance to know that he is sinful, that even his best efforts won’t make him holy. To know he needs grace.
Today is Yom Kippur (why am I posting on Yom Kippur? Long story.) and it’s a day for recognizing that we don’t have it all figured out. None of us deserve happiness. None of us have earned peace. In the natural way of things we’d all be outcasts. Thankfully, things aren’t left to nature.
We don’t belong here. We’re welcome anyway.
Application: Acknowledge that you aren’t perfect. None of us are.
Prayer: Father, thank you for seeing me in the darkness and making a way for me to come into the light. Help me to remember and enjoy the light in all its brilliancy. Amen.