Saturday, February 15, 2014

Animals in the Bible - Bulls, Bullocks, and Calves

Chapter 7 – Bulls, Bullocks, and Calves

Bulls. bullocks (young castrated bulls), and calves are mentioned in 17 of the 39 books of the Old Testament, but in only 4 New Testament books. Calves are referred to as meat for feasts, as images of idol worship, and as sacrifices. But in nearly every verse that names bulls and bullocks they are used as sin offerings, meat offerings, burnt offerings – a sacrifice. Their innocent blood was used continually to cover the sins of the people of Israel. Here’s an example from the Torah:
Exodus 29:12, 14: And you shall take of the blood of the bullock, and put it upon the horns of the altar with thy finger, and pour all the blood beside the bottom of the altar.
But the flesh of the bullock, and his skin, and his dung, shalt thou burn with fire without the camp: it is a sin offering.
But when the Messiah arrived, he became the high priest and bypassed the old tabernacle and the altar and went straight into heaven’s true Holy Place, once and for all. He also bypassed the sacrifices consisting of the blood of bulls, bullocks, and calves, instead using his own blood as the price to set us free from our sins. If that animal blood and the other rituals of purification were effective in covering the sins of the Israelites, think how much more the blood of Christ cleans up our whole lives, inside and out. Through the Spirit, Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, far, far superior to bulls, bullocks, and calves.