In the late ‘80s, the Recording Industry Association of America started putting “Parental Advisory” labels on certain audio productions that they felt were “potentially unsuitable for children.” Sometimes I wonder if the Bible needs one of those stickers… especially when I read Leviticus. Not because the material is necessarily unsuitable for kids, but because there are many parts of it that need an explanation to kids of all ages… including myself.

I was reminded of this again this year as I was reading through Leviticus in our OT Reading Plan (you can find that at, it’s never too late to join in). I was absolutely shocked by how much blood was involved in the sacrificial system. Not only are animals killed, but it would seem that the blood of the animal was supposed to be sprinkled everywhere! There is even some evidence that when the Temple was built, there were special channels and drainage systems built into it just so that they could handle the copious amounts of blood. Priests would spend their entire workday making these sacrifices and then sprinkling their blood all over the place. There was just so much blood!

But maybe, it only seems “potentially unsuitable” to us because we don’t live in a time or place where we almost ever have to deal with blood. We let other people (or probably machines) do that for us. We just drive over to the closest In-N-Out, order up as many pre-processed slabs of cow that our hearts desire, then we eat them without ever having to consider that what we are eating was once a living, breathing animal, with blood flowing through its veins. We live in a society that is so distant from death that we rarely feel the pain of it. Maybe this was the point of the sacrifice… to be a reminder of the pain that sin brings.

So, maybe the emphasis on blood in Leviticus is really not meant to be gruesome or violent, but rather, it is meant to underscore the seriousness of sin. Instead of being grossed out by it, allow it to be a reminder that sin only steals, kills and destroys the life that God wants us to live. Then, be thankful anew for the life, death and resurrection to new life that Jesus experienced once and for all for us.

Josh Rose
Discipleship Pastor

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