I was just thinking this morning about how costly and messy sin was for the Israelites.
First off, sin was costly in time, as you had to take your sin offering to the temple and stand in line for the priest to make your offering. If you were are really "good" person you didn't sin while standing in line. Did people take an extra sin offering with them just in case they sinned in line?
Can you imagine raising all those animals knowing full well that many of them would be given as offerings, instead of their normal uses? I would have had to have a lot of animals.
When I was younger I was the clean up boy for a meat market. The thing that was really bad was when we ran out of hot water. Blood and fat on the floor and walls is difficult to get off when you have hot water, but all it does is get slippery when you run out. You can smear it all around, but without some serious chemicals it is not cleaning up. Think about the priests clothes. Did they have a new set of clothes everyday? You can't get that blood out w/o some sort of cleaning solution. You can't get the fat off w/o hot water. If you put hot water on first then you stain the garment with the blood. What a mess. And that is not even saying anything about the temple floor and stairs.
For us today, sin is costly in time and is still messy, just in a different way. Maybe if we thought of the true cost more frequently we would sin less. Maybe if we had to clean up the mess, like in the OT, we would sin less. Maybe if we worked our entire lives to raise animals to sacrifice we would understand the cost more. Maybe if we spent more time on our knees, begging for forgiveness we would not run into sin so quickly. Maybe if we understood the mercy and grace of Christ more clearly we would be more thankful for the cost to Him, on our behalf.
It is His kindness that leads to repentance, but He is also holy and can't look on sin. Oh to be more holy and not have to "use" so much grace and mercy. Oh how thankful I am that His mercies are new every morning and that they are endless. Help me Lord to live in light of the cost and in light of the joy that comes from following Your Word.