The Killing Floor: A Divinely Inspected Slaughterhouse

A Passage, Post and Poem for Lent

PASSAGE:

The Lord called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting. He said, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When anyone among you brings an offering to the Lord, bring as your offering an animal from either the herd or the flock.

“‘If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, you are to offer a male without defect. You must present it at the entrance to the tent of meeting so that it will be acceptable to the Lord. You are to lay your hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on your behalf to make atonement for you. You are to slaughter the young bull before the Lord, and then Aaron’s sons the priests shall bring the blood and splash it against the sides of the altar at the entrance to the tent of meeting. You are to skin the burnt offering and cut it into pieces. The sons of Aaron the priest are to put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. Then Aaron’s sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, including the head and the fat, on the wood that is burning on the altar. You are to wash the internal organs and the legs with water, and the priest is to burn all of it on the altar. It is a burnt offering, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.

POST:

Grunting, squealing, they left the trailer, entered pens to wait their turn to be led single file to slaughter: Caged, electrocuted, flopping out, to be hung on meat hooks, then jerkily travelling the killing floor where their carcasses were scalded, skinned, and sliced up, divided into bacon, ham, chops, loins, and ribs, that, once cooked, make a pleasing aroma to consumers.

Beef sides hang in a chilling room at a slaughterhouse in Nebraska

Reading Leviticus reminds me of bringing hogs to market, few of our “piggies” stayed home, and none ever had pudding. Leviticus drips with blood; Smoke and ashes waft up, sting our eyes of faith, though, it’s a pleasing aroma to God, as we read.

The LORD’s dry instructions tend to distance us from the hands on brutality of it all, the bloody messiness with the acrid smell of burning flesh and fat, along with the sight of charred bones and a blood stained alter, from which blood-red rivulets run, and pool.

The LORD’s Priests are Holy butchers, enacting worship as a deadly serious ritual, twice daily and more, day after day, ad nauseum, to show the cost of sin, death; Represented in the killing of animals, in place of people.

Reading what the LORD says in Leviticus starkly confronts us with the bloody deadly cost of sin! His detailed instructions were enacted repeatedly until Golgotha, an exposed hill like a skull. There, once for all, our sins were and are atoned for by one death, of a person.

Now, thanks to the Lord’s calling, we no longer tread the killing floor. Our lives are a pleasing aroma to God in Jesus Christ.

POEM: “And The LORD called…” (Hebrew – WAYYIQRA AKA Leviticus)

…for blood and gore

Because we’re all whores.

Blood pours from the gashes,

fat, flesh, and bone become ashes,

float and fall, from scroll, page, or screens.

What’s that sound?

Can you hear the screams?

Best of the breeding stock,

because Yahweh won’t be mocked!

What’s that Smell?

Like burnt toast,

it’s roasted grain,

with a pinch of salt.

All to keep sin at bay.

Can’t just hit alt-delete,

and make it all just go away.

What’s that you see?

List after list,

like a deadly mist,

so many sacrificial trysts,

from tabernacle to temples,

all a series of deadly examples

long before Golgotha!

What’s that?

The real thing, once for all,

by one alone.

He changes whores,

raises the dead,

who now tread,

the killing floors,

no more.

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