“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according
to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all
my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” NIV
God longs for his children to have a clean heart, because a person can’t have a good relationship with a dirty conscience. Dark stains of sin allow shame and guilt to become merciless slave-masters that keep our hearts in bondage, locked in a prison of despair.
I used to be bored by the animal sacrifice in the Old Testament, until I found the significance of how it teaches us the blotting power of Jesus over our sins. In fact, if you tell someone that they are totally forgiven in Jesus Christ, and that his blood cleanses them from all sin, they might have a hard time understanding what that means, let alone, how to apply it to their own lives.
When God blots out sin, He accomplishes two goals: One, he completely cleanses, and two, he completely covers. These are necessary for us to not only survive, but to be empowered to thrive and have abundant life in our relationship with him as Father God.
Old Testament sacrifice was a picture of how Jesus would blot out sin in our lives in every way, shape, form, past, present, and future. For example, God would call for the pleasing aroma produced by the sacrifice. This holy barbeque was a picture of how God covers the stench of sin, and replaces it with the aroma of Christ in our life.
The blood would be applied to the altar and priest along with oil. The oil, representing the Holy Spirit, is the only thing that can deliver cleansing to our hearts (not our works or flesh-power). The light inside the tabernacle would blot out the darkness, to show our release from the prison of shame, and to walk with Jesus.
By Aaron F. Jeffers