Sometimes the boundaries of the ridiculous, grotesque and darn right offensive are captured most succinctly by a group that it does the work of those opposed to the group most successfully! By so doing, the group shows the true light of their misguided agendas most effectively. But to be fair to Michael Rood, at least he has the courage to take the NT & NT theology to its logical conclusion(s). Well at least in an arena where the Roman Catholic Church/ Eastern Orthodox Churches are king. Take for example the group spectacle of the picture above alongside the more traditional abomination, courtesy of Michael Rood and a Rood Awakening’s Mission:
To awaken and deliver people from the perverted traditions of man-made religion so that they can live in loving obedience to the Torah and learn to walk with the Messiah in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The picture shows a BBQ’d lamb on some kind of stake, the BBQ’d lamb adorned with a crown of thorns, a red cloth (no doubt to lower the lamb/ Jesus/ Yeshua off the stake after the torture of crucifixion) and all mounted on what may be some version of an altar of the burnt offering used in the temple. One observer noted how the prophet Isaiah spoke of this:
Assemble and come, approach together, you survivors of the nations; those who carry their graven wooden image and pray to a god who does not save, do not know. Isaiah 45:20
Not so surprising is Michael Rood’s efforts when considering a typology as invented by the New Testament (especially the book of Hebrews) which has set a whole agenda of having folks believe that the whole sacrificial system as outlined in the Torah is fulfilled to a tee in Yeshua and/ or Jesus. The problem is that such literal typology does not at all match even the words and context of scripture. Like the child who pointed out that the emperor is wearing no clothes we may observe:
- Jesus was never burnt as a burnt offering.
- The Passover lamb was never beaten/ scourged or tortured. In fact quite the opposite, the Passover lamb had to be without blemish.
- The Passover lamb never wore a crown of thorns.
- The Passover lamb was not a sacrifice for atonement.
The problem with such NT/ Rood typology is that it ignores the very context of scripture. The lamb in the context of the Passover story was a god (amongst many) for the Egyptians. Indeed some of the ten plagues were with respect to the other idols of the Egyptians (frogs, river Nile, wild animals for example). Tellingly, the lamb, a sign of fertility, was killed in the middle of the month of Nisan (Aries in the zodiac corresponds to the time of Nisan and has the sign of the sheep) and the blood of the lamb placed on the door lintels of the Israelites’ dwellings. A biblical proof that the lamb was a god of the Egyptians is by consideration of Exodus 8 which concerns Moshe’s request of pharaoh to allow a sacrifice in the desert. Considering verse 22:
And Moses said: ‘It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God; lo, if we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not stone us? Exodus 8
A question may be asked if the sacrifice (lamb/ sheep) was an abomination to the Israelites or the Egyptians. The answer to the rhetorical question asked by Moshe causes us to consider what would the basis be for the Egyptians to stone the Israelites, if not for Israelites sacrificing the god of the Egyptians?
Given a wider understanding of what sacrifice achieves and what it does not, one may already conclude in the case of Passover, that the Passover sacrifice draws us closer to G-d and each other by virtue of eating the sacrifice. Here also in the Passover sacrifice a vehicle is provided to express mans’ desire to forsake idols, enslavement and choose G-d exclusively.
Understanding the context of sacrifices and the wider understanding of what sacrifice achieves and what it does not helps us to understand the dangers of other non-Israelite and/ or Christian ideas, with respect to sacrifices. A danger being that of idolatry by worship of created things instead of the creator by making the sacrifice and ‘the blood’ the sole object of worship. The Jewish scriptures clearly teach against the idea of a substitutionary atonement and instead, stress the importance of an individual’s and a nation’s responsibility for sin and taking appropriate action (see Ezek 18:20-22)
Animal sacrifice has always been permitted and post Sinai only under extremely limited and controlled circumstances as to time, place[Lev 17:2-5] and intention as detailed by the Torah. Certain sacrifices are brought purely for the purpose of communing with God and becoming closer to Him. Others are brought for the purpose of expressing thanks, love, or gratitude to God. Others are used to cleanse a person of ritual impurity (which does not necessarily have anything to do with sin). And yes, some sacrifices are brought for purposes of atonement. The messianic era does have sacrifices if Jer 33:15-18 is considered.
So what about human sacrifice?
1 Thus says the LORD: The heaven is My Throne, and the earth is My Footstool, where is the house that you may build unto Me? And where is the place that may be My resting-place? 2 For all These things has My hand made, and so all These things Came to be, says the LORD, But on this man will I look, even on Him That is poor and of a Contrite Spirit, and Trembleth at My word. 3 He That Kills an ox is as if he slew a man, he That Sacrifices a lamb, as if he broke a dog’s neck, he That Offers a meal-Offering, as if he Offered swine’s blood, he That makes a memorial-Offering of frankincense, as if he blessed an idol; according as they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations; Isaiah 66
Isaiah 66 is talking primarily about sacrifices without repentance and chapter 66 resonates with the opening chapter 1 of Isaiah.
You shall no longer bring vain meal-offerings, it is smoke of abomination to Me; New Moons and Sabbaths, calling convocations, I cannot [bear] iniquity with assembly. (Isaiah 1:13)
Without proper and sincere repentance it is as if one has killed a man, offered swine’s blood and blesses an idol (see verse 3) all of which have always have been and always will be unacceptable at any time or place!
Michael Rood has created yet another perversion which surpasses the best traditions of the Church and the so called ‘man made religions’ he so readily despises.