A Day in The Life/ chapter 3
After a long day of outdoor activities our attention turned to food. Elizabeth and I were getting hungry and my daughter and grandson, Sarah and Levi, were “starving”. I do not usually cook the evening meal unless we are having steaks, hamburgers or kosher hot dogs. In those situations, I am called upon to do the grilling. One of my favorite possessions is our Weber, three burner, stainless steal propane grill. I am affectionately known as the grill sergeant and I have a tee-shirt to prove it. Tonight, I will be grilling four beautiful, thick, marbled with fat, rib eye steaks.
Some people think that eating a rare steak violates the biblical prohibition of abstaining from blood. This is theologically incorrect but I won’t take the time now to defend that position. Suffice it to say that it would be a double sin for one to ruin a perfectly good piece of meat by overcooking.
Obviously, I am not a vegetarian but I think that they make a very credible point. The taking of the life of any thinking, feeling creature is a terrible thing of great spiritual significance. This is something that we omnivores rarely consider. When I think about the eating of meat and grilling the flesh of an animal, it takes me back to the creation stories in Genesis. Adam and Eve sinned and the next thing you know, they are wearing animal skins.
Animals have been sacrificed to the gods since the beginning of recorded time. Pagan cultures sacrificed to appease or manipulate the gods. The Biblical sacrificial system was different. It was related in large part to the problem of the sinful nature of man. The sacrifice along with confession and repentance achieved atonement for sin. God accepted the death and shed blood of the animal as a replacement or substitution for us, and by His grace and mercy we had atonement (at one with God). This symbolism, metaphor, and imagery is extended in the Christian faith to the death of Jesus on the cross.
The tabernacle and the Jerusalem temple sacrifices are no more. The Jewish faith has replaced animal sacrifices with an emphasis on self-sacrifice, works of charity and acts of lovingkindness. Pagan animal sacrifices are for the most part a thing of the past. So, all we have left is the back-yard barbeque.
As I grill my steaks, I am reminded of that innocent animal that died for me that I might live and be nourished by the eating of its flesh. I am reminded of my own selfishness and sinful nature. I am also reminded of the death of Jesus on the cross and the grace that God bestows upon all of us.