Join me on a journey through time. Back to a small town in the 1980’s. Like many small towns, this one has more churches than stoplights. One church, in particular, stands taller than the rest. St.John’s United. Open the ornate doors. Climb the squeaky stairs, past the “no confetti” regulatory sign, into the sanctuary. Red light from stained glass bathes the hardwood pews. Take a seat.
The title of today’s sermon is: “Barbeque”. Please open your Bible to: 2 Chronicles 29:31-33
From the New World Translation:
31 Finally Hezekiah answered and said: “Now you have filled YOUR hand with power for Jehovah. Approach, and bring sacrifices and thanksgiving sacrifices to the house of Jehovah.” And the congregation began to bring sacrifices and thansgiving sacrifices, and also every one willing of heart, burnt offerings. 32 And the number of the burnt offerings that the congregation brought came to be seventy cattle, a hundred rams, two hundred male lambs – all these as a burnt offering to Jehovah, 33 and also the hold offerings, six hundred cattle and three thousand of the flock.
From the New Student Bible (NIV):
31 Then Hezekiah said, “You have now dedicated yourselves to the LORD. Come and bring sacrifices and thank offereing to the temple of the LORD.” So the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all whose hearts were willing brought burnt offerings. 32 The number of burint offereing the assembly brought was seventy bulls, a hundred rams and two hundred male lambs – all of them for burnt offerings to the LORD. 33 The animals consecrated as sacrifices amounted to six hundred bulls and three thousand sheep and goats.
That’s right folks. Turn to any random page in the old testament and there is a good chance of finding some good old animal sacrifices. Many sheep, goats, oxen, and bulls met their demise, but why? In this case, over 3,000 animals went up in smoke to get a temple ready for opening day.