We at Biblical Horizons have been interested in understanding the biblical texts on “sacrifice” for at least a couple of decades. There are a number of excellent tape sets from past BH conferences with great lectures on this topic. This morning one of the seminary students in my church forwarded me a link to a video of a “Jewish Priestly Passover Sacrifice.”
Unfortunately, I cannot embed it, so you’ll have to trust me that this link won’t take you to something inappropriate. Make sure you heed the warnings before you watch the video. If you are not a farmer or a hunter or used to killing and preparing game to eat, you might be grossed out.
What I would like to do is discuss what happens in this video. I’ll start by saying that I find the whole thing rather strange. It’s all a little bit weird, isn’t it. Staged and not quite “normal.” There’s all sorts of bizarre stuff in this video. Uniformed guards?
Second, this video shows just how odd it is for post-AD 70 Judeaism to attempt to offer sacrifices. There’s no temple or altar anymore, so this “sacrifice” was performed in anything but the glorious environment of the tabernacle or the temple. It looked like they were doing this clandestinely in a weed-infested vacant lot where no one could see them.
Third, notice what a big production it is, requiring a bunch of men. All for one little lamb. Not so in the old world. Remember, they sacrificed loads of animals daily at the temple. From what we read in the Old Testament, a single priest was able to assist a worshipper in the slaying and “sacrifice” of the animal.
Fourth, there’s a bunch of extra-Levitical rituals added.
Fifth, there’s no temple or altar so the lamb cannot become “qorban” or turned into smoke as food for Yahweh.
Sixth, the title says that a Jewish priest sacrifices a lamb. Nah. There are no priests. There’s no temple or sacrificial ritual anymore. There’s no genealogical records either. These guys aren’t even dressed like priests.
I’d like to hear from some of the other BH guys about this.