Long distance communication has taken various forms over the centuries. In early Egyptian times, pigeons were used to deliver messages around 2900 BC and in modern times as recent as 1981 in California.
In 76 BC, with mini-parchments strapped onto their scrawny legs, homing pigeons carried the outcome of the early Olympic games to the Athenians.
Winged-bearers of big news in a highly regarded venue. Pigeons had more going on than park-bench duty, they flew above the masses with stadium-sized news.
Pigeons have had varying roles in history. Some had much less glorious roles than Olympic fame, yet very necessary for man to survive God’s wrath.
In Leviticus God directed his people on what and how to make sacrifices to Him for their inevitable sin-crimes. It you where poor and couldn’t afford the price of beef or lamb for a sin – burnt offering, grab the dollar store equivalent – a pigeon. They would ring the pigeon’s head from its neck and sprinkle the blood for the sin offering on the side of the altar.
The pigeon was the cheapest form of sacrifice, yet the price of sin is always as costly as life itself. God demands blood for atonement, to cover over. The blood that was sprinkled was never the sinner’s own blood but a replacement sacrifice.
A substitution sacrifice that took the place of us dying, which we totally deserve.
Our blood deserves to be spilled as we are guilty of crimes committed against our God and maker. Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
God’s love for His people cries out from the altar he provides, we live because He loves us. He preserves a people that will be holy. The church, the ekklesia. Those called out that are made holy by a living sacrifice – Jesus.
Something will have to die to keep us in His good standings. Fortunately it won’t be you. You can’t even die for yourself. It has to be done for you. All is from God!
This is a great picture of Christ as he came into the world poor. Lived humbly, was without blemish, and his blood was shed to atone for, and even better, completely remove our sin.
Old Testament Atonement was a temporary covering. The New Testament Jesus removed the sin completely. Sin is expensive and paid for by a sacrifice none of us could ever afford.
Jesus was that sacrifice. Born in poverty yet possessing more intrinsic value than all the universes combined.
“But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions…” Ephesians 2:4-5