die), and people kept performing sins that were a matter of choice (proving
people wouldn't, by their own selfish Adam and Eve-type independent efforts,
create a world nearly as good as God's Eden arrangement they ruined), God al-
lowed people to use sacrifices for ongoing apologies. But they weren't enough
to restore the originally intended eternally sinless close association with God
for people, so they had to be repeated throughout a follower's life.
The system of offerings and sacrifices
Offerings first show up at Gen.4:1-7.
Altars had been used for offerings before (Gen.8:20; and others). During Mo-
saic law, the altar used for animal sacrifices was outside of the holy room of
the tabernacle/tent of meeting or, later in Mosaic law, the temple (Ex.40:29;
2 Chron.8:12; and others). Inside the holy room was the incense altar, table
of showbread, and lampstand. Further inside the tabernacle or temple was the
most holy room--the holy of holies. Originally, though not by Jesus' time,
this room contained the ark of the covenant, a chest which contained a copy Mo-
ses made of the two tablets with the ten commandments carved into them--the
tablets of the covenant. After Moses died, a copy of all of Mosaic law was
kept by the ark, too.
Most importantly, over the cover of the ark was God's presence. (Ex.25:16,
21,22,30,31; 26:33,34; 29:43-46; 30:1; 34:1-4; Deut.5:6-22; 9:11; 10:1-5; 31:
24-26.) This was a way of God dwelling with his people, and involved a way for
followers to approach God, if only via the priests, and be forgiven for sins,
if only temporarily.
For the sins of the followers, priests put the sacrificed blood on the altar
(Lev.4:27-35). For the sins of the high priest (which also brought guilt on
the followers), the blood was taken into the holy room as well by the high
priest (Lev.4:3-7). Only on atonement day was the blood moreover taken into