In the Old Testament, we read about the sin offering and it assumed forgiveness of moral violations. People believed by shedding the blood of some animals they became morally pure. That was not the case. They became ritually pure and there is lot to say about that. But today, I want to take a different direction.
Moral failures that caused irreversible harm to people or property were dealt with harshly in the OT. Sometimes even capital punishment. But then there are some that required restitution, meaning the law of the Lord requires us to do reparations to the victims so that the offender can be restored to grace.
This is why we read in Hebrews 10:4 “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” It was an inadequate system but temporary relief from perpetuating wrong doings. Moral failures can only be solved by the Lord.
“Reparation is the making of amends for a wrong one has done, by paying money to or otherwise helping those who have been wronged.” This weekend when we celebrate the feast of Blessed Absolom Jones, the first Episcopal Priest, who was a slave, who bought the freedom of his wife so that his children will be free, we are also remembering the innumerable crimes we have committed against black and indigenous people. It is time for reparation in a way the dignity of our ancestors are restored and healing is brought about to us as a nation.