This evening, the wife and I headed out for McDonald’s. She ordered a cheeseburger meal, and I ordered a fish sandwich meal. Hers was ketchup and mustard only. She does not like onions or pickles.
To be sure, I did not kill a fish and my wife didn’t kill the cow. Yet, somewhere along the line, a fish died so I could survive another day. Also, at some point, a cow was killed so my wife could enjoy her hamburger. It’s just the way it is for us omnivorous types. There is no telling how many fish, cows, pigs and such have died over the years so that I could survive.
It does somewhat encourage me to give up eating meat, but I doubt that I would survive long as a vegetarian. It was the way I was raised, and I pretty much want some kind of meat, fish or poultry at each meal. Yet, I still feel very badly that in order for me to survive, animals must die.
It wasn’t always that way, or at least that’s what most Bible scholars tell us. In the Garden of Eden, before Adam ate the forbidden fruit, the first couple ate veggies, fruits and nuts. Moreover, it was all they needed. In fact, nothing was mentioned about the eating of meat until after the flood. At that point, God explicitly gave us permission to eat meat, though He did not command it.
Then, from time to time, God gave explicit instructions to eat meat. I guess the first time was the night of the Passover. God, via Moses told the Israelites to eat the Passover sacrifice. Then, later, God instructed them to eat portions of the sacrifices. I can only assume it is okay with Him if I eat meat, as long as I don’t eat or drink the blood.
This was farther confirmed when Jesus prepared breakfast for the decuples made primarily of fish. It was one of those, what I call, incidental parts of the Bible. It is not everyone who can claim having a meal prepared by Jesus. I doubt anyone could have cooked it better.
I have heard a number of people claim that life without meat is healthier. There is no doubt that my doctor would prefer I eat less meat, especially fried. I don’t know God’s point of view on fried food. As near as I can tell, he only addressed meat that was boiled or roasted.
Nonetheless, I guess I do eat too much meat. One good side effect of decreasing my meat intake is that less animals would have to die. One thing that would really help is a lot of fresh hot bread. I like it so much that I can eat it without butter. Sorry bakeries, no matter what you do, you just can’t duplicate right out of the over freshness.
I have read the Bible completely many times, not to brag, but to let you know, I am completely familiar with it. Perhaps one of the more difficult parts for me are the descriptions of the sacrifices of the animals. I am something of an animal lover and I had some problems with all the sacrifices. Many were killed and sacrificed. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just read the first 5 books of the Bible.
Then, when you look at Kings and Chronicles, you can see many more examples. To me, it is a horrible thing that so many animals are killed for a sacrifice. Yet, God tells us in the first book of the Bible, there is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood.
It is the reason God accepted Able’s sacrifice and not Cain’s. Cain offered a sacrifice of grain and fruit. It would not pay for sins.
It sure would be nice if I could grow an acre or so of wheat and turn it over to God and all my sins would be paid for. No blood would have to be shed and no animals would have had to die.
However, it does not work that way. In fact, even the blood of the animals was not sufficient. At best, all they did was point to the one whose blood was sufficient. I hate it so much that Jesus had to die in order to save me. His life, His blood is infinitely more valuable all the animals before him. It goes without saying, His life is infinitely more valuable than mine. Yet he chose to lay down His for mine.
And so it is, I did not kill the fish I ate. I did not kill the Savior who gave his life for me. But it was for me they died, so that I might live. The fish gave me life for a day. Jesus died so that he could give me life forever. I guess, for that alone, I owe him everything.
Oh. And by the way. Jesus also provides the fish I eat and even the air I breath. Maybe I need to remember to thank him for that too. Is it too much to pause a few seconds before I eat to express my thanks verbally.