Christians tell us that God created people so imperfect that He blamed them for their imperfections, and therefore sent His Son down to be tortured and executed by these imperfect people, to make up for how imperfect they are and how imperfect they inevitably will be. It's crazy, but that's essentially what it's all about. Jesus is kind of like the Ultimate Scapegoat.
Leviticus Chapter 16 talks about the 'scapegoat', a ritual where all the sins of the tribe are placed on a goat and then the goat is taken out to the wilderness. I'm going to skip the ritual, as it seems pretty damn superstitious to me, and extremely uninteresting. That's my secret so far. In order to read the Bible, make sure you skip the parts that are boring.
Chapter 17 is just more regulation on sacrifices. These priests are not you average laissez faire capitalists; they want a complete monopoly. Chapter 17 is also significant because God says explicitly that it's the blood that atones for the sins in a sacrifice.
- If a man kills an animal and DOESN'T bring it to the tabernacle as an offering, he shall be cut off from the people. Presumably, this is because the man was going to offer this to some other god.
- Any person that eats blood will also be cut off from the people.
- If you eat an animal that died of natural causes, or was torn apart by other animals; you'll be unclean until evening.
I'm going to stop here because I want Leviticus 18 to stand alone. That's where we get into some of the debate about homosexuality. Please keep in mind some of the arbitrary rules we've read about up to this point, and how random they are (like boiling a baby goat in its mother's milk).