By Bob Bunn
When I was a kid, we played a game called Sharks and Minnows. The idea was simple. Most of the kids lined up on one side of the room as the minnows. One or two others stood in the middle of the room as the sharks.
The goal for the minnows was survival. They had to find a path from one side of the room to the other without being touched by a shark. Any minnow that got tagged turned into a shark. Usually, the first couple of runs were easier, especially if a lot of kids were playing. With so many other minnows, it’s not as challenging to sneak past one or two sharks. Things got tougher, though, as the number of minnows decreased and the number of sharks increased. Before long, it was next to impossible to avoid being changed by a shark’s touch.
Sometimes, I play my own version of Sharks and Minnows, even as an adult. I’m tempted to think that everything I touch magically transforms into something the world will notice. If I can get my hands on it, people will be impressed. Like the shark, I imagine my touch changes everything.
The truth is, my life is shaped more by what touches me than by what I touch. I tend to reflect the qualities and character of the people I’m around and the passions I pursue. I’m a lot more like the minnow than the shark.
I’m reminded of that when I read through God’s requirements for His offerings in Leviticus. Whether it was a burnt offering (Leviticus 6:8–13), a grain offering (vv.14–23), a sin offering (vv.24–30), or some other sacrifice, each came with a particular set of regulations from God. The Lord commanded that they be carried out a certain way because a holy God demanded holy offerings.
The laws weren’t just legalistic checklists, though. They were reminders that everything that God touches—everything related to Him—is holy (Leviticus 6:18). The animals and the grain had no special value in themselves. They had no power to make anyone right with God. They were considered holy only because they were set apart for a holy God. Faith alone allowed humble people to walk away as holy people in God’s sight.
Of course, God still changes people who seek His presence. His holiness still transforms us as we spend time with Him. Something in our lives is bound to change whenever we come near Him. We can’t help but become more like Him—not because of any sacrifice we’ve made, but because we’ve connected with God through Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross.
That’s an incredible truth, but it comes with an incredible responsibility. When God makes us holy, He also calls us to reflect His holiness to the world. The Christian life is meant to point others to who God is and what He has done for them.