In the dark days of Israel before the time of Christ, the law called for a sacrifice to atone for ones sins. I get the idea from scripture that the right thing to do was with a good and giving heart bring God your best and offer it to Him at the Temple in Jerusalem. That meant that a family would raise an animal (their best animal), treat it probably better than they would treat their own kids and when the Day of Atonement would draw near they would make the long trek to Jerusalem and offer it up in sacrifice to God. They didn’t have station wagons in those days so if you lived far away you may have to travel across mountains, deserts and other obstacles the wilderness of Israel might hold. I can only imagine the sacrifice families would have to make to accomplish this. Maybe making sure the animal ate well before the family ate or using all their resources to bring the animal to the Temple. Always trusting God would forgive them and continue to provide for them.
When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem and went to the Temple He was angered by vendors offering to sell people animals for sacrifice. I don’t think it was so much the fact that money was changing hands in the Temple. I think it was because of what the vendors had turned the act of sacrifice into. Sort of a fast food, drive up mentality to getting your sacrifice to God over with and out of the way. This meant the family no longer had to worry about raising an animal to give to God they could just buy one when they got to the Temple. No longer thinking of God daily as they raised and cared for the animal they were to bring to Him.
As followers of Christ we realize Jesus is the complete sacrifice and atonement for all our sins.
The other day I read an article about a church that has purchased three ATM/ offering machines for their lobby. The pastor was quoted as saying “Its like an ATM for Jesus”. They are located so that they are the first things you see when you enter the church, just like the moneychangers at the Temple. One of the people who attend the church said it was much easier for her to break down to the Lord (whatever that means?) These card readers also known as Giving Kiosks and tithing machines have increased revenue for the church and made it so much easier for all the attendees to give. Even if they didn’t think about the Lord all week they could remember Him by swiping this Sunday. It makes me wonder if Jesus visited that church if He would turn over those machines? Maybe when people get those micro chip thingy’s implanted in them they could just pass a small scanner down the aisles of the church to make it even easier to give God their best.