When you read through the details of the Old Testament sacrifices, it quickly becomes obvious that sin is a serious problem. The cost for sin to the people of Israel was the sacrifice of an animal without blemish. The process was gruesome, and if you've ever smelled fresh blood that has been spilled, you realize that it was also probably fairly nauseating. I realize that this was a time when people probably didn't wear deodorant or take showers daily, but the offense of the odor and of the ritual must have been offensive even still.
What the sacrifices did was to help Israel realize the gravity of their sins and the need for their redemption. Such a recognition is missing in our culture today. We don't much care about offending a holy God while we seek to live in a way that brings us pleasure. The truth is that our sin is costly today just as it was then. The difference is that we have the one time atoning sacrifice of Christ to pay for our sins. His sacrifice was a mess just as the animal sacrifices in the Old Testament were, but the result was even greater in that His one sacrifice covered the sins of the past, present, and future. His death covers the sins of my past, the sins of my present, and the sins of my future. My sin cost a great deal, but today I am thankful for Christ's generous sacrifice on my behalf.