There are many who have a problem with the idea of sacrifice, especially those who do not understand the Bible. While this is true outside of the church there are those inside the church who have problems with the idea of sacrifice where it involves blood.

Gandhi wrote; Things that will destroy us are: politics without principle, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, business without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice.

One thing God has stated many times is that sacrifice is required to please him (Numbers 28:1-8 is an example) so understanding this requirement should be a concern of us and how sacrifice is in our lives today.

One thing you do not find in the Garden of Eden in the time of Adam and Eve is sacrifice, they were both pure of sin and had not the knowledge of it (Gen 2:25) until the serpent beguiled them and they sinned (Gen 3:1-8). It was the bringing of sin into the world that required sacrifice for atonement and we see that Cain was despised for not offering a good sacrifice as his brother Abel did (Gen 4:1-8, Heb 11:4). All the patriarchs after Adam who were favored by God practiced the art of sacrifice, I believe that this was one of the distinctions between Jacob and Esau, we never see Esau offing a sacrifice unto God but we do see Jacob offering many times (this is besides Esau despising his birthright).

During the time of the Law of Moses sacrifice was prescribed, the Patriarchs offered sacrifice many times but not at set times and for set reasons, and also set out as being primarily a response to sin (the first seven chapters of Leviticus are all about offerings and sacrifices) but also as offerings to peace and prosperity. One could say that with a population in the millions there would be times that the Temple in Jerusalem would have the odor of roasting flesh always there since sacrifices would be going on constantly during the day, this led to the Temple Priests being quite busy.

Now about blood, God has required that blood be offered up for the sins of man (Hebrews 9), always from the best of the herds or flocks, as a substitute for our own blood, which is the due for our sins. This is seen in the figure of Leviticus 4:1-4 where the guilty puts his hand on the bullock and then takes its life (vs. 4). Remember the blood that is offered is the life of the sacrifice so it would be hard for us to pay for our own sins, this is the reason for the substitute offerings and also the reason that they had to be done yearly since they were not perfect.

The perfect sacrifice came in the Christ, who lived a perfect life vulnerable to sins the same way we are (Heb 4:15), even tempted above what we are tempted (Matt 4:1-11) by a special assault from Satan. So by the way of prophesy (Isaiah 53) Jesus became the Lamb that was slain (Rev 5:6-14) to be the author and finisher of our salvation (Heb 12:1-2). It is now incumbent upon us to take hold of that sacrifice and make it ours by putting off the man of sin (Col 2:8-15) and putting on Christ (Gal 3:27). We are unable to die for our own sins but Christ has died for us so we can have hope, totally undeserved, freely given by God.

Why God chose to have blood be required for sin I do not fully understand but he has required it so I do not ask why, just do as the Spirit has spoken to move me and try and live the life Christ lived as an example. I have done things worthy of death, spiritual death, so I have no choice but to come to God on his terms through his beloved Son and claim his blood as my own offering for sin because my own is not good enough. I can sacrifice my time, wealth, and even my life, but it is not worthy of the sacrifice God made through his son for me. Kind of humbling when you think of it.

by - Rick Van Voorhis

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