Monday, February 27, 2017

Blood Sacrifices in the Bible {History and Purpose}

I think the concept of blood sacrifices might be a little strange to our culture but it is truly apart of the Bible and truly our relationship with God as well. So we would do well to seek to understand it to the best of our ability.

  If you have read the Old Testament you should be well aware of all the blood sacrifices that are made during that period of time. The first time we learn about it is with Abel. Genesis 4:4 says "Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering;"  Abel made animal sacrifices and it was pleasing to God. Noah, Abraham and Jacob also made animal sacrifices.

  During Moses time blood sacrifices became more common. In Exodus chapter 12 we read about God telling the Israelites through Moses that they needed to take a lamb for their family (and if they had a small household to share it with a neighbor) and kill it and put the blood on their doorpost so that the death angel would pass over their house. In Exodus during the years of the Israelites wandering God set it up so that the people had priests and a tabernacle and animal sacrifice was instituted to happen on a very regular basis. "No this is what you shall offer on the altar: two one year old lambs each day, continuously." Exodus 29:38. During the Old Covenant we find many, many blood sacrifices made.

   There is only ONE blood sacrifice that is part of the New Covenant. Jesus Christ was offered for us once and for all. Never does it need to be repeated nor do we need any other blood sacrifice. "For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgement, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him." Hebrews 9:24-28

  Blood sacrifices were God's idea. He directs how it should be done and tells the Israelites to do it in Leviticus 1:1-5.  "Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God." 1 Peter 1:18-21

Blood sacrifices were offered because of sin. When men sinned in the Old Testament and animal sacrifice needed to be made (see Leviticus 4-6). Jesus became a sacrifice because of our sin: "He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification." Romans 4:25

 One of the principles of blood sacrifice is that the death of the innocent pays for the sin of the guilty. "For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;" 1 Peter 3:18

   Old Testament Animal Sacrifices
-The priests made the sacrifices.
-The quilt was transferred to the animal.
-The animal was killed.
-The blood and victim were placed in the prescribed place.

They did not take away sin. "For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins." Hebrews 10:4

  Those sacrifices reminded the people of their guilt. The animals were an imperfect sacrifice. They were offered by an imperfect priest.

  What were they for? They looked backward (to remind them of their guilt) and forward - to the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

 Christ's Sacrifice

-His sacrifice does take away sin. "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" John 1:29

-It has been foreknown that His sacrifice would redeem us.

-He took our place. " And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed." 1 Peter 2:24

-Because He is the perfect priest, He can offer a sacrifice that covers our sin. "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:21

How very blessed we are that Jesus was willing to come to earth and make that sacrifice for us!!!!


SpicingUpIdaho said...

Yes, what a powerful reminder of the importance of blood sacrifices throughout the OT and how thankful we should be that the Lord Jesus did it once and for all for us!

Abbi said...

So thankful!!!


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