The Word of God has much to say about offerings and sacrifices. The Old Testament introduces us to the notion that offerings and sacrifices were a key part of the practice of relationship with God from Cain and Abel, to Noah, to the patriarchs, to Jethro the priest of Median, to the ratification of the Mosaic covenant by sacrifice. This is true before and after the tabernacle was built. Regardless of your understanding, you should know that in the Old Testament sacrificial system the sacrifice, that is the spilling of blood, was continual. Sacrifices had to be made continually. This spoke to the inadequacy of the sacrifice. While sufficient in the moment, it was not a sustaining and completely satisfying sacrifice. This also spoke to the nature of man’s character and his ability to meet God’s expectations. Since man is fallible, he could never meet God’s expectation of perfection.
What was man to do? Would man’s character morph into infallible from fallible? NOT. As the population continued to grow, could the Old Testament Sacrificial system continue? No. There would have been massive slaughtering of animals. While not the major reason this process stopped, the primary reason that it stopped was that a perfect and sustaining sacrifice was made. The perfect and satisfying sacrifice was Jesus’ death on the cross. 1 Peter 3:18 says,
” For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.”
Why is it that Christ’s sacrifice is satisfying and sustaining? Why does His sacrifice meet the demands of God? God explains this in Hebrews 7.
“17 For it is declared:
“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”
18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:
“The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind:
‘You are a priest forever.’”
22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.
23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.”
Why is it that Christ’s sacrifice is satisfying and sustaining? Why does His sacrifice meet the demands of God? Simply put, God said so. For those who want more, Jesus was God incarnate. He was perfect, so a perfect sacrifice satisfied God’s perfect requirement; therefore, it is only through Christ that man can truly be forgiven. Acts 4:12 says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”” Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. Without Christ, you will not be able to commune with God. Jesus declares it Himself when He said, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 Those are Jesus’ Words not mine.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—(Romans 5:8, John 1:12 respectively) Jesus suffered the consequence of sins, separation from God so that you would have the opportunity to be united with God. Honor His sacrifice and follow Him.