What ever happened to sacrifice?

It was never God’s intention for humankind to offer sacrifices. In fact, I really don’t think he cared much for the practice, but established the elaborate system because of the hardness of the people’s hearts. He would rather have us obey Him than to put on the fatted calf,

“Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” (I Samuel 15:22)

but when obedience ran short, what choice did He have?

Reading in Numbers 28 during morning devotions the extensiveness of the rituals left me exhausted:

13 Present as an aroma pleasing to the LORD a food offering consisting of a burnt offering of thirteen young bulls, two rams and fourteen male lambs a year old, all without defect. 14 With each of the thirteen bulls offer a grain offering of three-tenths of an ephah of the finest flour mixed with oil; with each of the two rams, two-tenths; 15 and with each of the fourteen lambs, one-tenth. 16 Include one male goat as a sin offering, in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain offering and drink offering.

This was just ONE day’s offering of a week of special offerings with only one less bull each day of that week. This was in addition to the regular offering which was two lambs every day, one in the morning and one in the evening, plus grain, plus drink. The sheer MAGNITUDE of the system was beyond my comprehension and this went on for thousands of years. I would have thought that the sacrifice of Christ on the cross would have been an easy way out of all this for the Levitical priests! They just didn’t get it! Ironically, though, the whole animal sacrifice system seemed to disappear after Jesus rose from the dead. The strange twist here is that the Jews didn’t believe Jesus was the Son of God. They didn’t believe He was the sacrifice for their sin, but the animal sacrifices stopped anyway and NOTHING took their place. There remains to this day this inexplicable void for the Jewish believer. The God hole in their hearts that was never filled.

Tomorrow I will post what Jews say about all this and where their worldview intersects with Christians and with some Christians’ view of the end times. Meanwhile, I want to make clear that I love and have a deep respect for my Jewish friends. They know so much about what Jesus did for them through their Old Testament rituals. Some even study Hebrew and can read the original texts, but somehow Jesus is not the clear fulfillment of Messianic prophecy to them. I pray that whatever is keeping them away from the loving arms of Jesus disappears and they soon can feel the joy a full heart gives.

In Christ alone,



6 comments on “What ever happened to sacrifice?

  1. Dawn, I’m looking forward to hearing more about this. I, too, have wondered how that void is explained and/or fulfilled in the life of a Jewish person.

    Years ago, I read the book, “Betrayed,” by Stan Telchin. He had received a phone call from his daughter that she had become a Christian. It crushed him, and he felt betrayed by his daughter. It became his mission to find the answers and to prove her wrong in what she had come to believe. It was amazing to see how God used this search of his to find the REAL truth in Jesus Christ.

    I can remember going through the Old Testament in Bible School, verse by verse, chapter by chapter, and getting all bogged down in the Levitical laws and the sacrifices, etc. Later in life, as I saw the whole picture and how each of these things was a forshadowing of Christ, I found it facinating. But I also wondered at why they stopped the sacrifices. . . .

    • Dear Cora,

      I’d like to have my husband post about the day a rabbi accepted Jesus as his savior in his church office. Perhaps I can get him to do that. Some things are so amazing we just can’t make them up. I’m so happy to have someone whose actually gone through the Levitical laws in school verse by verse, chapter by chapter. You would have a lot of insight having studied the foreshadowing. That’s what each and every Jewish young person is privy to. All we have to do is show them Christ. They already have the foundation laid!

      Sweet dreams in Him,

  2. After the destruction of the Second Temple, ritual sacrifice ceased except among the Samaritans….check out wikipedia on ‘sacrifice’ go down to Jewish sacrifice… very interesting!
    So glad Jesus was sacrificed as the ‘Lamb of God’ once and for all…
    In Sunday school this week the verse in Luke 7 stood out to me. Jesus speaking about how great John the Baptist was, still reported that [He] who is least in God’s kingdom, is greater than John. Remembering Jesus’ words about ‘any that want to be great in His Kingdom’ needing to be a servant of all, I thought how, really, there is none who has served and laid down more than ‘Jesus’, by being our sacrificial lamb, once… and for all.
    No greater love has any man than he lay down His life for his friends
    The ‘least’ in the Kingdom of Heaven also happens to be our greatest Hero, dearest Love, most faithful Friend, Most Holy God ❤ Gosh! How I love Jesus!

    • Oh, my goodness, Susan, that is just where this is going – to the destruction of the second temple – and the different Jewish ideas about the restoration of animal sacrifice. I’m not sure whether I will post part 2 tomorrow or not. I am way behind in my Colossians memorization for this week so I may well spend the blog time in memorization instead. My Colossians verses are so pertinent to what you just commented about Jesus.
      “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2: 13-14 (last week’s verses)
      “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.” Colossians 2: 15-16 (new for this week)
      Paul is laying down the foundational doctrines of the new church and he repeatedly hones in on Christ, Who He is and what He has done. It is glorious!
      Yes, I best spend time in the Word tomorrow. When it is Wednesday and I have not begun to look at the new verses, I AM behind.
      The Jewish history will be Thursday.
      Blessings, Friend,

  3. Dawn, sometimes I read backwards through posts to catch up, and this is fascinating! I would love to hear about the rabbi in your husband’s office, and I can’t wait to see what you share with us per Jews and the discontinuation of the sacrifices and what they have to say about all this. I say I can’t wait, but I can. Take the time you need to attend to your memorization, for sure. i like what fisherlady just wrote above me here, about memorizing.

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