Monday, April 22, 2013

S is for Sacrifice...

S is for Sacrifice

The online definition of sacrifice is:

1: an act of offering to a deity something precious; especially :the killing of a victim on an altar
2: something offered in sacrifice
3a : destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else
  b : something given up or lost  sacrifices made by parents>
4: loss  sacrifice>

We have all made sacrifices at one time or another, perhaps in war, or financially, or as a parent.  There are a lot of ways sacrifices can be made.  For this blog challenge I am looking at the Biblical side of definitions.

During Biblical times there were 5 types of sacrifice and offerings.  These sacrifices were to express their inward devotion. 

The burnt offering was an animal that was pure and perfect, without blemish.  This could be a young bull, lamb, goat, turtledove or young pigeon.  This offering or sacrifice was usually made to restore the relationship with God and to atone for a sin.

The grain offering was made from the finest flour mixed with oil and frankincense.  At times it was cooked into cakes, some of them were burnt at the altar, while the rest of them were given to the priests.  This was an outward expression of devotion.

The peace offering was either a bull, cow, lamb, or goat that had no defect.  The person who brought it killed the animal, and then the priests took turns sprinkling the blood around the altar.  Only certain organs were burned, most of the meat was used in a meal of celebration by the one who brought it.  This usually took place at dedication ceremonies or spiritual renewal.

A sin offering dealt with sins that were committed unintentionally.  What was sacrificed depended on who committed the sin.  And depending on who you were made the difference on how the sacrifice was dispersed.

The guilt offering was a lot like the sin offering.  The biggest difference was it included restitution.  Not only was it used when something was taken, but it was also used for the cleansing of a leper, sexual relations with someone else’s slave, or for the renewing of a Nazirite vow that had been broken.

This was the basic sacrificial system of Israel.  This system taught the importance of dealing with sin and showed how God provided the way to deal with such.

‘And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the LORD.’    Leviticus 23:18

‘ Seven days shall they purge the altar and purify it; and they shall consecrate themselves. And when these days are expired, it shall be, that upon the eighth day, and so forward, the priests shall make your burnt offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you, saith the LORD GOD.’    Ezekiel 43:26-27

I am so glad we do not have to make sacrifices like they did before Jesus came.  Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice and he took on the sins of the world including yours and mine.  Not everyone believes this, and in order to receive God’s forgiveness and have eternal life you have to believe that Jesus died for your sins and was raised on the third day from his grave.  When you have accepted Jesus in your life and heart and have asked for forgiveness, He will remember them no more and this is why Jesus is considered the ultimate Sacrifice.

‘So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.’  Hebrews 9:28

‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.’   Hebrews 10:16-18

God is so Good!

until next time…nel


  1. I've been reading the Bible thru in chronological order and am in the OT at the moment. I also find myself thinking I'm so glad we don't have to live by some of the very strict rules regarding food, sacrifice, clean/unclean they did before the cross!

  2. So complicated then. I can't even imagine. I, too, am glad that Jesus's death on the cross has eliminated our need to make sacrifices. We are blessed!