Animal sacrifices are indeed difficult to comprehend in today’s society. What were they for?
Animal sacrifices were meant as a way of intense confrontation with sin. The repentant would bring an animal for a sacrifice, lean himself upon the animal’s head, look into those large, shining innocent eyes, and watch the life drain out and be forced to come to terms with the destruction that sin causes.
These animals were much like a pet, because you had to take great care of them so there would not be a mark or blemish on them. They were probably put in separate pens where other animals could not hurt them or cause them to be marked or maimed in any way.
When the animal was finally slaughtered and offered on the altar, one was supposed to feel that it really should have been him or her up on that altar. This was a yearly thing, your sin was not removed, only covered.
Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
It was like covering a stain for a year, not gone but covered.
Unfortunately, it got to the place it became meaningless. Like so many things in life, it became only a ritual. Familiarity had set in. The last book of the Old Testament the book of Malachi, it shows us where the people’s hearts were. God rebukes them for bringing unacceptable polluted or blemished offerings.
Insincere offerings became the norm during the end of the first Temple period.
People could slaughter the animal and were no longer moved by their sin. But thank God, Jesus came, no more once a year offerings, no more bulls and goats. The sacrifice of his body and the shedding of his blood, if you believed it and confessed it, eradicated sin like it never happened.
Hebrews 10:10 By which we are sanctified (made holy) through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
You were made holy! Think about that. In the Old Testament if you came to close to God’s presence, it killed you. But now you have that presence that once could kill you, living in you when you ask Jesus into your heart. God now lives in you.
This is why you can come boldly before the throne of grace with confidence, not fearing when you enter God’s presence you have to cower and be afraid because He recalls what you did. HE DOESN’T REMEMBER IT, BECAUSE IT’S GONE.
Hebrews 10:17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
I grew up in church, but had never been born again. One night I cried out to him, I said, “show me you are real, if you don’t I will never be back to church again.”
God heard my cry, he sent someone to rescue me. The next day people came to my door with the good news. He was real, he was alive.
I was seventeen years old when I met Jesus and knew he was real. I will never forget how I felt that day. I knew something had happened because when I confessed him as my Lord and savior, all of the sudden, GUILT was gone. I didn’t feel bad anymore for the things I had done. I knew my past was wiped away.
People that had known me from my past could bring it up and still I didn’t feel guilty, I knew it was gone. I would boldly say, I know how you remember me, but I have met Jesus, that was my old life. There truly is wonder working power in the blood of the lamb. It is the very blood of God. There is no power in Heaven or earth that is greater than the blood of Jesus Christ.
I heard a Pastor friend of ours make this statement, “Jesus is a time traveler.” I understood what he meant because it happened to me. Jesus’ blood had the ability to travel back in time to before I ever sinned and wipe it all away like it never happened; I was truly born a second time.