Troublesome Topic: The Sacrificial System Taught Holiness and Gratitude

Lesson 3 of 9

Many Christians have the tendency of skipping over the Old Testament descriptions of the sacrifices because we feel there is not much there for us. After all, the system of sacrifices was done away with when Jesus died on the cross, right? Well, it would be more accurate to say that it was fulfilled by Jesus. While it is true that we no longer need to offer those sacrifices, ignoring the descriptions of those sacrifices has caused us to miss out on the blessing of some very powerful teaching.

The Torah does not tell us specifically what each of these sacrifices was for. In order to find their purpose we must look at the significance of the item being sacrificed, how it was to be sacrificed, and when this sacrifice was used. In the end you will see that there appears to be a good bit of overlap between these sacrifices, but each has different nuances.

The sacrifices of the Former Covenant were not intended to save, rather they taught key principles about holiness and gratitude.

The Israelites had to go personally to the tabernacle to offer their sacrifices, and by doing so they should have become keenly aware of the following concepts associated with holiness and gratitude:

  1. God is a holy God and demands holiness.
  2. Man is under a curse due to the violation of God’s original covenant with Adam and Eve.
  3. It was humanly impossible to obey all the conditions of the covenant.
  4. Atonement for sins requires the shedding of blood.
  5. They were under a covenant with God that was ratified with blood.
  6. This covenant of God was based on His holy and merciful nature.
  7. God looks for a heart of gratitude.
  8. Gratitude toward God should be expressed many times and in many ways.

For the short series on Covenants, the next lesson is A Short Summary of Four Sacrifices.

For the full and midsize series on Covenants, the next lesson is Why So Much Blood?