By Scot Martin
So many questions!
Why so many animal sacrifices for sins for so many centuries? If we’re familiar with the New Testament, we may take it for granted that because Jesus bore our sins as a sacrifice on the cross, animal sacrifices are now useless. But Jews in Old Testament times were immersed in a God-established system of animal sacrifices that stretched for generation after generation, with no clear end in sight. Would this go on forever?
God meant the sacrifices to raise questions in their minds, questions that would prepare them to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, whose death would answer their longing.
Imagine a young girl talking with her mother.
“Mother, why do we have to keep offering our animals to God for our sins?”
“My daughter, we keep sinning, so we have to keep sacrificing.”
“But Mama, why do we keep sinning? Will a time ever come when we’ll never sin?”
“I pray so, my child. That would be relief beyond words.”
“But our animals seem like such small sacrifices for our great sins. Could there ever be one sacrifice great enough for all the sins of all people of all time?”
“If there is ever to be such a wonder, God will have to provide it.”
“Who could offer such a magnificent sacrifice? All the high priests who have served and led our people through the years have sins of their own to offer sacrifices for. Eventually they die and another must take their place. Will there ever be a high priest who has no sins of his own, who will never die and be replaced?”
Hebrews 4-10, and especially 7:23-28, assure us that Jesus has answered all these longing questions.