Why did God Require Animals to be Sacrificed?

There are times in the Bible when a person can miss the blessing of something because they don’t understand the purpose or point of God’s command. This is especially true when it comes to understanding why God had people do certain things in regards to their sin. 

Many Christians today take for granted what God was trying to teach his people under the Old Testament. Some look at the Old Testament as old, and unworthy of study or care; but if a person misses why God had his people do certain things under the Old Covenant, they’ll never come to a fuller appreciation of what God has accomplished for us under the New Covenant of today! And there are very few places where this is more true than when it comes to the animal sacrifices found from Genesis to Malachi and right on into the gospels we read.

Let’s think about why God required what he required under the Old Testament, and how it can better help us understand the sacrifice that Jesus made on behalf of humanity when he established the New Covenant.

So the first question is, “Why did God have animals sacrificed?” If we’re not required to sacrifice them anymore, why were they ever sacrificed to begin with??? If God was going to send Jesus all along, then why didn’t he have people just say they were sorry and then forgive them when Jesus died? Why did God have people do something when it seems like it was useless in dealing with sin? Did God even care whether or not someone sacrificed an animal? If He did, then why did he say he didn’t sometimes? These are some of the issues and questions a person can have when they read about these things in the Old Testament and New Testament.
So did God really ask for, require and even command animal sacrifices? Contrary to what some try to teach, he sure did! When Adam and Eve sinned and they made fig-leaf bikinis, and God said that wouldn’t do, what did He give them? He gave them clothes to wear! Now, you don’t have to be a tanner to know that you can’t get an animal-hide outfit to wear without the animal losing its life. Right from the get go with sin, a sacrifice was made. From the garden, to Noah, to Abraham, to Moses and all throughout the history of the children of Israel you will find God requiring the sacrifice of animals for sin. There’s even a book called Leviticus that deals with the intricacies of how to properly deal with the sacrificing of burnt offerings, peace offerings, guilt offerings and sin offerings that God commanded.

But if God required the sacrifice of animals then why did he at times say he didn’t want them??? I mean there are multiple places in the Old Testament where God plainly says, “NO!!!” Read them for yourselves:

  • To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?” Says the Lord. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs or goats.” Isaiah 1:11
  • For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” Hosea 6:6 (quoted by Jesus in Matthew 9:13, 12:7)
  • For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering.” Psalm 51:16

As if that’s not enough, the New Testament says this about sacrificing animals as well:

  • But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.Hebrews 10:3-4

If this is true then what was the whole point of it all? The point has to do with the context that all these verses are given in. There was, and still is, a big lesson about sin and the human heart behind all that sacrificing that God called for! The majority of the time, God’s people in the past, like His people of today, were missing the whole point of worship, sacrifice and sin.

When blood gets spilt – God takes notice! He noticed Abel’s blood (Genesis 4:10). He warns all men to take notice (Genesis 9:6). Judgment was pronounced upon the scribes and Pharisees because of bloodshed (Matthew 23:34-35). Even when an animal dies, God takes notice (Matthew 10:29b). When an animal was killed or sacrificed, God commanded that the utmost respect be shown toward the blood (Leviticus 17).

Why does God take notice of every drop of blood that gets spilt? Because life is in the blood: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul’” (Leviticus 17:11). God called for the blood sacrifice of animals because He was teaching His people about the cost of sin.

But what does the cost of sin have to do with the shedding of blood? How do you get from something that a person does to an animal dying for it?

When a person sacrificed an animal they were meant to see that blood. They were meant to see the blood and realize the cost of their actions. They were supposed to realize what it meant to have blood on their hands. Because of something selfish they did, something died! The blood was meant to teach their heart about the cost of their sin.

God has always been after the heart of men and women. If you go back and look at the context of the quoted verses that say God was tired of sacrifices, or that He didn’t desire them, you’ll find that the whole point was about how the sacrifice for sin without the remorse for sin was USELESS! At times God’s people got into habit of thinking that they were buying off God with the animals instead of recognizing the lesson that God was teaching them with the animals. The lesson was that sin kills! Every time! The lesson was about recognizing the power of God’s grace through the blood! The lesson was about getting to the heart of the matter.

But if the blood of bulls and goats wouldn’t remove sin (and it wouldn’t or else they wouldn’t have had to offer them over and over again) then why do it to begin with???

The whole time God was leading His people through the types and shadows from the words of His prophets toward the culminating sacrifice. God was getting them ready to see the blood that was going to be shed for the remission of their sins, our sins, and every sin ever committed. Every drop of blood ever split from a bird, bull, calf, cow, goat, sheep, or lamb was only a substitute until the blood of the Son of God was given for sins.

  • Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” Romans 5:9
  • knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1 Peter 1:18-19
  • Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:19-22
  • For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?Hebrews 10:26-29

The whole reason God was revealing a shadow of grace in the Old Testament is so people would recognize the Body of grace when the New Testament came. What did Jesus say the cup represented while instituting the Lord’s Supper? He said, “This is my blood of the New Testament/Covenant which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28).

When someone sins, something must die; something has died, and something must die for the sinner to live!!! This has nothing do with some sort of guilt trip. It has everything to do with a dose of spiritual reality (John 1:29).

The reason so many people missed Jesus is because they weren’t looking for Him. They weren’t looking for the grace of God (John 1:17). The people didn’t mind God asking for a cow or a lamb every once in a while, but when Jesus came on the scene, He came preaching about more than sacrificing an animal. He came preaching about sacrificing our heart! He preached about faith, and love, and justice, and mercy, and humility, and devotion, and the necessity of a broken spirit.

Jesus’ preaching didn’t require anything new! It had always been God’s desire to have our heart: “For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:16-17).

Why did God have people sacrifice animals if it would never remove sin? Because God wanted His people to realize the cost of sin; because He was preparing the hearts of his people for the when the solution to sin revealed Himself.

If we miss the purpose of the blood shed for sins in the past, then we won’t comprehend the purpose of the blood of Jesus when it comes to our sins today. When we understand the shadows, we can place our confidence in the substance, and trust the power that’s only found in the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:1-31). EA


  1. The tumult and the shouting dies—
    The Captains and the Kings depart—
    Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
    An humble and a contrite heart.
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

  2. Thanks for your insight in regards to this but I would like to open up a related question to you. If the OT sacrifices were a foreshadowing of Christ (which they were) why do we see Christ suffering before He is put to death? The OT sacrifices were not beaten or bruised before they were put to death? Why the brutality in the case of Jesus?

    1. Hi, Dwayne. Thanks for commenting and great question.

      The thing to keep in mind when it comes to types and shadows (and this goes for any type/like-figure/shadow) is that they are types and shadows and not the substance. A shadow only “outlines” the substance. A like figure only has “similarities” to the subject. A type only “signifies” the typeset. The substance (in this case, Jesus) is the consummation of everything that God was leading His people up to.

      For example, the Passover lamb found in Exodus wasn’t crucified but it was still a type/shadow of Jesus. Another example of a type and shadow that refers to Jesus is king David. Not everything in David’s life was a type/shadow looking forward to Jesus, but there are moments in David’s life that are recorded in the prophets and in the Psalms that are figures and shadows looking forward to Jesus. Think of Abraham and Isaac; when Abraham went to sacrifice his son upon the mountain you can definitely see the similarities to Jesus but you can also see the differences. These things can also be seen in Moses’ life and even in Aaron’s life.

      So to answer your question more succinctly, the animals looked forward to Jesus’ atoning sacrifice while there were scriptures that prophesied about the harsh and violent treatment that Jesus would receive as a person. Read Isaiah 53 for an example of this (Peter refers to 53:5 in 1 Peter 2:24 and Philip used this chapter to preach Jesus to the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-35). The scriptures not only prophesied about Jesus’ atoning blood sacrifice through the animals, but they also prophesied that Jesus would be crucified, which accounts for the awful violence, chastisement, wounding, bruising, smiting and piercing that Jesus’ body suffered through (1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Luke 24:44-46).

      There are plenty of other things/examples that I could give you but I hope this provides you with the answer you were looking for. If I can help any more, just ask. Take care, Dwayne.

      1. How does the theme of Sacrifice in the old testament helps in understanding the message of the old testament ?

      2. Hello, Kigen.

        I’m not sure I understand your question. Perhaps you meant to ask, “How does the theme of Sacrifice in the old testament helps in understanding the message of the new testament?”

        If that’s your question I would quickly say the types and shadows of the Old Testament help to identify Jesus as the promised Messiah and Christ of God. You can read Galatians 3:24-29, Hebrews 10:1-22 and Acts 8:26-38 as a few examples. There is a cost to sin that only the price of blood could pay – Jesus, as the sinless sacrifice, paid a price for us that humanity could not afford to pay for ourselves (Romans 6:23). That’s how the Old Testament theme of sacrifice helps us when it comes to understanding the message of the New Testament.

        If you have any follow-up questions, just ask and I’ll be glad to try answer it.

        Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment.

  3. The insight of this article is indeed helpful for any Bible student who would read it. Thank you for sharing your God given knowledge about His words. I already shared it also via FB, and hope that more people would find time to read it as well. Take care always and God bless!

  4. Eugene,

    One other reason why animal sacrifices were commanded was because they had to make the connection that sin was costly. The animals they had to sacrifice were not cheap. They had to see the blood, yes, but it was also to get them to realize the cost associated with sinning.

    Now, imagine yourself back in the days of Israel, and you are tempted to sin. You think to yourself, “if I do this, I’ll have to go give up one of my sheep.” For someone who had shepherding as a livelihood, that was probably a decent deterrent.

    1. Hi, Bradley, thanks for commenting.

      I think there’s something to what you’re saying (I’m thinking along the lines of 2 Samuel 24:24), but I believe there is/was a greater emphasis placed upon the actual loss of life that was required for the atonement (both the shadow and the fulfillment). That’s definitely what I had in mind when I said, “They were supposed to realize what it meant to have blood on their hands. Because of something selfish they did, something died! The blood was meant to teach their heart about the cost of their sin.” The sacrifice that Abraham offered upon Mt. Moriah cost him nothing, but it cost the ram everything and Abraham’s heart learned the lesson. Parallel that to what Peter said in 1 Peter 1:18-19 and I believe the Bible shows that no monetary value could replace the value of the actual life that had to be given. All in all I definitely think there’s a point to your point though – as you know, the Bible makes sure that we understand that the cost of sin is never cheap! (Romans 6:23)

      Thanks again, and God bless as you serve His will in His kingdom! And I hope to see you commenting more often on the Fellowship Room.

  5. Thanks brother our pastor said animal sacrifice were an invention of man borrowed from the pagan religions. I tried talking to him as I felt unsettled in my heart about what he taught concerning animal sacrifices. His answers didn’t convince me! Thanks for taking the time to write this article! And for clarifying things for me!

    1. Hello Bruno,

      I am glad the article helped you out and I am glad that you took the initiative to study and investigate the issue for yourself; that’s a great attitude to have when it comes to studying the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15) Animal sacrifice was definitely not “borrowed” from pagan religions according to the scriptures for many different reasons, and I’m glad that you were able to see that by the word of God.

  6. I disagree.
    What about love and justice and mercy for those animals? What about not killing? As I see it “God” is not one entity in the bible but multiple beings. Among the Ulohim a being known as Enlil wanted animal sacrifice. Enlil and those following him and the present day remnants of his followers were of the Dominator philosophy.
    A being known as Enki, his brother was of the compassionate philosophy and the one who made modern day man.

    You have used scripture to composite a rough personal dialogue of what you believe to be the meaning behind a contradiction of animal sacrifice being permissible as worship or not. I believe the real answer is it was being viewed by different physical bodied beings with different philosophies and agendas.

    1. Hello Blarg,

      Your comments go in a few different directions but I’ll try to keep my response to them tied to what the lesson is about.

      You mention the animals and there is somewhat of a point in that, but that’s exactly what I was pointing out in the lesson. The people doing the sacrifice were meant to recognize the fact that something innocent was having to shed its blood and give its life because of something they were not responsible for. The point of this was a type/shadow of Jesus and how someone is meant to recognize the fact that he shed his blood and gave his life because of something he was not responsible for, but rather he did it willingly (moving beyond the purpose and type of the animals) to reveal the love and justice and mercy of God: “For him who had no knowledge of sin God made to be sin for us; so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 – BBE)

      As to your comment about God not being one entity in the Bible but multiple beings with multiple personalities I will just say that is not what the Bible teaches. The God of the Bible is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Mark 12:29-30). The Bible teaches that Jesus and the Father are one, meaning one in will and purpose and essence; which is exactly the opposite of what you have said (John 10:30; Philippians 2:5-11).

      The things that you speak of concerning these “differing beings” are things that rely upon the thinking and roots of man-made religions and not the faith that comes from studying the Bible which brings a person to Jesus (Galatians 3:8-29). The scripture that I have used (and the order of which it was used) was done so in a Biblical manner (2 Timothy 2:15) and it was done using the same principles that Jesus and his apostles and prophets used while preaching to others. Whatever your “endpoint” is in philosophy or theology or religion, if the answer isn’t Jesus then you have the wrong answer my friend.

      The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)

  7. I’m pretty sure the preciousness of life, values of love,justice,mercy can be recognized without extinguishing said life.
    As for multiple entities, that is what history and archaeology teach. That is what previous versions of the bible teach. The bible also tells us we are being deceived and we know the scriptures have suffered from heavy re-editing over the years.

    The tetragrammaton or “name of god” is already missing in almost 7.000 instances, replaced by lordies and father and god. Every instance of those three is a name that has been omitted. Names of multiple “demi-gods”. My research finds no conflict with this, in fact it makes the bible make more sense.

    The bible like the Epic of Gilgamesh (flood of Noah) is about the Annunaki from our making in their image to ancient Sumer. Of course I know in any case you will claim this is part of the great deception and I am wrong.

    Myself and these beings still believe in an overall supreme Creator of all, but we were visited in ancient times by beings who formed polytheism. Since then those beings of them leading us astray have set up a monotheistic philosophy to divide and rule over humanity.

    1. Blarg, the more you talk the more you get away from the Bible and most importantly the more you get away from Jesus. The life and teachings of Jesus simply will not allow what you’re saying about the Bible or God to be true. Jesus’ life fulfilled the scriptures. Scriptures which were written hundreds of years apart at a time but yet they fully, clearly and wonderfully align with the life of Jesus (Luke 24:44-46).

      Animal sacrifices were a part of that fulfillment because the purpose of animal sacrifices was to bring a world of sinners to a spiritual point to where the Son of God, who was the Lamb of God, would be more easily identifiable, thus resulting in a saving faith in Jesus.

      To be perfectly honest with you I’m not interested in debating things like “mystical beings” who created polytheism and other such fanciful ideas that will not have any Biblical support. All polytheism is wrong and God commands a repentance of such and He has given evidence of His will through the resurrection of Jesus and the warning of judgment:

      Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23 for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:


      Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: 24 “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”” (Acts 17:22-31)

      When a person gets away from Jesus they get away from God, and animal sacrifices point to the reality and truth of Jesus coming in the flesh to shed his blood for the sins of men and women according to the plan and providence of God.

      knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you 21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” (1 Peter 1:18-21)

      You have one of two choices my friend: believe the Bible and in the man who shed his blood according to God’s plan or believe in some fanciful manmade plan, but you can’t believe in both at the same time (2 Peter 1:16-21).

      Enough has been said here and in the article above for you to learn the truth if you so wish.

  8. “When a person gets away from Jesus they get away from God, and animal sacrifices point to the reality and truth of Jesus”

    I think animal violence points to creating an attitude among people that to worship God requires killing, attitudes of entitlement…hypocritical patterns of behaviour that decimate animal life and the environment. The world needs Veganism. Non participation in animal violence and exploitation in it’s so many forms, including for human rights aswell.

    There were other cultures back then that were into sacred animals, vegetarianism. Early christianity itself has strong vegetarian, meat killing, animal non-killing roots despite it not seeming so today on the surface.

    Hebrews 10:3-4 can be taken in two different ways. Either it is as the convoluted meaning you say, or it states the obvious of what I see.

    I think you are making a stretched argument to explain contradictions in this. Animal matters in religous writings are really the most important parts of them.
    I say consider another likely possibility, that the bible which warns against deception in the utmost, is already itself deceiving through mistakes and deliberate deception edits in the copying of it through the centuries. Consider it’s talking about real physical 10 foot tall people who shone light and were called “gods”.

    It has a decidedly pro-slaughter animal stance, and this is a social/societal conditioning to make us as humanity more unstable.

    1. Blarg, you’re proving my opening statement – “There are times in the Bible when a person can miss the blessing of something because they don’t understand the purpose or point of God’s command. This is especially true when it comes to understanding why God had people do certain things in regards to their sin.”

      You keep trying to discuss things from your own point of view, what you think, and what you want it to be, and not what the Bible says concerning the issue. And considering your comment about the Bible it’s easy to see why you had such a hard time understanding the point of the article, much less the point of animal sacrifice itself.

      So you can say whatever you want about Hebrews 10:3-4. You don’t believe in it anyways. Plus you still have the entire book of Leviticus, parts of Exodus, Matthew 8:4 (which is an endorsement of sacrifice from Jesus), John 1:29, 1 Corinthians 5:7, and Hebrews 9:6-26; 10:8,11 to deal with plus much more but that should be enough to get the point.

      Your problem is that you’re ignoring the underlying issue which is sin. You don’t believe in the substance (the solution to sin in the sacrifice of Jesus) so you’ll never understand the shadow (animal sacrifices), and you’ll never understand the shadow until you see what’s casting it (Colossians 2:13-17). That’s why I said, “When someone sins, something must die; something has died, and something must die for the sinner to live!!! This has nothing do with some sort of guilt trip. It has everything to do with a dose of spiritual reality (John 1:29).

      I’ll leave off with the same point that I made in the article:

      Why did God have people sacrifice animals if it would never remove sin? Because God wanted His people to realize the cost of sin; because He was preparing the hearts of his people for the when the solution to sin revealed Himself. If we miss the purpose of the blood shed for sins in the past, then we won’t comprehend the purpose of the blood of Jesus when it comes to our sins today. When we understand the shadows, we can place our confidence in the substance, and trust the power that’s only found in the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:1-31).

      You can believe whatever you want, that’s called free will. But regardless of what you believe, your belief does not change the truth of the matter. Humanism makes humanity unstable, not an accountability to God. A denial of sin leads to an abundance of it and your self deception is seen in your denial of an accountability to God, or else you would not deny what his word teaches from beginning to end – that sin separates us from God but God separates us from sin through Jesus who is the substance of the shadow of animal sacrifices.

      But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:7-8)

      PS – You do realize that Christians don’t sacrifice animals don’t you? Because according to your last reply it sounds like you don’t.

    2. I ran across this site also trying to figure out why the violence of OT was required by God. I found the article well written and insightful, and it actually did resolve my own doubts. I think there is a theme in the Bible and in pagan/shamanic religions where animals are worshipped, made into idols.So I think there may be an element of not idolizing animals in this, meaning they can be sacrificed, which makes it obvious that they are not to be worshipped… Not sure what you think of this or how it relates to Jesus being sacrificed and yet being worshipped…

      But I am vegetarian myself for over 15 years, and I love animals. It’s difficult for me to understand animal sacrifice. However, the article makes sense to me. Today there is more animal sacrifice in one day than there was in 10 years of Old Testament times… I would imagine… Because of all the factory farming etc. And the people who eat hamburgers made of slaughtered animals do not even see the blood, and no longer value animal life.

      So it’s easy to point a finger at God saying “He wanted blood” but we human beings kill millions of animals every day for no reason, mostly just to make money, and its a whole other issue. Also consider human sacrifice that takes place today by means of millions of abortions.

      1. Hello Andrew,

        I’m glad the article helped you to resolve some things, and I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

        As far as animal worship and sacrifice is concerned, I believe you’re correct when it comes to the mistakes of humanity setting up the created as/or above the Creator when it comes to what the Bible records and even with what we see today (Romans 1:25), but I don’t believe there is necessarily any connection with that particular aspect in relation to Jesus. The animals served as types and shadows due to the relation of sin and the necessity of the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22), the difference being that the blood of Jesus has the ability to bring about a full forgiveness due to him being a self-denying and freely given sacrifice (Hebrews 10:1-12). The animals were/are apart of creation, but Jesus, as Creator, came in the likeness of creation to redeem us from sin (John 1:1-3, 1 Peter 1:18-20).

        Although I believe a person has the freedom to eat meat and still be spiritually right with God, to an extent I completely agree with you that the average person today doesn’t even consider the loss of life that must take place when it comes to much of the food that is eaten. If a person has ever hunted or slaughtered a living animal then this person can visualize the cost that was paid. And I believe that taking the life of animal just to be simply “taking a life because it can be done” is wrong. You’re also correct that unwitnessed (by most human eyes) rivers of blood flow every day at the cost of young children. All in all, ungratefulness is a seed that leads to dangerous and deadly harvests.

        Thanks for reading, and thanks again for commenting. I hope some of my other articles may be as useful as this one was in your learning about the will of God through Christ Jesus.

  9. Except you believe those with “freewill” can exercise it and disagree until it sends them to eternal damnation, don’t you? Which wouldn’t make it freewill, would it?

    Christians don’t sacrifice animals? Oh really? Yes, If you are eating meat, killing or purchasing the animal’s body, you are engaging in animal sacrifice aswell as whatever ceremony, institution or idol is part of it or overseeing it as morally acceptable.
    Again, many early christians believed in abstaining from animal parts.

    “The shadow” transformed into “the grace”. This is sounding a little catholic. Are you sure you aren’t looking for convenient if not convoluted abstract symbolic excuses for the taste of burnt flesh? If these people were absolved from the sacrifice of Jesus, and after that humans were no longer required to make non human burnt offerings….why still revere these ones? Do you know the word sacrifice simply means to ‘make sacred and set aside’? It is not synonymous with animal killings, mostly it is incense burning with libation of oil. Tell me, what do i deserve from God when I tell him I would not worship any deity who would require such things?

    Does this example put forth by the god of moses put forth a positive example for people to follow? No. It’s similar to morphing evolution and social darwinism, and survival of the fittest and might is right conditioning the people to be less merciful.

    Reinforcing animals as a low sub-class sets the stage for humans to abuse eachother even worse in the millenia to come.
    The world and humans are dying from animal exploitation leading to sin in the world, seriously:

    Isn’t man an amazing animal? He kills wildlife by the millions to protect his domestic animals and their feed. Then he kills domestic animals by the billions and eats them. This in turn kills man by the millions, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative- and fatal – health conditions like heart disease, kidney disease and cancer. So then man tortures and kills millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases. Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals. Meanwhile, some people are dying of sad laughter at the absurdity of man, who kills so easily and so violently, and once a year sends out cards praying for “Peace on Earth.”- C. David Coat

    Research Shumer. Research more in general. Research dogmatic brainwash.

    1. Dan,

      It sounds like you’re more interested in promoting “animals rights” than learning about the spiritual responsibility of men and women to God. Let’s just end the conversation because the longer you talk the further you get away from the original point of the post.

  10. Awesome post.,..as a believer in all loving GOD,i was struggling with all the massive animal sacrifices in the OT.This article helped me a lot to understand our Heavenly Father’s heart.Love you Jesus…:) and thanks for Sharing man,GOD Bless :) Love from India.

    1. Thank you very much for your kind words, Vinay. I am happy that the post was able to help you along in your studies, and I pray that it will help many others see the hope and salvation that God had always planned to bring into the world through Jesus’ sacrifice upon the cross and through His empty tomb.

      Again, thank you for commenting and God bless as you study His word…and back at you from Tennessee, USA.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment with your words of kindness, Dipish, I appreciate that.

      And I am happy that you found the article to be useful. All glory be to God for the truth that can be seen through Jesus.

      God bless as you study his word (2 Timothy 2:15).

  11. Great article. I was trying to find where God actually gave the command to sacrifice animals. I am talking about early on in Genesis. Abel made an animal sacrifice, but i can not find any passage supporting them being commanded to sacrifice back then. Help me out please. It is possible Adam and Eve were told to do so when they were removed from the garden and it just doesn’t say it. Just wondering.
    Thanks again for posting.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Greg, and I’m glad that you found the article useful.

      As far your question goes it’s a good one. I think I may able to give a few pointers to help you out in your studies.

      First there’s Able. We can be sure that Abel’s sacrifice was in accordance with a command given by God because Hebrews 11:4 describes his sacrifice as something that was offered “by faith.” To do something by faith means to do something according to the word of God (Romans 10:17). So in Abel’s situation it’s pretty much an open and shut case.

      Now for Adam and Eve. You’re right in that when it comes to their situation there is no explicit command recorded nor is there even a scripture that implies that they made sacrifices. But we can be sure that if they desired to be in a right relationship with God it would have required an atonement of sorts to be made, and as the rest of the Old Testament shows when it came to atoning for sin there had to be a shedding of blood. Also, regardless of whether or not they desired to be in a right relationship with God, which is something that the Bible is silent on…remember that Abel is actually the first person mentioned in Hebrews 11, we can be sure that some sort of sacrifice had been made due to the fact that they were given animal skins by God to wear as clothing.

      At the end of the day I’d say there’s a strong possibility that Adam may have taught Abel what animals sacrifices were about, but whatever the case we can have a strong confidence that animal sacrifice was something expected by God according to the situation concerning Abel.

      I hope that helps, and thanks again for taking the time to comment; I appreciate that. If you have any other questions feel free to ask.

  12. Good Evening,

    I found some great spiritual understanding through your writings, especially the point that God notices every drop of blood spilled. I was also enlightened by the fact that people in those days were “supposed to” see how their disobedient actions towards God cost them innocent blood on their hands. I see how this innocence reflects the pure innocence of Christ’s blood. I still do have some questions that perhaps you may have insight to.

    I grasp that “For the wages of sin is death”, since God created the perfect environment, lifestyle, free will and love for Adam and Eve (and as that goes, all of mankind). If punishment for disobedience was anything less then death, then the value of what God gave us diminishes infinitely. If Adam and Eve simply received a slap on the wrist or a “time out” for disobeying God, then basically the value of life, free will, and love is on the same level as sitting in the corner for 2 minutes without talking; basically meaningless.

    My issue is, if we were already receiving death as punishment for sin, then why was sacrificing an innocent animal by force necessary?

    I know you said it turned into more of “buying off God” then a lesson and I completely agree. If you continuously sin and continue to sacrifice your herd of animals, you’ll start to become numb to the lesson. As a very selfish human being, if I had to sacrifice my dog I would definitely be sad and upset…for a little while. But eventually I’ll get over it and now my Dog had to pay for my sin. Basically, why does the dog get the shaft?

    Now for me I do see where you are taking the type/shadow of innocent blood of animals and the innocent blood of Christ. But Christ willingly chose to die for our sins (with the exception of his plea to God in the Garden of Gethsemane, but he still choose to do the will of God). Animals, as far as I can tell, were not willingly choosing to die for man’s sins. We lead them to the slaughter. So doesn’t that seem to be a bit of cruelty and injustice done to animals?

    Obviously I don’t have the divine knowledge of the spiritual and moral compass of animals. I have no idea what God’s ultimate plan is for them. But I believe from Genesis he created them to also be fruitful and multiply. I also believe He gave us authority to rule over them. And as rulers over animals, doesn’t it seem we need to be kind, compassionate, and merciful towards them as a King who rules over those in his kingdom? I just get confused as to why these living, breathing, soulful creatures were chosen against their will (as far as I can believe) to be the sacrifice for man’s disobedience.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi, Rudy.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. You bring up some good points and valid questions. Ultimately I think you’re hitting the nail on the head in about your 5th paragraph.

      Animals sacrifices completely revolved around being a substitutionary sacrifice of the type and shadow kind. And one reason, among others, that animal sacrifices were not completely effective is because of what you pointed out – they weren’t voluntary participants, and animals weren’t responsible for sin, mankind was/is. But because of sin’s effect (immediate death which is a spiritual separation from God), something (blood) had to be shed to make atonement at that moment, and blood was used because it represented a life for a life, because as Leviticus 17 says, “life is in the blood.”

      Now when it comes to the “why” part of animals being involved despite the fact that they’re not responsible there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

      One, they were a type and shadow of Jesus in that Jesus was not responsible for our sins, but yet he still bore the burden. Think of what the eunuch was reading in Acts 8:26-35 and what Peter said about Jesus in 1 Peter 1:18-21. Yes, Jesus was voluntary in that he chose to become a stand-in, but at the same time Jesus was also compelled to do what he did due to there being no other option (remember the aspect of Jesus’ prayer that you brought up). So Jesus’ sacrifice was given by his own will in that he willingly laid down his life for us (John 10:15), but at the same time it was done by love because there was no other way – the types and shadows would not allow it to be (John 15:13 and Hebrews 8:1-6, 9:9-24, 10:1-10).

      Two, blood, which is essential for the remission of sins (Hebrews 9:22), only has one of two sources – animals or man. And since human sacrifice was something that was unacceptable to God, and a spiritually illegal thing to do (remember that even those who crucified Jesus were still guilty of murder – Acts 2:23, 3:15, 7:52), animals played the substitutionary role until Jesus came to make his self-sacrifice. And since Jesus offered himself on behalf of sinners, as a man without sin, he was able to fulfill the requirements of the law’s righteousness while also being able to break free from the bonds of death due to not having sinned, which is something that an animal was wholly incapable of doing (Acts 2:24).

      I hear what you’re saying about animal sacrifices being cruel, unjust and a part of ugly repercussions due to our irresponsible behavior – but at the same time, all of that could be easily said about Jesus’ sacrifice for us.

      I think that this should address the sum of your concerns, but if it does not, feel free to reply. And thanks again for reading and commenting.

      1. Very well put! Thank you for the detailed answers. It does clear up some very confusing issues. I like how you explained This is done out of love because there is no other way. It was either do this and reconcile mankinds relationship with God through love, or don’t do it and we can never fully be redeemed. I especially like the simplicity that there are two options for blood: man or beast.

        Your last submission regarding a cruelty in the death of Jesus brings up another interesting point; one to where all this necessity of death really leads. This moves off the subject of animal sacrifice a bit, but still in line with my concerns for God using man to shed blood. (If this is discussed elsewhere in your blog, I apologize for bringing it up here and please direct me to where I can find similar comments and information)

        My concern is God’s direction to have man hand out his punishment. For instance, when God orders Saul and the Army of Israel in 1 Samuel 15:3 to “attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys”, how can a loving God request other men to kill other men and spare no one? Now before we get into the need for the Amalek nation to be held accountable for their sins, I already get that. In Lee Strobel’s ” The Case for Faith”, Norman Geisler gives some great insight on not only how depraved and sinful the Amakelites were, but also how he surely gave them a chance to repent and they did not. So I understand the severity of their punishment. But he doesn’t answer why man is ordered to destroy man. To directly order and use humans as the instrumental tool to destroy other men, women, children etc. doesn’t that put God into a “tyrannical” type of King? Also, and I hate to put it this way, is that also not a cop out for God? Why not wipe them out himself? Why not have these sacrificial animals raid upon them at night and destroy them? How is man, in those days performing those duties, able to understand this merciful God who orders them to kill? How are we today to relate to God using man to kill other people and then say “Thou shall not kill?” Why are humans who are supposed to choose love over death, given an order by The Almighty Loving God, to kill other people? My only thought is that this is the fate of Saul (after the four……teenth time he went against God) and the nation of Israel for choosing to have a king in Saul rather than a King in God. But it’s hard for me to connect the good in this and understand how he can order man to do such things.

      2. Hello again, Rudy. Sorry for the delay in responding back, the ole’ time schedule has been really full the last few days.

        One word that keeps coming to mind concerning the topic that you brought up is sin. Sin has a way of eating at a society until the society becomes consumed with it. When a culture sows to the wind then the principle of sowing and reaping by necessity says that the society will reap to the whirl-wind (Hosea 8:7). The greater the sowing of sin the greater the reaping of judgment. All sin condemns spiritually, but regardless of what some teach, the Bible teaches that there are certain societal behaviors and sins that hasten and multiply the judgment(s) of God (Revelation 18:4-8).

        Now as far your question about God using people as instruments of judgment goes I would simply say that God has given this responsibility to governments (Romans 13:1-4). God uses the judgment of a nation to grab the attention of other nations who need to repent. The Lord says that if a nation repents then he will relent, but if there is no repentance then there is the necessity of judgment (please read Jeremiah 18 for an example of this). Not only did God do this with pagan nations like Nineveh (Nahum 3), but he did the same with Israel. Even Israel herself fell prey to same judgments of God that their ancestors had carried out on others and the very nation(s) used to judge them would in turn find themselves judged due to sin (Ezekiel 14 and 2 Kings 8:9-15 and Isaiah 13).

        Time and time again God has used the governments of men to remind mankind that one day the sowing of sin will reap judgment, and for this reason we’re called to take notice so that sin does not find a home in our heart our in our culture (Psalm 67). Bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad people, but judgment reminds us that the scales will ultimately be righted (Ecclesiastes 8:6-14 and Psalm 73).

        As far as relating to a God who uses man to judge the sins of other men I would encourage you to remember that God seeks our repentance, and that he is not willingly that any perish, but the gift of free-will comes with responsibility and consequences (2 Peter 3:8-15). God didn’t send his son to condemn the world, we do a good enough job of that on our own (John 3:17-18). We relate to God by remembering that there’s one God and we’re not him (a principle that is replete in the Psalms), but that the same mighty God of Heaven and Earth calls us through mercy and love to draw near while we have the chance (Isaiah 55:6-9); and at the same time we also remember that he desires to be our father despite the sin that deserves his judgment (2 Corinthians 6:17-18).

        I’ll end in the same way that I began – sin carries with it consequences that we often fail to appreciate until it is too late.

      3. Eugene,

        Thank you again for such a powerful response. The consequence of our disobedience to God is a very serious issue. You have shed some light on my questions which are actually questions of others that I’ve had a hard time giving answers to myself. I often get caught up in the theological discussion with some who I try to explain that there exists an ultimate standard of good and when someone goes against that standard, that is wrong, and people must be held accountable. I have a friend who cannot hurt a fly. She is vegan, refuses to eat or wear anything made of animals, and believes that any penalty of death, directed by government or God, is extremely cruel. She was once a strong believer in Christianity, but has since lost her way as she explains that she cannot believe in a God who would kill. She will not believe in a place of Hell because what kind of all-loving, all powerful, and all knowing God would allow his children to go there. Even more, if we are supposed to forgive everyone, why is it that he does not forgive all? I try to explain that God forgives anyone who asks for forgiveness. I also give an idea that God does love everyone and if you continually reject God, wishing he stay out of your life, then ultimately he loves you enough to give you what you want; an eternity without him. I sometimes breakthrough to her with this idea, but I can still she she has trouble understanding how God can not save everyone. I myself used to believe that everyone, no matter what, eventually goes to Heaven. My issue with that later came to the notion that if that is the case, what is the point of life then?
        Anyways, I thank you again for the great information. I know I can only provide so much information and then pray the Spirit will guide her.

      4. Hey, Rudy. These words came to mind as I reading your comment – the just and justifier (Romans 3:23-26), free-will, consequences, the devil, sin and salvation. Sounds like the garden scene in Genesis to me because at the end of the day, the decision(s) that were made then are the same decisions that people make everyday – God said do this and don’t do that, the devil says otherwise, and we have to decide who we’re going to listen to (Matthew 7:13-14).

  13. Very good article! I would like to add three points for your consideration:

    1 – for a shepherd and agrarian society, having to give up your animals and crops had a very real and direct cost to the one sacrificing.

    2 – the crops/animals were not “wasted.” Many people think they just burned the whole thing up, but it was food for the priests (so they could eat).

    3 – many of the pagan faiths sacrificed animals/babies too, so God was speaking in a language that they understood. The difference is, unlike other “gods,” he said if you do X, you sacrifice Y, and you are forgiven. You didn’t have to “guess” how much God wanted you to sacrifice. For an example, look to Job, who obviously obsessed a bit over sacrificing for his family.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Douglas.

      You’re first point is something that’s worth noting, and others have mentioned it in the comments above. Regardless of the dispensation in which man has lived, the point has always been the same when it comes to the cost of sin: it comes at a high price! (Romans 6:23) The action of offering one’s sustenance (which gets down to the topic of reliance and trust) definitely tested the faith of God’s followers.

      You’re also correct with your second point. There were exceptions (as can be seen in Leviticus 4 and 6:30 and 16:27) but basically you’re correct in that a certain portion of some offerings were allowed to be consumed by the priests unless otherwise noted.

      As far as your third point goes there is a lot that could said about it but I’ll limit it to this – when it comes to being right with God, He doesn’t leave us guessing at what He desires (John 6:29; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 17:30-31).

      Thanks for reading, and thanks again for sharing your thoughts on the subject.

  14. You said that, “The whole time God was leading His people through the types and shadows from the words of His prophets toward the culminating sacrifice. God was getting them ready to see the blood that was going to be shed for the remission of their sins, our sins, and every sin ever committed. Every drop of blood ever split from a bird, bull, calf, cow, goat, sheep, or lamb was only a substitute until the blood of the Son of God was given for sins.”

    I seriously doubt that anyone (or at least the common man) in Israel at that time made any connection between what they were doing as a foreshadowing of God offering His Son Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice. As your supporting texts, you then listed all texts from the New Testament, which of course was not around during this time, hence, your supporting Scriptures are not helping your premise since from our perspective looking backwards we might see that.

    Just a thought. . .

    1. Hi, Kelly. You bring up a good point to consider.

      You’re right in that the “whole picture” in relation to Jesus and his sacrifice was not seen by the “every day Israelite”. But there was enough revealed to let the people of God know that something was coming (Genesis 3:15; Galatians 4:4). Especially consider what Peter said in 1 Peter 1:10-12-

      Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.

      Aside from the main fact, which is especially seen in Leviticus, that the wages of sin was death and that an atonement to God by necessity included the shedding of innocent blood and repentance produced by sorrow from the heart, the people did not understand everything about the One to come, but God’s plan revealed things in a way that when the One came he could be identified. This, amongst other places, is what Jesus meant when he said-

      …“O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

      When I said that God was leading his people through the types and shadows I was referring to the people who were presented with the body/substance that cast the shadows/types (Colossians 2:16-17). The vast majority of the NT verses that I referred to are verses that quote the OT. And for good reason – “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)

      The people of the past were not expected to understand everything that God was doing in relation to the first advent of Jesus as the Christ, but nevertheless they had faith in God and they looked forward to what he would ultimately accomplish on behalf of his people (John 8:56; Hebrews 11:8-10, 24-26).

      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I hope my reply helped you to better understand the point that I was making.

  15. I am so bless and uplifted by the revelation of your teaching God’s words. I pray the Holy Spirit of God to continue using you to the glory of Almighty God through Christ Jesus amen.

    1. Okoh,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. All credit does go to God because if it comes from God’s word, and it’s taught in truth, then no one else deserves the credit. As you said, a vessel is all we can be, so we must decide what we’re going to be filled with.

      Thanks again, and God bless as you study the word.

  16. This is my first time ever commenting on an article. Thank you so much for this amazing information which was confirmed for me by the Holy Spirit! Although I have always believed that Yahweh did indeed require animal sacrifices there have been Christians who have been trying to convince me otherwise. I will refer them to this article! May Yahweh continue to use you mightily!

    1. Haggai, thanks for taking the time to comment; especially since commenting isn’t something that you’re used to doing.

      Confirmation of truth can definitely be found when one follows the truth revealed by the Spirit of God through the word of God that has been left for us (Ephesians 3:1-5), so while I claim no inspiration of my own, I do encourage people to examine what I have said in light of the scriptures that I referenced (1 Peter 4:11; 1 John 5:1). The sum of God’s word is truth (Psalm 119:160) and the sum of the matter is what I was striving to present.

      I’m glad that you found the article beneficial and I hope that it does the same for those that you know.

      Thank you for the referral and God bless as you study you his word. And feel free to comment on any other article that you may find interesting.

  17. Excellent article I keep reading it over and over as it helped me with my readings of Leviticus~ Now I wanted to know if example a person sinned one hour ago and presented a animal for sacrifice would the person have to bring another animal each hour and minute they sin or was this a once a day thing?

    1. Hi, Cassia. I think it’s great that you’ve found the article to be so useful.

      You’ve asked a really good question. As far as my understanding goes, there was not meant to be any kind of “per diem” mindset behind any of the offerings. In other words, a person couldn’t take an animal and say, “Well, this animal will cover my tab for the day” or “Well, this animal will buy off _____ (insert number) of my sins.”

      With the exception of some offerings such as the goats on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:11-22) which represented all of Israel, most of the offerings were given on a personal basis where each individual sin was “atoned for” through each individual animal. Leviticus 4 contains some good examples of this. There it gives an example of an offering for sins of ignorance that represented the whole congregation of Israel but also offerings of certain individuals such as a priest, a ruler or any common person. In every case the word sin is used in the singular sense; so it definitely sounds as if one sacrifice was to be given for one sin in these cases.

      If this is the case it would be apparent that a person’s sins could start to become expensive rather quickly (which is something that a previous commenter pointed out), and I also believe this is why there were exceptions for those who were genuinely unable to financially afford the more costly sacrifices in certain situations…the Lord still provided a way for those who had a humble spirit and contrite heart (see Leviticus 5:1-13).

      Ultimately I believe the wording of God’s command for the situation and the individual sin that was committed (or even when a sin was not committed but there was a ceremonial offering given or cleansing as in the case of a child being born, or when the body of a dead individual was touched) determined exactly what was covered when an offering was made since you can see cases in which one animal was given for a multitude of sins but also times when each individual sin required an individual animal according to scripture.

      I appreciate the question, and thanks for taking the time to comment. I hope my answer helps.

  18. God is amazing!!!! This post is inspiring even after two years!! I walked by a truck and I saw a picture of a bull and immediately i said to myself I wonder why was bulls and wild beast offered up to God as a sacrifice. i wrote down a few scriptures and headed for the net to seek out more information and i came directly to this post. In my recent study I have managed to put together the pieces of the Old and New Testiment and the sacrifices and still was a bit unclear, especially for that question to pop up in my head – but you have laid it out so clearly. Just one question or thought though…

    1.Do you think the sacrifices of bulls and rams are aligned with why in Genesis 1:24-25 God did not bless the wild animals and livestock (but saw that it was good) and

    2. in Genesis 3:14 the Lord God cursed the serpent above all the livestock and wild animals. – so my understanding of this in particular was that they were already under a curse..Just like how we are all born into sin and shaped in iniquity.

    let me know your thoughts on that please

    Indeed God has a way of doing things and we may never know what He has planned but simply need to trust His will.

    Even as i read the comments (yes i read them all) I can see how God used you to deliver the word!!! The word of God in The Power of the Holy Spirit. it amazes me!! I love it! May God continue to use you in such a powerful way to deliver the message of His Kingdom. i am ever reminded of Romans 8:6 ; Isaiah 26:3 and most importantly Matt 6:33

    1. Hello, Jahkia. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts, and for your kind words as well.

      As for your questions:

      1) Your observation on “the blessing” is an interesting one, but I don’t think it has anything to do with whether or not the animals would be used as sacrifices. After all, a reading of Leviticus reveals animals that were to be considered “unclean” (not meant to be eaten by people much less sacrificed to God) by God’s people from both the waters and the air (which were the very animals blessed/created on the 5th day) as well as “unclean” land animals (that were created on the 6th day). Your question is a very good one, but I believe the “lack of blessing” is due to the attention that was given to humanity’s creation on the 6th day and not necessarily because of the later role that animals would play in God’s plan of redemption.

      2) Speaking of redemption, this leads to your second question. I believe the curse pronounced upon the serpent is given in stark contrast to all the blessing that had been given up to this point, and not necessarily to show that any other parts of creation such as the animals were responsible for sin. The introduction of sin into a sinless world (remember, when he was finished God had said that everything created was very good) changed not only Adam’s and Eve’s relationship with God, but it changed how the world would deal with the sin that was introduced. Even the ground was cursed according to Genesis 3:17 to show how different creation itself had become because of sin’s consequences. But the ground was not responsible for sin, nor was it previously cursed. In the same way, certain animals would now bare the burden of sin’s consequences including the serpent bearing the stark image of Satan’s rebellion against God. I believe this is why Paul talked about the creation of this world itself “groaning” for a day of release from the consequences of sin – not because it was or is responsible for sin, but because the consequences of sin were so powerful that even creation itself was changed to remind mankind of the consequences of rebellion against God.

      For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” (Romans 8:20-22)

      As to being born in sin, I don’t believe people inherit sin. You can read the first part of a series of posts I have done on that subject by clicking here if you like. Jesus was born into the same flesh we wear but he did not sin, nor does dying a physical death mean we’re guilty of sin just as Jesus’ death shows. Nor does getting sick, dealing with trials or suffering great loss as Job’s struggle shows. Without a doubt sin was introduced into the world back in the Garden of Eden, and all bear its consequences regardless of personal responsibility (think of creation itself – not responsible for/guilty of sin, but bearing the consequences of it), but spiritual death comes from committing sin our self and not from someone else committing sin even though there are consequences that are felt because of the previous choices that people have made (Ezekiel 18:20). We may be born into a sinful world, but being born into a sinful world and being born into sin are two different things.

      You’re spot on about trusting God’s will, and I love that Isaiah 26:3 reference, thanks for sharing that.

      I hope my thoughts have helped you out some more. And I’m glad that you have found the article to be so beneficial. To God be the glory for all truth that has been given and received.

      If you have any other questions or thoughts feel free to share them, and God bless as you study the word of God that leads to God’s freedom from sin through Jesus.

  19. hey,
    this is very helpful. thanx a lot and may you be blessed for explaining something so sensitive, and has caused a lot of confusion.

    1. Hi, Sherry.

      I appreciate you taking the time to comment. And I’m glad you consider the article useful in your studies of God’s word. I pray that some of my other articles may also help you in your understanding of God’s will for our lives.

  20. Thank you for this!! i have inwardly wrestled with this topic for some time now. Reading this helped. Again, thanks :).
    -a sister in Christ.

    1. Glad the article helped out, Sarah. I hope that some of my other articles may do the same.

      God bless as you study his word, and thank you for taking the time to pass along your kind thoughts.

  21. I understand what you have written and most of your replies, yet I still am disturbed by all of the cruelty shown towards the animals in the OT and even in the NT. IT would seem that an omnipotent God would and could have devised a more humane way to teach the people about sin and sacrifice. People sin over and over again and always will. What possible point was there to be cruel to defenseless animals just for a temporary release of guilt just to have to eventually kill more animals just to “cleanse” the sinner for another temporary time of feeling a removal of their guilt? I am sorry, but I will never understand or condone such an action or demand of God. I can’t see a loving God desiring blood for atonement when it was only temporary at best. He also created the animals. Yes, I am an animal rights advocate but also a Christian who unfortunately sins daily as I expect we all do. I would never even consider slaughtering an animal to atone for my sins. Of coarse, I don’t have to since the ultimate sacrifice was made for us. Thanks for hearing my point ov view and my concerns when reading these things in the OT.

    1. Hi, Scott.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, and for respectfully sharing your view.

      In response, I would kindly point out to you that when it comes to the ways of God, it is our thinking that needs to adapt to his will, and not the other way around:

      For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

      As far as a “better way” for teaching people about sin and sacrifice and your connection to the seemingly “pointlessness/uselessness” of animal sacrifice, I would point out (as you did concerning yourself) that people still sin despite the fact that Jesus Christ bore our sin in a most publicly horrible physical, mental and spiritual way – but his sacrifice was in no way “useless” or “without point” and nor were the animal sacrifices of the past, for they played a key and essential role as shadows in pointing to the “substance” of Jesus’ sacrifice (John 1:29). Furthermore, the shedding of blood revealed the seriousness and ugliness and cost of sin, and, as the ways of God teach, “all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22).

      To the people who understood God’s principle of sacrifice, the shedding of an animal’s blood was indeed a powerful “teaching” tool, for they understood that the sacrifice taught that they could not fix their own sins and that because of their sin something/someone else had to bear the burden (Genesis 22:7-14) because, again, as God’s ways and thoughts teach, and not our ways or thoughts, the wages of sin is death, and mercy and life is found only in the blood (Romans 6:23, Leviticus 17:11), and this same point is true when it comes to the one sacrifice of Jesus (which happens to be a sacrifice that many people, even in the religious world, find more offensive than any sum total of animal sacrifices).

      Today, if one misses the point of Jesus’ sacrifice, they miss the benefit; and likewise, if the people of the past times and covenants (the patriarch and mosaic ages) missed the point of the blood sacrifice, they missed the benefit as well, for God was not interested in a sacrifice that shed blood without the rending of the heart as well (1 Samuel 15:21-23, Isaiah 1:11, Psalm 51:16-17, Proverbs 21:3, Joel 2:12-14).

      If left to our own devices, humanity’s answers for sin would be no more beneficial than the devices that led to our sin to begin with! According to your last few sentences, I believe this is something that you can understand and agree with. Therefore I would encourage you, as I encourage myself to do, to trust God (as our Creator, Sustainer and Judge) and his will when it comes to what is best for the benefit of our soul (Proverbs 3:5-6).

      Thank you for taking the time to read my article, and thank you again for taking the time to comment. I hope my reply is beneficial to you.

  22. Recently born again and reading the bible and fasting daily and this helped me gain a much better understanding of our lord. THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH!

    1. Kaylia,

      I’m very glad that the article was able to help you. Keep studying. If I can help with any other Bible questions that you may have, feel free to ask.

      And thanks for sharing your appreciation!

  23. This article has helped clear up so many questions I have had for so very long. I am sure God lead me to it this morning..thank you for sharing.

    1. EB,

      I’m very glad the post helped you in your search for an answer. All glory does indeed go to God and to his word through which his revealed knowledge can be found (1 Thessalonians 2:13, 1 Corinthians 2:9-14).

      If I can help you in other questions that you may have, feel free to ask.

  24. This article is an amazing answer to my question: Why so much blood God?
    Thank you for your insight it has ministered tomu spirit

    1. Thank you, Blossom, for taking the time to share your kind words. I’m happy that you found the article to be so helpful. If I can help with any other questions that you may have, feel more than free to ask.

    1. Hello, Herb.

      To my knowledge, there’s not a verse that specially spells out why God chose to have the animals used that were used. But, just off the cuff, there are a couple of answers that I can think of:

      1) God did not consider every animal to be “clean” and therefore, out of all the animals on the Earth, there were some, by default, that were not acceptable as far as sacrifices and other uses were concerned. After all, if God didn’t want his people to eat certain foods then it would stand to reason that he would not desire it as a sacrifice either.

      2) The animals that you referred to were livestock (many of them, for all practical reasons, being domesticated – think Acts 8:32), and therefore the availability of these animals would have been much more accessible than many of the wild animals of the world that were available to the Jewish people. Not every animal that was acceptable as a sacrifice was “livestock” (Leviticus 5:7, Luke 2:24), but the animals that you referred to were.

      I’m sure there are many people in the religious world who would be quick to give more specific answers when it comes to “why” God chose the animals that he did, but unless clear scripture could be provided I would consider their answers to be personal supposition and no more than that. God has his reasons, but his reasons for doing or requesting certain things are not always revealed, but we can be assured that what we need to know, and do, to be right with him has been revealed for our benefit.

      The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deuteronomy 29:29)

      But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):” (Romans 10:6-8)

      It may not be the exact answer that you were looking for but I hope that helps.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop and ask.

  25. If you knew God you would know that the sacrificial system did not originate from Him, it was satan pretending to be God. If you knew God you would know His 10 commandments and be keeping them. Isa 66 and verse 3 says “killing an ox is the same thing as killing a man”.

    1. Hello Jerry,

      Where to begin? Other than quickly pointing out that you’re haphazardly taking Isaiah 66:3 out of context (it was being spoken to people who thought God was more interested in the blood of animal, the offering of meal, or even the offering of incense in and of themselvess than in one’s desire for righteousness in his/her heart) to prove a point that doesn’t exist, I’ll just sum up the error you’re making by saying this:

      First, you do a great dishonor to God’s word and Jesus’ work as our High Priest (which was foreshadowed through Melchizedek, Aaron and even the animals that were offered – John 1:29…and the entire book of Hebrews!) with your words and ideas. Listen, you expect a person’s salvation to be something based on his/her keeping of a Law (the Decalogue) which was given through a man (Moses) in whose law also required animal sacrifice by God’s command. Don’t think so? Then listen to Jesus’ words, and perhaps through them you may be delivered out of the falsehood you’re a part of:

      Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed. And He strictly warned him and sent him away at once, and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”” (Mark 1:41-44)

      Now read the entire chapter of Leviticus 14 which also includes a meal offering along with animals.

      Here’s a segment just to make sure you get to read a portion of it:

      Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “This shall be the law of the leper for the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought to the priest … 10 “And on the eighth day he shall take two male lambs without blemish, one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish, three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering, and one log of oil. 11 Then the priest who makes him clean shall present the man who is to be made clean, and those things, before the Lord, at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 12 And the priest shall take one male lamb and offer it as a trespass offering, and the log of oil, and wave them as a wave offering before the Lord. 13 Then he shall kill the lamb in the place where he kills the sin offering and the burnt offering, in a holy place; for as the sin offering is the priest’s, so is the trespass offering. It is most holy.” (Leviticus 14:1-2, 10-13)

      That is exactly what Jesus was talking about in Mark 1:44. If you disagree with this, then you disagree with Jesus; and if that’s the case, you have a totally different case on your hands.

      I hope this portion of God’s word (from both the NT and OT) helps to draw you closer to God’s truth.

  26. If God still wants the sacrifice of animals, He woun’t have died on the cross to replace the old testament sacrifice.

  27. Why couldn’t my own blood be shed for my sin, instead of an animals? It’s because I wouldn’t be spotless, right?
    And is it also to show us that we can’t make ourselves right before God?
    At first I was imagining how… if we die because of our sins, could that be a way of paying the cost? That line of reasoning doesn’t work, though, because then a person would be forgiven & humans could get themselves into Heaven by shedding their own blood– but there’s a verse that says salvation isn’t of ourselves. What thinkest thou? :)

    1. Holly,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Sounds like you’ve answered your own question well enough.

      Redemption for the sinner (the guilty party in the “transaction”) comes at a cost (which is what the base meaning of the word redemption shows – 1 Peter 1:18-19). And due to the fact that sin itself causes us to be in debt with God, the sinner has nothing within his or herself to pay/cover the price of our transgression (Romans 6:23).

      We save ourselves in the sense that we are responsible for responding to God’s offer of salvation in a positive way (Acts 2:38-41, Philippians 2:12, Mark 16:15-16), but we cannot save ourselves in the sense of ever being able to earn our salvation/redemption from God (Matthew 18:23-35, Ephesians 2:8, Colossians 1:12-14). If we could ever earn salvation, it would never be by grace.

      That’s what I thinkest. But if you have any other questions about it, I thinkest you’re freest to asketh.

  28. Hi Eugine, the subject of God requiring a blood sacrifice has perplexed me for a long time, and it is something l have heard taught in Church the way you have explained it.

    It has been niggling at me quite a bit recently and early in my quiet time this morning l decided to google for an answer, and chose to click on you.

    Thank you for putting it so simply. I just love this commentary!

    Thank you so much. It now all makes sense to me and l now understand more the magnitude of sin and the dire need of sinners for salvation, to the point of feeling physically sick worrying about the lost.

    I now have a special reverence and awe and peace and thanks regarding Gods reason for animal sacrifice, followed ultimately by Jesus, the sinless Lamb of God.

    Your commentary just SO hammers the magnitude and enormity of sin home.

    Everyone should read it, Christians and sinners alike, so, the fact that you can google it is a good step.

    And, doesn’t Hebrews 10: 26-29 make you shudder.

    Thank you again Eugine, something for me to meditate on, always.

    1. Nigel,

      Thank you very much for the kind words. And I’m very glad the article was able to help you in the way it did. And I appreciate your compliment concerning the article’s simplicity. Whether in written word or in sermon form I have always tried to do my best to discuss my topic in such a way that someone new to the Bible could understand as well as someone who has studied the Bible his or her entire life. So for that compliment I am humbly grateful.

      Lastly, am I very grateful that this article has made its way up toward the top in Google’s search engine. Numerous people from countries all over the world find this article because of their interest in the topic…and by doing so I am given the opportunity to present a portion of the Gospel of Christ to many people who are not Christians. And for that, to God be the glory. And I agree with your comment about the Hebrews scripture reference.

      Thank you again, and God bless as you study his word. I no longer post on this blog (but I haven’t taken it down for reasons such as this article), but if you would like you are welcome to visit another blog that I currently write for: http://www.fellowshiproom.com

      1. Well I quit posting on KP because I’m at a new congregation, and I didn’t want to take this site down and transfer the articles to a new site because I was afraid it would mess up any “ground” these articles have been able to capture in search engines. And I’m not on the WP domain that much anymore because Randal changed where the Fellowship Room’s site is getting hosted. Still read your articles from time to time through the email I get but I’m just not able to “like” or comment much cause I’m not logged in. Keep up the good work brother, and I hope you have a great first day of the week.

        On Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 4:38 PM keltonburg preacher wrote:


  29. Genesis 8:20-21
    20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. 21 The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done

    Isaiah 1:11-15
    11 “The multitude of your sacrifices—
    what are they to me?” says the Lord.
    “I have more than enough of burnt offerings,
    of rams and the fat of fattened animals;
    I have no pleasure
    in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.

    1. Hello Eddie,

      Not sure about the intent of your comment.

      Are you showing that you agree it’s easy to miss the point due to seemingly contradictory positions (by not taking context into account), or saying an actual contradiction exists on the topic of animal sacrifice?

      Feel free to clarify.

  30. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article. It opened my eyes to the things that we are so blind to. I love the Lord and in reading the old testament I get a little lost trying to understand it all. I thank God for allowing me to live in this day and time where we have the atonement of sins by the blood of Jesus and the holy spirit to walk with me everyday. I have often wondered why the blood of animals thank you for the knowledge you have shared with us.

    1. Kerri,

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. I’m glad the article helped in your studies.

      If you ever have any other Bible-based questions, feel more than free to ask me and I will do my best to share what the scriptures say about it.

  31. Dear Eugene,

    God spoke to me through your understanding which I have in my mind for quite so long. Therefore, I love it that you have expressed your understanding upon the true living God that can the false teaching turn to God.

    According to Isaiah 55:8 ”For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD”. Because, The Creator of Universe is more wiser than human beings and understandings. And, it relflect each and every single materials or that God used in Old Testament is really very meaningful.

    Our question to seek in Bible will always be answerred at the same time that we had to believed in GOD to reveal the truth.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment, Edmund.

      I’m glad the article helped in your studies.

      If you have any questions on any other Bible topic, I would be glad to help.

      God bless as you study his word.


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