“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Hebrews 9:11-12)
In Leviticus, God proclaims to Moses His commandments concerning sacrifices. They were offerings to God to cleanse the sinner of the sin in their lives. They were literal sacrifices, but also had symbolic meaning. It was a symbol of the perfect sacrifice to come. As our scripture for today says, “But Christ being come” with his perfectly sinless flesh, “perfect tabernacle, not made with hands,” He became the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. Jesus’ sacrifice (offering) was and is the only way to remove all sin permanently. “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” This is not to say that Christians will not sin, but to assure us that our sins are forgiven. If we truly love the Lord, we will do everything in our power to not sin. The whole hearted attempt to not sin, or in other words, live a holy life, is one of the signs that a person is truly saved by God’s grace.
So, when did animal sacrifices stop and why? For Christians, animal sacrifices stopped after Christ’s ultimate sacrifice of dying for our sins on the cross. The Jews criticized the Christian Jews for this, but the Christians knew that no further sacrifices were necessary. The Jews, on the other hand, continued to sacrifice animals and grain to God until about 70 A.D. or about 40 years after Christ’s death on the cross and His subsequent resurrection. The Roman Legion, under the leadership of General Titus, destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 A.D. rendering it impossible for the Jews to sacrifice to God, because their place of worship and sacrifice was destroyed and the Romans disallowed the practice. There have been no sacrifices since then, but when the Temple is rebuilt, as prophesied within the New Testament scriptures, sacrifices will begin again. These sacrifices will not continue for long though, because the antichrist will either abolish the practice, or have the Jews sacrifice the animals to him as their god (false god). Either way, the days of animal and grain sacrifices are almost over for Jews and have been over for more than 2,000 years for Christians.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
The ultimate sacrifice was provided by Christ Jesus and the only way to eternal life and an eternal relationship with God is through Him. Jesus is the ONLY route to salvation and taking any other path is a fool’s journey.