Journal of Heresies

My search for truth in a world of deceit.

Location: United States

I have what is probably an insatiable desire to search out the answers to what may be impossible questions.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Sacrifices and Offerings?

Would it be wrong today for someone to present a sacrifice or offering before YHVH? Many people would say it IS wrong. These say that sacrifice was done away with when Yahshua (Jesus) was crucified as the "ultimate" sacrifice. The basis for this conclusion comes from Hebrews 10:10... By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Yet, in Acts 21:26, we see Paul and others involved in bringing a sacrificial offering (a sin offering and a peace offering as described in Numbers 6:14). Apparently, the apostles did not have a problem with offering sacrifices, even sin offerings.

So, what is Hebrews 10:10 talking about if the apostles still participated in sacrifices? Notice the word "sanctified." Sanctified means to make holy, to consecrate, or to set apart. All the firstborn of Israel were sanctified as YHVH's possession. The Levites were sanctified in place of the firstborn to perform the service of the tabernacle. Aaron and his sons were sanctified as priests. When people are sanctified, there is also a sacrifice made on their behalf. For example, Numbers 8:5-26 describes the consecration of the Levites. Once they were consecrated, they were always consecrated. So, like the Levites and the priests, we have been set apart to serve YHVH. Aaron and the Levites made regular sacrifices however because they continued to sin.

YHVH gave the sacrificial system as a means for people to acknowledge and apologize for their sins. The object being sacrificed could never take away sins because it was a symbol. Sacrifice is a symbol of a repentant heart (or thankful, or gracious, etc. depending on the type of sacrifice). It is an outward expression of an inward reality, just like baptism. The sins of a person were taken away the moment that person turned away from sinning, not the moment the sacrifice was made. (see Ezek 18:20-32) But, many people made sacrifices without a repentant heart; they sinned, sacrificed, and committed the same sins again and again and again. Their sacrifices were a burden to both them and YHVH. Without repentance, their sacrifices were worthless. YHVH's desire was and is for obedience. Yahshua lived an obedient life and died an obedient death. Our God desires that we give our own lives to Him in obedience, not the lives of sheep and goats.

So, would it be wrong today for someone to present a sacrifice or offering to YHVH? No, as long as the sacrifice is an outward expression of an inward reality. But, sacrifices made to bribe God to look away from our sins are an insult to Him, not a pleasing aroma, and such sacrifices were never acceptable. There are some today who do the same with the cross of Christ, thinking that they'll just lay claim to the cross (maybe dutifully putting in their time at church, maybe tossing some money into the 'offering' plate as added insurance) and sail into the Kingdom without a change of heart. YHVH wants our hearts first; when we love Him with all our hearts, minds and souls, then we will walk in obedience and He will be well pleased.


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