OceanSide church of Christ

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Animal Sacrifices
by: Dalton Gilreath

I.                Introduction

A.    Animals were created under the dominion, or authority, or man (Gen 1:26)

                                                    i.     We can hunt them, eat them, use them as pets, etc.

                                                   ii.     In those days they were also used as sacrifices to God

B.    Letís consider together how animal sacrifices were used from the beginning of time and how they relate to us today.

II.              Patriarchal Age

A.    The first sacrificed was done by God Himself (Gen 3:21)

                                                    i.     Adam and Eve brought sin into the world by eating the forbidden fruit

                                                   ii.     They then realized they were naked and God clothed them

                                                 iii.     In order to retrieve skins God had to take the life of animals

B.    Next we see Abel and Cain offering to God (Gen 4:4)

                                                    i.     God had given them instructions for the sacrifice but only Abel obeyed (Heb 11:4)

                                                   ii.     Here we learn Godís desire for obedience

C.    Another example comes hen Noah gets off the ark (Gen 8:20-22)

                                                    i.     Noah offers all the clean animals in order to show his gratefulness to God

                                                   ii.     This pleased God very much for an offering to come from this kind of heart

D.    Lastly, consider the offering of Abraham (Gen 22:11-13)

                                                    i.     He was willing to give up anything for God even his own son

                                                   ii.     Notice, God knew Abraham feared Him because he would not withhold anything

                                                 iii.     If I will not give up something in my life for God I do not truly fear Him

III.            Mosaical Age

A.    Sacrifices became part of the law when the tabernacle was reared (Ex 40:17, 29)

                                                    i.     It is interesting to note that God did not desire or delight in sacrifices (Psa 40:6, 51:16)

                                                   ii.     What He desired was obedience (1 Sam 15:22)

B.    Furthermore, sacrifices had to be given from a proper heart (Prov 15:8, Ecc 5:1)

                                                    i.     To do so without proper understanding or intention was vain

                                                   ii.     What is our reason for obeying God?

IV.            So What Do Sacrifices Mean For Us Today? Why Did God Have Them?

A.    First of all, sacrifices pointed to Christ (Heb 11:1-4, 9:22)

                                                    i.     Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness for sin

                                                   ii.     These sacrifices were a shadow of Jesus Christ

B.    Secondly, they were to remind man and teach man

                                                    i.     Some sacrifices were daily like the burnt offering (Ex 29:38ff)

1.     Every day they offered to God and were reminded of their sin

2.     We need constant reminders to help us to remain unspotted

                                                   ii.     The meat offering was an opportunity to give back (Lev 2:1ff)

1.     We give back to God every first day of the week as well

2.     It isnít because God needs money but to remind us that everything we have comes from Him

                                                 iii.     The peace offering was a free will offering (Lev 3:1ff)

1.     The people would simply say thank you and make vows to God

2.     We should pray daily to thank God and choose to remain faithful to Him

                                                 iv.     The sin offering was for unwillful sin done in ignorance (Lev 4:1ff)

1.     They tried to keep up with everyoneís sin but sometimes sin was overlooked

2.     In such cases the sin offering would cover those unknown sins

                                                  v.     The trespass offering was similar but they knew the sin (Lev 5:1ff)

1.     Moses writes examples like financial fraud and breaking vows

2.     They did not do it on purpose but it still happened and needed Christís blood

C.    Friends, all these sacrifices were fulfilled in Christ (Matt 5:17, Isa 53:7-10)

                                                    i.     Jesusí blood went back and covered all those sins before and all the sins to come as well

                                                   ii.     But remember, if I go back into willful sin I make that sacrifice void in my life (Heb 10:26, Numbers 15:30)