Wednesday – November 15, 2017 – A Pleasing Sacrifice.
Hebrews 10:8 (NIV) First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law.
Hebrews 13:15-16 (NIV) Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
Sacrifice is not always a pleasant topic to think about. As a matter of fact, the entire Old Testament sacrificial system is based on the shedding of blood, on one giving up life for someone else to live. The ancient Hebrews were not the only ethnic group to adopt that method of appeasing God. Other people groups did the same thing, with the difference being that they offered human sacrifice, while the Hebrews offered animal sacrifice.
Among the other people groups, here was the thinking behind this system. It all had to do with harvest and the sustenance of human life. As the world revolves around the sun, it creates seasons and winter resulted in shorter days and longer nights. The life in the world was seen as ebbing away and something needed to be done. By offering humans in sacrifice, they thought they appeased the gods and the gods would then reverse the cycle. They saw the sacrifice as the cause that brought about the desired effect. The sacrifice caused the day to lengthen enabling the cycle of planting and reaping to continue. That is the human condition, seeing cause and effect when there is none.
The fact that the other ethnic groups got the purpose of sacrifice wrong did not negate the need for sacrifice to be made. Even though necessary, God was never pleased with blood sacrifice. Thank God it has been done once and for all, where all receive the same benefit when by faith they acknowledge the sacrifice that Jesus made on their behalf.
However, there is a sacrifice that does please God. It is sacrifice that does good to and shares with others.
Prayer: Thank You Jesus for your eternal sacrifice that was made once and for all and that there is no other sacrifice that is acceptable to you no matter how great the cost.