Why did God accept Jesus’ sacrifice when He forbade human sacrifices?  

God Forbade Human Sacrifices 

Human sacrifices by ancient heathen peoples are well authenticated in history. God prohibited this evil practice, “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer” (Deuteronomy 18:10). And He stated that such heathen acts are an abomination to Him. “You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods” (Deuteronomy 12:31).

The worship of the god Moloch first promoted illegitimate children, and then murdered them. These two horrible deeds were regarded most appeasing to him. From early times fire was worshiped and adored by heathen cultures as a god.  Human sacrifices were often practiced alongside these fire rituals (2 Chronicles 33:6; Ezekiel 20:31).   

The dreadful rite of human sacrifice is closely tied to the practices of the occult and witchcraft. “Also he made his son pass through the fire, practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft, and consulted spiritists and mediums. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger” (2 Kings 21:6).

In the later years of ancient Israel, human sacrifices were widely practiced (2 Kings 16:3; Jeremiah 32:35). King Ahaz burned his son in the fire (2 Chronicles 28:3). And in the last days of Judah this cruel abomination was mentioned as one of the main offenses against God (Jeremiah 7:31, 32; 19:2–6; Ezekiel 16:20; 20:26; 23:37).

Jesus’ Sacrifice Was Voluntary

When Adam and Eve first sinned, they were condemned to die for in God’s government “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23; Ezekiel 18:4). Thankfully, Jesus freely offered His life to redeem mankind. No one forced Him to do so (John 10:18). Jesus being the Creator of all, offered His perfect life to atone for the guilt of mankind. His divine life was more than sufficient to save all of His created beings. For this reason, He was incarnated (John 1:14; John 6:37–40).

Jesus’ Sacrifice was not to appease an angry God but to fulfill the justice of the Creator. God is love (1 John 4:8) and His mercy is infinite (Ephesians 2:4). But He is also just (Psalm 25:8). So, in order to uphold His attributes of holiness and justice, He must judge and punish sin (Numbers 14:18; Nahum 1:3). A good judge will never just forgive the offender but will also administer justice. God could not just forgive sin without administering the punishment of death on man for “without shedding of blood (there) is no remission” of sin (Hebrews 9:22).

At the cross, we see God both as the “just and the justifier” (Romans 3:26). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). There is no greater love than this that someone will die for those whom he loves (John 15:13). At the cross, God’s Love and justice were fully satisfied.

Sufficient Sacrifice

Jesus’ once-for-all-time sacrifice achieved that which the animal sacrifices in the OT could not, for they could not clean the conscience (Hebrews 9:9, 14; 10:2,14). By His sacrifice, Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of the Law.  If the law could have been changed, then there was no need for the atoning death of the Son of God to free a man from his penalty, and thus bring him to peace with God.  When the sinner accepts by faith the privileges of that perfect sacrifice, he is counted as perfect, because Christ his substitute stands in his place (Romans 5:1). Praise the Lord!

In His service, 
BibleAsk Team 

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