Why did people have to offer blood sacrifices to atone for their sins?

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About offering blood, the Bible says: “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28).

When Adam and Eve sinned, they would have died at once except for Jesus, who offered to give His perfect life as a sacrifice to pay the death penalty for all people (Revelation 13:8). For punishment for sin is eternal death (Romans 6:23).

After sin, God required the sinner to bring an animal sacrifice (Genesis 4:3-7). The sacrificing of animals was necessary to help people understand that without the shedding of blood, their sins could never be forgiven. The sacrificial system taught that God would give His Son to die for their sins (1 Corinthians 15:3). Jesus would become not only their Savior, but also their substitute (Hebrews 9:28). Christ became the only Mediator between man and God (1 Tim. 2:5).

When John the Baptist met Jesus, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). In the Old Testament, people looked forward to the sacrifice on the cross for salvation. In the New Testament, we look backward to Calvary for salvation. There is no other way of salvation (Acts 4:12).

Christ is the one Sacrifice through whom we must of necessity seek salvation if we would be saved (John 14:6; 17:3). The plan of salvation through Jesus Christ: (1) glorifies God as moral ruler, (2) upholds God’s law as the rule of government, (3) shows the mark of its source in divine revelation, (4) provides, through the vicarious atonement, for the needs of men as sinners, who are otherwise under God’s condemnation.

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team


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