What is a Sacrifice?

When the Holy Spirit waters the Word planted in fertile soil, fruit comes from and of itself. Such is the case for this article, an inspiration from the same Word, 1 Peter 2:9-10, preached last night from two different ministers, two different pulpits, and two different countries.*

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;
Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10

These words brought to memory other references to sacrifices. From the Old Covenant, that spoke of the shadows and types concerned with the physical realm, to the New Covenant and the fulfilling of the promises in a spiritual realm, I could see the evolving of another book (this is usually the overwhelming of the Spirit using the Word).

But I had to rein in my thoughts so as to present a succinct and concise meaning of sacrifice in the Christian life.

So, let’s look at the sacrifice (sacrificial system) in the Old Covenant as we consider the facets of sacrifice. For the Christian, all things originate with our Lord. He initiates and commands. He initiated the Covenant of Grace, promised it through Abraham and his seed, and fulfilled it in Jesus Christ and through His seed.

God Commands a Sacrifice from His People
He specified the object of sacrifice and how it was to be offered.
Sacrifices were commanded for different occasions in the Old Testament ~ the main blood sacrifice was to atone for the sins of His people through the killing of animals.

No other nation was required or privileged to offer these sacrifices. Sacrifices were the response of God’s people to His rule and authority over them.

We see the mercy of the Lord our God when we compare the sacrifices other nations made by offering their own children as sacrifices to their gods.

The people brought their sacrifice to be offered on the altar by the Levitical priests.   They were a shadow or type commanded and offered until the New Covenant was ratified in the sacrifice of His Son.

“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever,
sat down on the right hand of God;”
Hebrews 10:12

A study of the book of Hebrews provides an overwhelming explanation of this brief review. Every believer needs this study under his belt of truth.

In these references. sacrifice is the main subject. Hebrews 5:1; Hebrews 7:27; Hebrews 8:3; Hebrews 9:9; Hebrews 9:23;Hebrews 9:26;Hebrews 10:1;Hebrews 10:3;Hebrews 10:5;Hebrews 10:6;Hebrews 10:8;Hebrews 10:11;Hebrews 11:4;Hebrews 13:15

The Point of Sacrifice for the Christian
Jesus was the last blood sacrifice ~ offering Himself willingly to fulfill the covenant of redemption on behalf of His people. The physical altars of sacrifice were shut down when Jesus hung on a cross, sacrificing Himself for those who would come in faith and repentance to Him as Lord and Savior.

His blood atoned forever and commands a response from us as His chosen generation, His blood-bought people.

“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house,
an holy priesthood,

to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”
1 Peter 2:5

What are these spiritual sacrifices?

 “ to show forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvellous light.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” Hebrews 13:15
“But to do good and to communicate forget not:
for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Hebrews 13:16

 “And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” Mark 12:33

All we have of His mercy, His goodness, and His love, are the results of His sacrifice for us. 

Mercy begets mercy

Sacrifice begets sacrifice

Goodness begets goodness

Love begets love

Gracious and glorious Father in heaven, send your Holy Spirit to quicken your Word spoken to us by your servants. Speak to us through your Word this week. Bring forth the praise that you command by your Spirit and your Word through us. Make us to know your presence and power as you prepare our hearts for your worship and Word next Lord’s Day ~ all for that glorious day when we shall praise you face to face. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

*Chris Strevel,  Buford, Georgia: Exodus 40  From Slavery to Glory
*Ryan McKee, Northern Ireland: 1 Peter 2:9-10 Who We Are in Christ 

Image: Google

15 thoughts on “What is a Sacrifice?

    1. Thank you for your comment, Ann. I, too begiin my day with these verses. All belongs to Him and must be given willingly for His use; for the proclamation of His kingdom. Are things settled since your recent news. I have been praying for you. Blessings.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you SO much, Frances. Test results are not back yet. I was scheduled to speak two days after receiving this potentially tragic news, and I felt the enemy wanted to mess up my head and hence, my message. But after running to my heavenly Daddy, there was a “peace that passes understanding.” I ended up speaking about the situation, and about the fact that whatever happens, God is GOOD! He loves us, He can be trusted, and what the world sees as “worst case scenario” for the Christian is really, really good. (A home in heaven, forever pain-free, guilt-free, hassle-free, enemy-free …) It was the first time I ever spoke about a personal crisis before it was resolved. Pretty sure it spoke to some people there.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ann, thank you for sharing how the Lord continues, in His everlasting faithfulness, to keep us in His care through all the encounters in this wilderness. Praying for you as you wait in praise and thanksgiving for our heavenly Fathers’s next move in your life. Much love and blessings.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. There is one sacrifice Jesus longs from us but rarely receives. It is the greatest sacrifice we can give and yet so very few understand it. They hold on to it, coddle it, nurture and go to great lengths to love it. Yet all it does is take and destroy us. Thus God desires for us to lay it down in sacrifice that we may be filled with something much greater, Jesus.

    What is God calling us to sacrifice?

    Our ‘self’ nature.

    Homer Les

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Hi Fran, that’s a heavy topic. The sin and trespass offerings used only for sins of ignorance don’t provide much in the line of hope. Righteousness via faith in God is there but not via perfectly following the Law. Indeed, Israel went through cycles of falling away and being rescued by God during the 300 years of the judges just after Moses’ time. The only hint that God would forgive intentional sin in the trespass offering is in Lev. 6:1-5 and then it only covers lying and stealing. Heb. 10 tells us if we sin willfully after receiving a knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for us. Heb. 6 says if we fall away after being partakers of the Holy Spirit, it is impossible to repent. However, Jesus is our High Priest. He has His high Priests garments, each of which represents atonement for specific types of sins: Arrogance, errors in judgment, sins of the heart, idolatry, evil speech, killing and sexual sin. Christ overcame in all points. He came to seek and save the lost. He forgave the adulteress, the tax collector Zacheus and the thief on the cross. He cast demons out of totally possessed people. These people were involved and delivered from intentional sin. Christ gave the story of the prodigal son who was welcomed by His Father with open arms when he returned. He came to seek and save the lost and gave Himself as the Sacrifice. Heb 10:14 “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified”. Sanctification is the work of a lifetime. He wants us to live without sin but if we stumble, He wants us to repent. “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins…” 1 John, 2:1-2. In Jesus, who perfectly fulfilled the Law, under the New Covenant, purchased through His blood, there is hope. And for that I am eternally thankful. Great post Fran, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s