Sunday, March 10, 2013


The practice of sacrifice is as old as mankind.  Universal.

Sacrifice means - offering to the god(s) to please, appease, win favor, divert anger, manipulate their power, etc.

Some sacrifices are "non-bloody" - examples:  cereal/grain/vegetable - "oblations"
                                                                  wine/other drinks - "libations"

Most common were blood sacrifice because a life was offered up.
Majority of these were animals, BUT the pinnacle of sacrifice by pagan peoples was Human.  Because:  was the highest life form, therefore the grandest sacrifice.  Pagan gods/goddesses all have some human traits.

Human sacrifice practiced around the world - China, Japan, Tibet, India, Polynesia, Africa, and before the time of Christ, Ancient Greece and Rome, Druids, Celts, etc.  

Most widely known - AZTECS - took human sacrifice to the highest level art form.
1)  made a human sacrifice to the Sun God each morning to aid it's rising
2)  made human sacrifice at each of 18 annual festivals.
In 1487, by their own report - there were 80,000 human sacrifices made at the reconsecration of the Great Pyramid (temple) in 4 days!

At least 9 different methods of sacrifice - all ritualistic and done a certain way to appease certain god.
Victims could be P.O.W.s, criminals, slaves, OR a losing ball team, draftees from the populace.  Often children and teens, and often from nobility.

The IDEA was to pacify, appease, placate, arouse, manipulate, win favor, divert anger.

1)  Human sacrifice is now illegal in every country - considered murder
2)  notion and practice of sacrifice is gradually disappearing.
Especially, blood sacrifice.  Now considered unnecessary, uncivilized, un-couth.

Yet we approach Easter season - when 1/3 of the world celebrates the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ!!!

Really???  His death constituted a Sacrifice for us???
John 1:29
1 Cor. 5:7
Heb. 8:26
Heb. 9:28
Heb. 10:10

So.... how is this sacrifice different?   (although we're not sacrificing anymore)
IF blood sacrifice is so out-dated/archaic/uncivilized/abhorrent.....

Then how is the sacrifice of Jesus any different?
and how can we justify the continual celebration of that sacrifice??


 This Sacrifice ........
#1.  was God's idea (His plan - not something men came up with)
example:  bridge - God's idea   Acts 2:22-23 - "....foreknowledge".  Man did not come up with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

#2.  was accomplished at God's initiative.
HE thought it, planned it, implemented it (made it happen!)
Rom. 3:25 - "... in his blood."   Acts 3:18 ... "how god fulfilled...."
God presented Him

#3.  was at God's expense.
His Son.... God the Son... - from song:  "amazing love, how can it be.....?"
(no cost to the beneficiaries)  GOD died for us.

Therefore this sacrifice could be.......
#4. The Redeeming Sacifice
Definition of Redemption - a loss/a cost (price)/a purchase
Contrast Heb. 10:4 with 1 Pet. 1:18-19 - nothing else adequate
1 Cor. 6:19-20

Heb. 10:11-12 - one sacrifice, one time,
1 John 2:2

Why did God do this?  (not obligated)
1)  God's Love - John 3:16  1John 4:10
2)  God's Justice - Rom. 3:25-26 - justice demands that payment be made

#6.  This sacrifice is different because - it must be accepted  
Pagan ........ "will God accept our sacrifice?"
Christian .... "will you accept God's sacrifice?"

So............ "salvation by works????"
Answer:  Yes!!!!! BUT - His works!! - John 19:30 - He worked hard to bring it about.

This season we focus on His death for us - His sacrifice for us!  It IS the only way!!

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