Christians believe that with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the sacrifices required under the Law of Moses in the Old Testament are no longer needed. We believe Jesus was the ultimate once-for-all sacrifice.
However, in taking a look at the sacrifices listed in the Old Testament book of Leviticus (a hard book to read and understand) it was interesting to see that while we no longer offer the sacrifices listed in the Law of Moses, the New Testament does speak of sacrifices.
Peter told us:
And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. 1 Peter 2:5
There were five types of sacrifices that were to be offered in the Tabernacle. Three of them were called sweet savor offerings and were voluntary gifts.
- The burnt offering by which the believer declared total commitment to God.
- The meal offering by which the believer acknowledged that all he owned came from and really belonged to God.
- The peace offering by which the believer expressed openly his thanks or made a vow of spiritual service to God.
Looking in the New Testament I see similar ways we are to offer sacrifices to God. Not for our salvation. That was paid for by the death of Jesus Christ and there is nothing we can offer to make us right with God. It is a free gift of God.
Instead of a burnt offering declaring total commitment to God – we can:
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him...Romans 12:1
A prayer that so clearly helps us do that is: “In all I say, in all I do, in all I think, in wherever I go, let me bring you honor.”
Instead of a meal offering acknowleding all we have comes from God, we can do as the church in Philippi die for the Apostle Paul:
At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God.
By being generous with what we have and sharing with others, we offer a sacrifice that is pleasing to God.
Instead of the peace offering expressing gratitude we can:
Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name...Hebrews 13:15
I encourage you to offer a sacrifice to God to day – a voluntary sacrifice in thankfulness for what He has done for us.