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Question

I understand that God required a sacrifice, but why does the blood of an animal cancel out sins? Jesus' death has cancelled our sins, but we are still able to sin.

Answer

Thank you for this interesting question about animal sacrifice and Jesus' sacrifice. I hope that this explanation from the Bible will help you understand the systems that God had set in place.

In the Old Testament God's people were told to participate in animal sacrifice. This was to show that they believed that they had done wrong against a Holy God and they needed someone (or something) else to take their place for the wrong they had done.

One of the first accounts of animal sacrifice is found in Genesis 22 where God calls Abraham to sacrifice his son, but at the last minute he provides a lamb to be killed instead. I encourage you to read the chapter in full. This is the key line: Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together…(Genesis 22:8). Then instead of Isaac dying God provided a lamb. This shows how a substitute took the place of the son.

The Bible also teaches us that Abraham was made right by faith, not due to animal sacrifice. We are all made right with God through faith in Jesus Christ and not by animal sacrifice. The sacrifice of animals was a reminder of the promise that God would save his people. A reminder that one-day there would be a perfect sacrifice, where no further sacrifices are required. All the people who have ever been made right with God are made right through Jesus. Consider this verse:

For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness" (Romans 4:3).

Today we are to believe in God by faith through Jesus Christ. Jesus died to forgive us. He took our place. The animals were just signs of the true sacrifice to come. Let us not trust in anything other than Jesus. We may continue to sin, but through accepting Jesus as Lord and Saviour and putting our trust in him, we can then be transformed more into the image of Jesus. 

I do hope this general answer to your question goes some way to helping you find peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: www.lookingforGod.com

In closing, I want to encourage you to get more involved with your local church. It would be good to speak to a Christian leader or another trusted church individual regarding your question. I know they would be delighted to further answer you as well as offer prayer and support as you continue your spiritual journey: www.lookingforgod.com/churchfinder

Please use our Interactive Answer Matrix and feel free to ask another question. Our helpful staff are praying for you and waiting to try and answer to you from the Bible, and will be delighted to tell you more about Jesus Christ the Lord, the Saviour of the world. www.lookingforgod.com/your-questions

*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answers affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline


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