Part 2 – Was Christ a Blood Sacrifice?
Many Christians claim that sacrifice was commanded as a means to teach that sin requires the atonement of blood and the practice of sacrifice for the atonement of sins was abolished when Christ was crucified. As the ultimate blood sacrifice Christ was beaten, tortured and killed in order to absorb the sins of all of mankind and his death represented fulfillment of the scripture, “for the wages of sin is death”. Yet the bible, the book that so many believe to be the inerrant word of God, in some scriptures express that blood sacrifice is not required or desired by God, and in Jeremiah there is a scripture where God says that he never commanded sacrifice at all.
“For I spoke not unto your fathers, nor commanded them…concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: but this thing I commanded them, saying, Obey my voice.” (Jeremiah 7:21-23)
If God doesn’t require blood sacrifice for the atonement of sins then why did Christ have to be sacrificed, why must he have died and what purpose did it serve?
In the life and death of Christ, when all dogma is stripped away, there remains a certain truth. While he lived, his life was the example of how we should be toward one another, and in his death he proved how perfect that love toward others is expected to be.
I believe that Christ’s sacrifice represented the best that man had to offer in true obedience to God. The agape love which Christ was capable of, that love which we so desperately shortfall, is the best of what man can hope to be.
The sacrifice of Christ on the cross charges me with this: If he can give his life to uphold and portray the example of the level of love that God commands in all of us, then why is it that I should not refrain from judging or condemning another on the differences of race, sex, culture or religion? How is that I can pass by a beggar on the street and not give him one dollar from the many dollars I have in my wallet? Why should I speak badly of and spread gossip about the woman in the office I work with? Especially when I know that while I may give my life to spare the life of my child, I would most likely not do so to save the man across the street.
Yet, that is what Christ showed us God’s commandment of love toward each other to be. In looking at it this way we are called upon to sacrifice very little to meet God’s purpose. To love our neighbor we are called upon to give of our money and time and to share our resources, abundances and fortunes. When compared to the sacrifice Christ made for all of us, we are asked so very, very little, and yet we fail to accomplish it.
I conclude that sacrifice has never been the requirement of God. It was always the exercise of man, whether at the behest of gluttonous priests, or the guilt to appease for sins.
What do we feel convicted for if not for the transgressions committed against others? We are commanded to love others as Christ loved us…without condition, without limit.