Sacrifices have been made since the time of the Patriarchs. Job offered sacrifices for his children (Job 1:5).
Under the Law of Moses, animal sacrifices were made for the sins of the people. This was done according to the Law, but the Law was only in place until Christ should come. Those sacrifices put the sins of the people on an account, because the blood of bulls and goats could not take away the sins of man.
The Hebrew writer stated, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins (Heb.
10:4). For mankind to be able to have this forgiveness that was needed the blood of Christ had to be shed. This sacrifice was willingly made by the Savior. “For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matt.
26:28) “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Eph. 1:7). The blood of millions of animals was sacrificed but Jesus sacrificed His blood only once.
To become the sacrifice needed by man, Jesus had to come in human form. This meant that He took on the form of man. He was still a hundred percent God, but He was also one hundred percent man. Jesus began His ministry and went about doing good to men. He preached, healed, and helped many during His about three- and one-half-year ministry.
The courage and stamina of Christ was seen when the time came for Him to make the sacrifice. Those men whom He had chosen to walk with Him forsook him. He knew that death awaited Him at the cross yet continued His march to Jerusalem. When He was taken prisoner in the garden, one of His disciples tried to defend Him with a sword, but the Lord told him to put it away, “Then said Jesus unto him, put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.
But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him and fled” (Matt. 26:52-56).
At His trial there was no one to plead His case.
Mocked, beaten, and all the while he stood with “a face like flint”. He stood steadfast in following the Father’s word. Surely it can be seen that man today must also steadfastly follow God’s word. Here was one who loved mankind enough to face a horrible and painful death to become the sacrifice needed for man’s salvation.
Jesus was subjected to illegal trials, mocking, beatings, having people spit upon him and finally to being crucified on the cross. He was tried by Jewish courts and Roman courts.
Pilate, who could have and would have set Christ free, chose to please the crowds rather than release one who was innocent. All these things Christ endured to be the sacrifice for mankind.
What a paradox this picture is, one of cruelty and wickedness yet one of love and mercy. In this picture mankind sees the great love God has (John 3:16). Realizing what a sacrifice was made for mankind should cause us to want to take advantage of the salvation offered to us by God. If we will have faith in God, repent of our sins, confess the name of Jesus as God’s Son before men, submit to baptism (immersion) in water for the remission of our sins, and then live according to God’s word we can have salvation. Everyone should take advantage of the Sacrifice of Sacrifices.