Two thousand years ago, the sacrificial system was a controlling narrative which had spread out over the entire earth. Ever since Adam and Eve fell into sin, mankind had been offering sacrifices on a continual basis (Gen. 3:21; 4:3-7). Everyone in every people group on the face of the planet sacrificed year in and year out. It was the common routine of every culture and every society regardless of age, sex or status. Sacrificial forms and customs made a prominent appearance in both advanced civilizations and indigenous tribal locations. Everyone, from the nation’s top officials to the average peasant, practiced these rituals like clockwork.
So, What Changed?
In the world we live in today, sacrificing, by and large, is a thing of the past. What happened? Why is it that most of us do not currently take pilgrimages, journey to temples, and offer up animals to be burned? Why do churches today only have decorative altars? Why are the laws and prescriptions listed in the book of Leviticus often skimmed over or skipped altogether?
The reason is because, when Jesus gave up His life to be crucified on the Cross, His death finalized the entire system that had been in place for almost four thousand years (John 19:30)! This good news of Christ’s death and resurrection is what set the world on fire through the freedom that He now offers. This event is what revolutionized the map as we know it today.
It is not that we are smarter or more forward-thinking than those who have gone before us. On the contrary, greater minds than we can imagine lived back in these times and were held to these standards. The only reason the United States of America in the twenty-first century does not perform religious sacrifices is because the Gospel has crossed over our borders and has set us free.
In fact, no matter where you travel, whether stateside or international, any culture you find that does not offer sacrifices has, at some point in its past, been impacted by the good news of Jesus Christ. His sacrifice is what we proclaim because it is the only thing setting both people and nations free from their sins. Christ’s sacrifice disrupted the world both on an individual level and on a planetary-wide scale. Do you believe that?