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Animal Sacrifices

And He said to me, “Son of man, thus says the Lord God, ‘These are the statutes for the altar on the day it is built, to offer burnt offerings on it and to sprinkle blood on it."

Ezekiel 43:18

"The Millenial Kingdom" is the term we use for the 1,000 year reign of Christ after He returns to earth. In the previous post we observed that many Christians reject the fact that Jesus will establish this kingdom when He returns. They cite several reasons for their rejection, and one reason is the prophecy that animal sacrifices will be offered in the kingdom. The verse above comes from Ezekiel chapter 43, and the last chapters of the book of Ezekiel contain a wealth of prophecy regarding the Millenial Kingdom. Ezekiel describes the detail of the temple that will be built, the preparation of a functioning priesthood, an altar for sacrifices and the requirements for making sacrificial offerings. But why would animal sacrifices be made? Weren't these removed when Jesus was sacrificed on the cross? It doesn't make sense to us initially, but as we noted before, it is a mistake to reject truth simply because it doesn't make sense to us. We need to consider several things. First of all, animal sacrifices were never able to remove sin and make someone acceptable to God. "For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins." - Hebrews 10:4. The only sacrifice able to take away sin is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Secondly, God required animal sacrifices to be made by those who worshipped Him, and He referred to these as "atoning" sacrifices. "He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, that it may be accepted for him to make atonement on his behalf." - Leviticus 1:4. Atonement is the act of removing sin and making us acceptable to God. If only the sacrifice of Christ could take away sin, why

did God say these animal sacrifices could do so? That question brings us to our third consideration which is the faith of the worshipper. We know that only faith makes any offering to the Lord pleasing to Him. "By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous." - Hebrews 11:4. Abel believed the Word of God, the promise of a perfect sacrifice to come, and he obeyed the command of the Lord. The atonement was made through faith in the future provision represented by the animal sacrifice. This perspective is revealed by something said about Abraham as he once offered an animal sacrifice, "Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the Lord it will be provided.” - Genesis 22:14. Before the sacrifice of Christ, believers were cleansed not by the blood of the animal, but by the blood of Christ through their faith in Him whom they had not yet seen. So in conclusion, It seems in the very same way we will make animal sacrifices in the Millenial Kingdom. We will do so because Jesus commands it. We will do so by faith in Him and His finished sacrifice alone. It may be shocking to us now, but that is simply because we are commanded not to do this yet, and because we do not understand as well now as we will then. We do not reject what we do not yet fully understand. We humbly and gratefully submit to the holy Word of God, and eagerly anticipate the worship of the coming kingdom.

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