By: William J Jackson
The New Testament tells us that “…Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed…” (1 Corinthians 5:7, 1 Peter 1:19, Revelation 5:12). And, we also know that this “Christ” was portrayed as a deity in human form (John 1:14, Galatians 4:4, 1 Timothy 3:16). If we examine this, we can deduce that the authors of the New Testament are condoning a human sacrifice to atone for our sins. But what does the Tanakh (Old Testament) say?
Human sacrifices are a serious offense in the Torah (Deut 12:31, 18:9-10, Lev. 18:21). Also, the Books of the Prophets speak vehemently against this sinful act (II Kings 3:27, Jeremiah 19:5, Ezekiel 20:31, Micah 6:7-8). If we study these verses, we will find that HaShem sees this as pagan practices . We are to be “set-apart” from these types of practices (1).
The only time we see something that looks like a requirement for a human sacrifice is Genesis 22:1-18. Here, YHVH commanded that Abraham sacrifice Isaac. As we find out latter, this burnt offering of Isaac was commuted to a ram, which was facilitated by HaShem (2).
Some might bring up the story of Jephthah (Yiftach) who sacrificed his daughter to Adonai. This was because of a vow Jephthah made. He said he would sacrifice the first thing that came through his door if YHVH gave him victory over his enemy. YHVH gave Jephthat the victory, and his daughter came through the door (Judges 11:30-40). Let’s remember this was not a command of YHVH but a foolish vow by a soldier to try to secure victory. Additionally, the Tanakh warns against making foolish vows (Deuteronomy 23:23, Ecclesiastes 5:5, Proverbs 20:25). Sadly, Jephthah had to pay the consequences of a foolish decision.
So, YHVH was very insistent that we, His followers, were not to participate in this pagan practice of human sacrifices. Yet, he changed his mind with JC ? No, HaShem doesn’t change his mind, “…I the Lord do not change..” ( Numbers 23:19, 1 Samuel 15:29, Malachi 3:6, Psalm 89:35 ). What we have learned here today is “…God would not accept Jesus’ death on the cross as a blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins” (3). Another point is that nobody else can atone for our sins but us. We will discus this next Thursday (April 19, 2018) in “Jesus could not atone for our sins”.