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God Does Not Want Human Sacrifice

Updated on March 26, 2021
PlanksandNails profile image

My goal is to write articles that go against the flow to pique discussion, offer a different perspective and connect some dots.

Throughout history man has offered human sacrifices and offerings to their pagan gods to appease them. In likewise manner, those in the Christian faith believe in the idea that Jesus was an innocent human sacrifice to God to appease His anger. However, when we read the words of Jesus, we have to ask ourselves whether the idea of killing an innocent human originated from God at all.

You shall not murder. - Exodus 20:13

You must not worship the LORD your God in this way, because they practice for their gods every abomination which the LORD hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods. - Deuteronomy 12:31

If Jesus was upholding the Law then his death could not be a human sacrifice. If he was a human sacrifice, then he was in rejection of the the Law he was claiming to uphold. Either way, Christianity's central doctrine of Jesus being a human sacrifice becomes a contradiction.

The Law and the Prophets banned human sacrifice. Human sacrifice was one of the reasons that Israel was exiled from their land.

You even took the sons and daughters you bore to Me and sacrificed them as food to idols. Was your prostitution not enough? You slaughtered My children and delivered them up through the fire to idols. - Ezekiel 16:20-21

If God condemns human sacrifice, then a religion that exists purely as the by-product of one cannot be of Him. Christians identify Jesus as their human sacrifice bearing God's punishment for their sins. However, this leads to a conundrum.

If human sacrifice is unacceptable to God, then why is the supposed human sacrificial death of Jesus deemed acceptable?

Furthermore, Christians also believe in the notion that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Passover lamb that was slain for their atonement, forgiveness, payment and penalty of their sins. What they fail to understand is that the Passover lamb was not a sin offering.

How is it that Christians conclude that the purpose of the ‘lamb’ was to cover their sins when it was never for that intended purpose to begin with?

The Passover lamb was not a sacrifice offered to God for sinners to escape the penalty of their sins. It was about being liberated from bondage in Egypt by the blood of lambs on the first Passover.

Moses said to the people, "Remember this day, in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand Yahweh brought you out from this place. - Exodus 13:3

God Does Not Delight In Sacrifice

Most Christians do not know the words of God's prophets concerning His view of sacrifice. The voices of the prophets in the Tanakh decried sacrificial practices.

The voices of prophets of the Old Testament decried sacrificial practices.

For I desire mercy, and not sacrifice – Hosea 6:6

And Samuel said: ‘Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, As in hearkening to the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to hearken than the fat of rams. – 1 Samuel 15:22

Sacrifice and meal-offering Thou hast no delight in; Mine ears hast Thou opened; Burnt-offering and sin-offering hast Thou not required. – Psalm 40:7

For Thou delightest not in sacrifice, else would I give it; Thou hast no pleasure in burnt-offering. – Psalm 51:18

And I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he-goats. – Isaiah 1:11

Whoever slaughters an ox is like one who slays a man; whoever sacrifices a lamb is like one who breaks a dog’s neck; whoever presents a grain offering is like one who offers pig’s blood; whoever offers incense is like one who praises an idol. Indeed, they have chosen their own ways and delighted in their abominations. – Isaiah 66:3

As for the sacrifices that are made by fire unto Me, Let them sacrifice flesh and eat it, For the LORD accepteth them not. – Hosea 8:13

Yea, though ye offer me burnt-offerings and your meal-offerings, I will not accept them – Amos 5:22

Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, And bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before Him with burnt-offerings, With calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, With ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression – Micah 6:6-7

When reading through these Scripture passages, why are all these prophets’ words raised against Israel that God does not desire sacrifices?

Some would presuppose that it is because they walked in great iniquity and God would only accept their sacrifices if they would repent and turn from their evil ways. However, Hebrew scripture states nowhere that the remedy for sins was through blood sacrifice nor was repentance contingent upon it. If it were true, then the greater the sin would require a greater warrant for more sacrifices. Also, it would make no sense to think that God would refuse to accept their blood sacrifices unless only by sacrifice sins could be atoned for.

Sacrifices Under the Law

Many will say,

Did not God command and desire sacrifices under the Law?

It is true that Moses presented the Law to Israel with many different sacrifices. There were many details in preparing, qualifying and how offerings were to be performed.

This is the law of the burnt-offering, of the meal-offering, and of the sin-offering, and of the guilt-offering, and of the consecration-offering, and of the sacrifice of peace-offerings; which the LORD commanded Moses in mount Sinai, in the day that he commanded the children of Israel to present their offerings unto the LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai. – Leviticus 7:37-38

It seems that God desired that the people offer sacrifices to Him. However, Jeremiah stated to the contrary.

When I led your ancestors out of Egypt, it was not burnt offerings and sacrifices I wanted from them. This is what I told them: ‘Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Do everything as I say, and all will be well!’

– Jeremiah 7:22-23

The passages refer to Israel that came out of their captivity in Egypt into the wilderness of Sanai.

You are to make for Me an altar of earth, and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and peace offerings, your sheep and goats and cattle. In every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you. – Exodus 20:24

There seems to be a contradiction between the passages in Jeremiah and Exodus where God is supposedly commanding the people to offer sacrifices to Him.

Did God desire sacrifice or not?

Hardness of Heart

It is true that sacrifices were allowed, but it is not for the reason that most believe. The fact is that it would be for the same reason the men of Israel were allowed to divorce their wives.

Moses issued a permit of divorce because of the people’s hardness of heart.

In similar manner, sacrifice was never the will or desire of God. The sacrificial offerings were permissible because the people's hearts were hardened. They had already previously established this custom before Sanai and they had no inclination of discontinuing it.

Moses said to Pharaoh,

But Moses replied, “You must also provide us with sacrifices and burnt offerings to present to the LORD our God. Even our livestock must go with us; not a hoof will be left behind, for we will need some of them to worship the LORD our God, and we will not know how we are to worship the LORD until we arrive.” – Exodus 10:25-26

Their hearts were hardened and they did not know the way of God as they wandered through the wilderness.

For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, the sheep under His care. Today, if you hear His voice, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS YOU DID AT MERIBAH, as on that day at Massah in the wilderness, where your fathers tested and tried Me, though they had seen My work. FOR FORTY YEARS I WAS ANGRY WITH THAT GENERATION, AND I SAID, “THEY ARE A PEOPLE WHOSE HEARTS GO ASTRAY, AND THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN MY WAYS.” So I swore on oath in My anger, “They shall never enter My rest.” – Psalm 95:7-11

Comparing these two passages reveals the heart condition of God's people. The diagnosis of the their hearts was clear when they received the legislation from Moses concerning sacrifices. Moses permitted many things to the hard-hearted ones and it was not just on divorce and sacrifices.

With regard to sacrifices, it should be understood that God never desired them.

When I led your ancestors out of Egypt, IT WAS NOT BURNT OFFERINGS AND SACRIFICES I WANTED FROM THEM. This is what I told them: ‘Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Do everything as I say, and all will be well!’ – Jeremiah 7:22-23

Through the prophets, God communicated that He did not want their sacrifices. What He desired was obedience, justice and love for others that manifested in a right heart condition.

With what shall I come before the LORD when I bow before the God on high? Should I come to Him with burnt offerings, with year-old calves? Would the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I present my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O mankind, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you but TO ACT JUSTLY, TO LOVE DEVOTION, AND TO WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD? – Micah 6:6-8

The many passages present in Hebrew scripture show permissions and allowances that were granted due to the people's hardness of heart. However, God never wanted nor desired these things.

But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.” When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord. The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.” - 1 Samuel 8:19-22

Christianity has made Jesus their human sacrifice. They believe he was offered up on the altar of the cross and died as a human blood sacrifice to atone their sins. His shed blood is deemed as their covering and his righteousness is supposedly imputed to them. They believe that God supposedly no longer sees their sins even though they continue to walk in them.

Desiring what God Desires

If the human sacrifice of Jesus is so important to Christians, then why did Hosea who spoke the words of God say that He does not desire sacrifice?

Though they offer sacrifices given to Me and eat the meat, the LORD does not accept them. Now He will remember their iniquity and punish their sins: They will return to Egypt. – Hosea 8:13

We have to ask ourselves, what does God desire if He does not desire sacrifice?

Wash and cleanse yourselves. Remove your evil deeds from My sight. Stop doing evil! Learn to do right, seek justice, correct the oppressor, defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.” - Isaiah 1:16-17

Take away from Me the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. – Amos 5:23-24

He has shown you, O mankind, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you but to act justly, to love devotion, and to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8

God wants mercy, a repentant heart and obedience from us, not a human sacrifice.

God wants mercy, not sacrifice. He spoke this through the prophets and through His Son. If their words are true, then why do Christians trust in Jesus as their human sacrifice when God says that he does not desire it?

Many will say every sin requires the shedding of innocent blood to be forgiven. This would be no different than the sacrifices that the pagan gods required.

Hebrew scripture is full of examples where blood was not required to obtain forgiveness from God.

God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way. God relented of the disaster which he said he would do to them, and he didn't do it. – Jonah 3:10

But if the wicked turn from all his sins that he has committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him: in his righteousness that he has done he shall live. Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked? says the Lord Yahweh; and not rather that he should return from his way, and live? – Ezekiel 18:21-23

All it took to receive forgiveness from God was repentance.

Forgiveness that Does not Require Blood Sacrifice

Forgiveness from God does not come from human sacrifice, but from God's mercy.

Repentance and forgiveness of sins go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other. Without repentance, the ruling force of sin will remain in a person’s life. Just as God is merciful, we must also be merciful and willing to forgive those who have repented also.

Sacrificing a son to their god.
Sacrificing a son to their god.

Throughout history there are many pagan gods that were angry and demanded a human sacrifice to calm their anger. In the Hebrew scripture, there were those who sacrificed their infant children to Moloch. Also, the Aztecs believed that their sun god needed human blood for appeasement. The ancient Hawaiians sacrificed humans to the god of war. The Incas and the Mayans also had their gods that demanded blood sacrifice too.

Do you believe in a god who demanded an innocent human sacrifice to satisfy his wrath?

Is this mercy and justice?

Do you believe that God is like the other pagan gods where innocent human beings are sacrificed like a virgin being thrown into a volcano because of His insatiable hunger for a human sacrifice?

The Sacrifices That Do Not Take Away Sins

Sacrifice had no power take away sins.

Christians use Jesus as their human sacrifice. It is a mechanism of scapegoating to purify their guilty consciences. Their salvation is dependent upon human sacrifice. However, it is is a condemned and abominable practice according to God.

“Do not permit any of your children to be offered as a sacrifice to Molech, for you must not bring shame on the name of your God. I am the LORD. – Leviticus 18:21

You must not worship the LORD your God the way the other nations worship their gods, for they perform for their gods every detestable act that the LORD hates. They even burn their sons and daughters as sacrifices to their gods. – Deuteronomy 12:31

To have God demand an innocent human sacrifice goes against any sense of morality or justice. It goes against His character.

God is not the causing agent of desiring human sacrifice. To demand and desire an innocent person to be brutally beaten, hoisted up and killed is evil.

‘Cursed is he who accepts a bribe to kill an innocent person.’ - Deuteronomy 27:25

In Scripture, God forgave sins and did not require innocent blood to be spilled.

I Desire Mercy, Not Sacrifice

When we go and learn that God desires mercy, not sacrifice, we begin to understand a universal principle.

When we sin, we can receive forgiveness on the basis on of God's mercy through repentance.

Christians profess that the human sacrifice of Jesus is payment for their sins. This makes God out to be merciless because His mercy is essential for our forgiveness. Unfortunately, the 'god’ many believe in does not forgive sin out of mercy, but requires the punishment of someone who is innocent for the guilty. This is a god that is both merciless and unjust.

If God desires mercy and not sacrifice then then the Christian doctrine of human sacrifice is proven false.

It is through God’s mercy, not human sacrifice that we can come into right standing with Him.

Do you believe that God demanded an innocent human sacrifice to obtain forgiveness from Him?

See results

© 2018 PlanksandNails

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