Why did God's people practice animal sacrifice? Listen to the podcast or watch the featured video. Then, reflect on some questions and go deeper into study on your own or with a group. If you're participating in our reading plan One Story that Leads to Jesus, this Reflections Bible Study lines up with week 5.
Once you’ve listened to the short podcast or watched the featured video, take the time to reflect on these questions:
God is faithful and just to forgive us when we admit our sins. So let’s take time now to be honest as we answer this question: What comes to mind when you think about how you’ve sinned against God and others?
Let’s take time now to receive and rely on his forgiveness. What feelings, images, or thoughts come to mind as you invite Jesus to remove your sin?
Through Jesus, God removes our sin, makes us pure, and commits to help us live out his love. What can you sacrifice for someone today to show them the love of Jesus?
If you would like to dive deeper, use these Scriptures and questions for personal study or small group discussion.
For the Israelites, animal sacrifice was a symbol to demonstrate the cost of sin, but it showed how God could cleanse and remove their sin. Animal sacrifices pointed ahead to Jesus, the “lamb of God,” who would come to take away sin once and for all. When we remember Jesus’ death on the cross, we recognize the devastating effects of our sin and see his power to forgive. And in Jesus’ resurrection, we can experience God’s power to remove the deadly effects of our sin. His sacrifice brings life to all who trust in him.
Let’s reflect on this. Feel free to engage with all the questions or just a few right now. You can also reflect throughout the week by focusing on one question per day.
How did Carissa’s message challenge or encourage you today?
As you review today’s passage, pay attention to the details. What word, phrase, or idea stands out to you?
Ponder the meaning of verse 14. What do you think it means to be made complete in Jesus while still in the process of being made holy and complete?
How did Jesus complete his work on our behalf (see vv. 9-10)? How is he still completing his work in and through us? (see vv. 15-25)?
1 John 1:9 says that when we admit our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse us. What comes to mind when you think about how you’ve sinned against God and others? Why is it hard to be honest about our failings? What is needed for a community to be a safe place where people can be honest with one another? What step can you take this week to build this kind of community?
Take time now to receive and rely on God’s forgiveness. He’s listening and he cares for you. Ask him to remove your sin from your record and wash away your guilt and shame. What feelings, images, or thoughts come to mind as you invite Jesus to take away your sin?
When God removes our sin, he makes us pure and commits to help us live in his love. Who in your life needs encouragement today? What can you sacrifice to show them the love of Jesus?
Turn your reflections into a prayer. Express your amazement to God for the sacrifice he made to make you completely clean. Admit where you struggle to rely on him. Choose to receive his forgiveness and then forgive others who have wronged you too, and ask for his help to share his love and encouragement to others this week.