Sacrifice and Atonement
What's the deal with animal sacrifice in the Bible? This is a rich ancient symbol that points to God's atoning love for his people.
To understand sacrifice, we must understand evil.

Despite the fact that most humans long to live in a world where goodness and justice prevail, something always compels us to wreak havoc and destruction—we call this evil. Evil ruins relationships, with each other and with God. And for those relationships to be made whole again, we must set right what evil has destroyed.

We can now join in Jesus' sacrifice.

Our Christian traditions mirror the atoning act of Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection into new life. Like Jesus, who was lowered into the grave and rose again, Christians join in the practice of being lowered into the water in baptism, where we rise up out in a new life. We also remember Jesus’ sacrifice when we take the eucharist, or the Lord’s supper. We reenact Jesus’ last meal with his disciples, where he said that his body was to be broken for humanity, that his blood was to be spilled for all of God’s people.

We join in these rituals still today to remember Jesus’ permanent, atoning sacrifice that restored us to God and set right all that had been destroyed.

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