Saturday, December 5, 2015

Did Jesus perform sacrifices at the Temple?

I was asked a good question by a friend. I like questions. They send me searching into the Bible and I spend happy moments or hours delving into the mysteries of God in the Bible to unearth a Spirit-filled answer. The question was, did Jesus offer animal sacrifices at the Temple, even though HE was going to be the sacrifice? And was sinless?

After some thought and biblical research, this was my answer. As for Jesus offering animal sacrifices, I am not personally aware of any scene in the Bible that depicts this, but I am pretty sure that He did. How can I be pretty sure?

First, Jesus lived the Law perfectly--

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." (Mt 5:17)

Though the Bible does not offer extensive information about the early or childhood life of Jesus, there are a few glimpses of Jesus and His keeping of the Law. We know his parents Joseph and Mary kept the Law, and they taught Jesus to do the same. The pair came to the temple on the 8th day after Jesus birth to fulfill the Law of Moses (Luke 2:21-22).

Skip forward to a few years, we know the family went up to Jerusalem to fulfill the Law concerning the festivals. (Luke 2:41-42). And Jesus was submissive to his parents in all things [according to the Commandment honor thy parents]. (Luke 2:51)

Jesus was baptized, certainly He did not need to go through a ritual that represented repentance and cleansing from sin! But He did.

"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Cor 5:21).

This means that God treated Jesus AS a sinner, even though He was not.

So therefore we can extrapolate that He likely also performed sacrifices when He came to the proper age. If He didn't do sacrifices, He would not have fulfilled the Law as Matthew recorded Jesus statement. Animal sacrifices foreshadowed Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf and Jesus performing the sacrifices was still a picture of that, until the cross and the torn veil in the Temple.

"Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29b).


7 comments :

  1. I am off the subject but am using this to ask why you took Eschatology Today from your Christian Blogs Links

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    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Thanks for your question and also for noticing. I took it off because--

      --I don't agree any more with looking at newspaper events and back-handing the bible into them. I used to do a lot of that but I repented and don't do that any more. Though current events do often speak to prophecy, I believe an exclusive focus on looking first at events and second at the bible brings an eye and heart away from Jesus rather than toward Him.
      --I appreciate his military writing but too often the "intel" is anonymous, not sourced. In one recent case he used an anonymous source and fuzzy language to make a strong assertion, and when a friend asked him about the specifics of it, he took it out of the blog and re-wrote the section, without alerting readers to the change.
      --he links to ministries I believe are not healthy for the Christian to peruse, such as GraceThruFaith and John Hagee, for example.

      For those reasons I decided not to tacitly affirm or endorse the blog by having a link here - but I do appreciate his efforts and his perspective as a brother. Feel free to continue to read the site on your own, of course.

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    2. Have you stopped being a watcher? It's a shame, because we are really on the last minutes of this age...

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    3. No. I have not stopped being a watchman on the wall. I am eagerly expecting my Lord to return any minute. I believe this because the bible says His return is sure and imminent

      Luke 12:40, Titus 2:13, Romans 8:19-25; 1 Corinthians 1:7; Philippians 4:5; Jude 1:21.

      I agree with you that we are in the last moments. I believe this because of the progression of our civilization's decay as outlined in Romans 1:18-32 and because of 2 Timothy 3:1-5 and that Jesus said the days will be like the Days of Noah and the Days of Lot.

      Watching and knowing the times and being ready has nothing to do with newspaper exegesis.

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  2. Did he "perform" the sacrifices? Not likely as he wasn't a Levite. Did he bring sacrifices to be offered? Most likely for the reasons in your post.

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    1. Hi Perri,

      Thank you for clarifying and correcting my indistinct language. Yes, what you said is what I meant. Thanks again.

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