When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.
Why Sacrifice an Animal?
The thought of sacrificing an animal is a bit strange to most people alive today. Some would even consider it barbaric. Why would God instruct people to sacrifice animals as a means of pleasing Him?
The sacrifices were a symbol to remind people of the price of sin. Sins lead to death. They could not sacrifice just any animal. Only particular ones could be used. They had to be first born males without blemish (no broken bones, no defects). These sacrifices symbolized a future sacrifice that would be made to pay for the sins of all men. JESUS
Did These Sacrifices Atone for Sin?
“For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”
1 Peter 2:24
“He [Jesus] himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”