Day 26: No Sacrifice Remains
And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary. Hebrews 10:18
After the Roman destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD, there were no more sacrifices of any kind. Since the Law forbade the offering of sacrifices in random places, the practice of sacrificing the Passover lamb ceased, but the ritual of the feast continued. However, many present day observances of Passover do not even include lamb on the menu. Instead of the sacrificial lamb, many Seder plates have a shank bone and/or a roasted egg to stand in for the lamb.
The presence of the shank bone perhaps needs less explanation than the egg. The egg was a food of mourning, and it was eaten to symbolize Israel mourning for her temple and the sad fact that sacrifice is no longer possible to make them righteous before God. It is roasted to represent the burnt offering of the lamb. A few say it represents the new beginning.
From a Christian perspective, the fact that the sacrificial system was dismantled is fitting, for after the death of the Lamb of God, there is no longer a need for lamb after lamb to stand in for his finished work. Hebrews 10 tells us that the sacrificial system was merely a shadow of the truth to come, and that there was no way that the endless shedding of the blood of bulls and goats could take away sin. These were merely placeholders, looking forward to the Lamb of God who would finally and completely take away sin. He alone was, and is, the Redeemer.
• Close your eyes and picture yourself grasping the fuzzy head of a lamb with one hand, perhaps holding its body in place between your knees, and then slitting its throat with the knife in your other hand, knowing that the blood you are shedding was for your own sin. How would doing this make your sins more real and offensive to you?
• What does it mean to you that you no longer need to make bloody, yearly sacrifices to cover your sins?
• Read Hebrews 10. How does his completed sacrifice give you confidence to enter his presence?
Lord, I thank you that these brutal sacrifices are no longer necessary, and yet they are a powerful reminder of the obscenity of my sin and what it cost you. Help me to not take my sin lightly—nor my gratitude to you for redemption!
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries