The Truth About "Sacrifices" ... and the Lies They Told Us
Parsha Wayyiqra - Wayyiqra/Leviticus 1:1 - 6:7
Coming out of Christianity, there’s a lot of deprogramming that must be done. Even a casual acquaintance with Christianity causes certain beliefs to become embedded in one’s consciousness. If we don't specifically address these beliefs and correct them, then they will linger in our mind and being and hinder our spiritual growth.
Parsha Wayyiqra (Vayikra/Leviticus) is the perfect place to begin setting the record straight and correcting our line of thinking. If we get a proper understanding of the “sacrifices,” then we'll understand why Christian theology does not fulfill the Law as taught but instead conflicts with the Torah of YAHUAH.
Sacrifice or Offering
Parsha Wayyiqra (Lev. 1:1 - 6:7) discusses the types of offerings one may bring to YAHUAH in the Set-Apart Place (the Tabernacle in the wilderness and later the Temple in Jerusalem). Two types of offerings are covered in this parsha: the voluntary offerings which include the burnt, grain, and peace offerings, and the mandatory offerings which include the sin and guilt offerings.
The first thing to understand is the purpose of the offerings. In Hebrew, the word for offerings is korbanot. Korban (singular) comes from the root word meaning “to draw close.” The whole point of making an offering was to draw closer to YAHUAH. That was the goal and desired result - an improved relationship with YAH.
Voluntary offerings were brought of one’s own free will, out of love and a sincere desire to have a closer relationship with YAHUAH. The mandatory offerings were required to make sure one repairs his relationship with YAHUAH after damaging it with sin.
The focus, then, of making an offering was on one’s relationship with YAH. That’s why “offering” is a more appropriate translation. It implies something done with a good heart and intention.
“Sacrifice” implies that the point is to hurt and experience pain. That is not the point.
It's true that in order to make an offering one must “sacrifice.” In some way, we must put aside our own wants and desires, but we do it in order to draw closer to YAH. The sacrifice is the means to the end, not the end itself.
So, the purpose of the korbanot was to draw close to YAH - not to inflict pain or punishment as a response to sin.
Now, let’s focus on the sin offering. Notice that it is only one type of offering out of the five mentioned in this parsha. Different offerings were brought for different reasons.
Christianity, however, would lead one to believe that the sin offering was the only offering there was. It’s because their whole theology is based on the idea that Jesus (J.C.) fulfilled this by becoming the one and only perfect sacrifice for sin.
The first big mistake is ignoring two key words in Wayyiqra 4:2:
Wayy/Lev. 4:2 “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, saying, ‘When a being sins by mistake against any of the commands of יהוה, which are not to be done, and shall do any of them:"
Did you see it?
The sin offering was brought only for sins done by mistake, the unintentional sins. These were sins done either because one didn’t know it was a sin (unfamiliar with the Law) or one didn’t have the full details of the situation at hand. Either way, sin offerings were only for those sins done by mistake.
For intentional sins, there was no offering. If a person did something wrong knowing that it was wrong, then the only thing he could do was repent. He didn’t bring a sin offering. He repented sincerely in his heart.
Repentance comes from the Hebrew word teshuvah. It’s a contraction of "teshuv" (return) and "YAH." Therefore, it means literally, “return to YAH.”
When a person sinned intentionally, the only thing he could do was return to YAH wholeheartedly and sincerely.
The sin offering was required only for unintentional sins. If J.C. really fulfilled the sin offering, then that means he could only atone for unintentional sins. Everything a person did purposely and knowingly would not be covered.
Yet, that’s not what Christianity teaches. They say he atoned for all sins. Doesn’t quite line up with Torah does it?
Furthermore, according to Parsha Wayyiqra, a sin offering could only be made by a priest in the Set-Apart Place, and the blood poured at the altar of burnt offering (Wayy. 4; Deb/Deut. 12:13-14).
When J.C. died, the Set-Apart Place was still standing in Yerushalayim, but that's not where his death took place. Also, it was the Romans who killed him, not a priest of Aaron. If he was supposed to be a sin offering, he would have been an invalid one.
Animals (and flour) Only
Parsha Wayyiqra outlines specifically what was to be brought as an offering to YAHUAH. Acceptable offerings were lambs, rams, goats, bulls, turtle doves, pigeons, and flour. That's it.
Absolutely no humans allowed!!!
Human sacrifice was (and is) an abomination to YAH.
(Wayy. 20:1-5; 2Mel/2Kin. 23:10; Yir/Jer. 32:35).
According to Christian theology, J.C. was both “fully God and fully man.” Saying he was a sacrifice for the sins of man makes him a human sacrifice - an abomination to YAHUAH.
YAHUAH makes it clear that when an offering was called for it was only an animal or flour. The fact that YAHUAH stopped Abraham from killing Yitshaq (Isaac) and gave him a ram instead is a clear indication of what YAH desires as an offering.
This is just another reminder in Torah that we are never to forget the value of human life. It's so precious that YAH would not even allow us to take it for His sake.
Yet, Christianity claims a human life was taken (i.e. murdered) as a sacrifice. No other religion or any of the world wars has taken as many lives as Christianity has. They don't even realize the standard they set in devaluing human life with their belief in J.C.’s human sacrifice.
Parsha Wayyiqra outlines the procedures for the offerings. When an animal was slaughtered, it's blood was sprinkled or poured out on the altar, and in some cases it was taken inside the Tent of Meeting to be sprinkled before the Ark and on the Altar of Incense. When the priest completed the service all the way to this point, then the atonement was complete and the sins forgiven.
Because of this process, many people believe Christianity's teaching that “there’s no remission of sins without blood.” Many think this is a quote from the Tanakh (aka "Old Testament"), but actually these words can't be found anywhere in the Hebrew scriptures.
The common response to this is that it’s in reference to Wayy. 17:11:
Wayy/Lev 17:11 ‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your lives, for it is the blood that makes atonement for the life.’
Now, if you look at the context of the verse, you see that it’s making an entirely different point:
Wayy/Lev 17:10-12 ‘And any man of the house of Yisra’ĕl, or of the strangers who sojourn among you, who eats any blood, I shall set My face against that being who eats blood, and shall cut him off from among his people.
(11) ‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your lives, for it is the blood that makes atonement for the life.’
(12) “Therefore I said to the children of Yisra’ĕl, ‘No being among you eats blood, nor does any stranger who sojourns among you eat blood.’
This passage is about eating blood, not offerings. The point being made is that we are not to eat or drink blood because life is in the blood and it's used for atonement.
In other words, blood (as opposed to any other part of the animal) is used for atonement when called for in specific offerings, but it is not the one and only means of atonement.
Sometimes, other means are used for atonement. For example, as said above, when it came to intentional sins, there were no offerings. Blood did not atone for sins done on purpose. Yet, when proper teshuvah (repentance) is done, YAHUAH forgives and atones - without blood.
Blood is used for atonement, but atonement doesn't always use blood.
Take a look at the guilt offerings. Guilt offerings were a type of sin offering also brought for unintentional sins. The kind of offering brought depended on a person’s income. A poor person who could not afford a lamb, goat, or even birds, brought “fine flour as a sin offering” (Wayy. 5:11).
Wayy/Lev. 5:13 ‘And the priest shall make atonement for him, for his sin that he has sinned in any of these, and it shall be forgiven him. And it shall be the priest’s, like a grain offering.’ ”
The priest made atonement with the flour - i.e. WITHOUT BLOOD - and it was forgiven him.
Also, recall Parsha Ki Tisa about how Yisrael sinned with the golden calf. They had just committed the most egregious sin one could ever commit - idolatry right in the Face of YAHUAH! And yet, they were forgiven - without a single drop of blood (Shem/Ex. 32-33).
Shem/Ex. 32:14 "And יהוה relented from the evil which He said He would do to His people."
Look at the book of Yonah. The entire city of Nineveh repented at the warning of Yonah, and YAHUAH forgave and relented from destruction.
Yonah/Jonah 3:10 And Elohim saw their works, that they turned from their evil way. And Elohim relented from the evil which He had said He would do to them, and He did not do it.
Again, not a word about offerings of blood.
Here we are at the time of Purim, remembering the book of Esther. Esther, Mordecai, and the Yahudim prayed and fasted, and YAHUAH saved them from the evil decree of annihilation (a decree that no doubt was related to the sins of the people). Once again, no blood.
So, yes, there can be remission of sins without blood. Blood is used for atonement, but atonement doesn't always use - or require - blood.
And the blood of a human...absolutely not!
YAHUAH requires and desires repentance, not blood. The times when blood was used, it was only accepted when accompanied by sincere repentance.
An offering without true teshuvah was displeasing to YAHUAH.
Yesh/Is. 1:11 “Of what use to Me are your many slaughterings?” declares יהוה. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs or goats.
Mish/Prov. 15:8 The slaughtering of the wrong ones is an abomination to יהוה, But the prayer of the straight is His delight.
Qoh/Eccl. 5:1 Guard your steps when you go to the House of Elohim. And draw near to listen rather than to give the slaughtering of fools, for they do not know that they do evil.
YAHUAH wants sincere repentance from the heart.
Teh/Ps. 51:17 The slaughterings of Elohim are a broken spirit, A heart broken and crushed, O Elohim, These You do not despise.
Yoel/Joel 2:12-13 “Yet even now,” declares יהוה, “turn to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning.”
(13) And tear your heart and not your garments, and turn back to יהוה your Elohim, for He shows favour and is compassionate, patient, and of great kindness, and He shall relent concerning the evil."
He wants us to change our ways (Yesh. 55:7; 2Dibr 7:14; Teh. 37:27)
Yesh/Is. 1:16-17 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Stop doing evil! Learn to do good! Seek right-ruling, reprove the oppressor, defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.
Yesh/Is. 55:7 Let the wrong forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. Let him return to יהוה, who has compassion on him, and to our Elohim, for He pardons much.
Teh/Ps. 37:27 Turn away from evil, and do good; And dwell forever.
2Dibr/2Chron. 7:14 and My people upon whom My Name is called, shall humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I shall hear from the heavens, and forgive their sin and heal their land.
Yehez/Ezek. 18:27 “And when the wrong turns away from the wrong which he has done, and he does right-ruling and righteousness, he keeps himself alive.
Then, YAHUAH - YAHUAH alone - will forgive us and atone for our sin.
Yesh/Is. 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” says יהוה. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
Yesh/Is. 43:25 “I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake, and remember your sins no more."
Yesh/Is. 44:22 “I shall wipe out your transgressions like a cloud, and your sins like a mist. Return to Me, for I shall redeem you.”
Yesh/Is. 45:22 “Turn to Me and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am Ěl, and there is none else."
Mal. 3:7 Turn back to Me, and I shall turn back to you,” said יהוה of hosts.