Sacrifice of Jesus


Christians understand Christ's death on the cross to be a necessary atonement for the sins of humankind. In the first generation after Jesus' death, the apostle Paul wrote: For I delivered to you first of all, what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he rose again on the third day. . . I Corinthians 15: 3-4. Christ's death was the final sacrifice, which superseded the need for animal sacrifices offered in the past by the high priest: Having therefore a great high priest who has passed into the heavens, Jesus Son of God. . . because he continues forever, he has an everlasting priesthood.(Hebrews 4: 14, 7:24). Christ was both priest and sacrificial victim.

However it is the Judaic idea of blood as a purification of sin that is the main artery of Christian sacrifice. For it was the blood Christ shed, his death, that provided Christians with redemption from sin. Christian sacrifice serves to mirror and celebrate in the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus which provides believers with redemption.