Did God need animal/blood sacrifices to forgive sins? Part I

“A holy God cannot look upon sin. He can only look through blood! Man sinned, thus blood needed to be offered so His wrath against sin could be appeased!”

Here is a summary of the Penal Substitution Theory of the atonement. Nothing paints God like a vengeful, bloodthirsty, celestial Monster like such thinking. The idea that God
‘s holiness needed blood to forgive sins is an assumption found nowhere in Scripture. Rather, the Bible teaches that if God needed a blood sacrifice, then He is NOT holy!

In the Bible, God is called “holy” (Isa. 6:1-3, Rev. 4:8, Ps. 71:22, Isa. 43:15, 1 Sam. 2:2). The word “holy” (“qadosh” in the Hebrew and “hagios” in the Greek) simply means “different.” So when the Bible says God is “holy,” it means that He is UNIQUELY DIFFERENT from anyone else in existence. “Holy” is simply a reference to those attributes (or essence) which God possesses which distinguish Him from anything else. He is fundamentally different. This means that you CANNOT find any other “god” in the world with the same attributes as Him. He is totally different!

But the Penal Substitution Theory (“God needed a blood sacrifice”) paints an image of God that COMPLETELY lacks holiness. Throughout history, there have been numerous reasonings of the gods being angry and needing a blood sacrifice of an innocent human being (or animal) in order to calm down. Tales have been told of ancient Hawaiians throwing virgins into volcanoes to appease their gods. The Aztecs also believed that the sun god needed human blood to be pacified. The Nigerian gods and demi-gods (Sango, Obatala, Orunmila etc) require(d) sacrificial offerings.

Even the Bible records several examples of children offered to idols (see 2 Kings 3:26-27, Ps. 106:37-38 & 2 Kings 16:2-3). This practice was clearly DETESTED by God — to say He demanded blood sacrifices would be to equate Him with demons. This is to say He is not “holy” (set apart and different). But God IS holy because He never asked for nor demanded human sacrifices to forgive sins or to calm His wrath. Man adopted such a practice in sin consciousness. God has ALWAYS been forgiving, without blood.


© Josh Banks Ministries. 2020.


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