The people of ancient Israel made sacrifices to God in the temple. These sacrifices, which involved the shedding of blood (the pouring out of the animal’s life), symbolized the atonement made for the people’s sins.
According to God’s command, the Israelites were to make sacrifices daily. A one-year-old, perfect lamb was to be sacrificed in the morning, and another one in the evening. A grain and drink offering were to be offered at the same times.
God gave specific guidelines for the temple altar, which was to stand in the outer worship court. A stone altar was to be built without steps, using stones on which no tools had been used. A wooden altar was to be built of acacia wood and was to be three cubits (about 4.5 feet) high, five cubits (about 7.5 feet) long, and five cubits wide.
Hundreds of years before Jesus, the prophet Isaiah proclaimed that Jesus would be pierced for our sins, would carry our sorrows, and by his wounds we would be healed. God would place all our sins upon Jesus, who would pour out his life to make intercession for all sinners.
Jesus is referred to as the “Lamb of God;” and he is called our Passover lamb, who was sacrificed to atone for our sins.
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