Was Jesus a human sacrifice?

In the Bible, human sacrifice was forbidden. Why do you suppose , was Jesus a human sacrifice?


@love19 No, Jesus was not a human sacrifice. Human sacrifice is an attempt by man to do what only God has the right or the power to do - it is self-righteous. We cannot earn God’s forgiveness by our good works; even by giving our life. We must trust in God’s goodness and in His mercy.

Furthermore, while it is the blood of Christ that atoned for sin, God’s goal was never to shed blood. God’s goal was and is to rescue us from bondage to sin and death; not to spread more death. God desires a people who will worship Him in Spirit and truth.

Human sacrifice is wrong on two counts:

  1. It is an attempt to appease God by our own efforts rather than a repentance that relies upon His mercy
  2. It assumes God takes pleasure in death and bloodshed - an abominable notion

Psalms 51:16-17 - You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.

Ezekiel 18:23 - Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “ and not that he should turn from his ways and live?

Jesus was a man, THE man, who sacrificed His life as a ransom for many. But he was no human sacrifice. He was the King of Kings freely surrendering His life to rescue His people from bondage to sin and death.

Is that distinction helpful? Christ grant you wisdom :slight_smile:

PS Your question made me think of this song - Yet Not I, but Through Christ in me


Thank you for taking the time and so succinctly explaining to so many members.


@SeanO Thank you for responding to my question. There was quite a bit to process.
Jesus saved us from sin, death, the wrath to come and hell.
Yes, He is King of kings, voluntarily laying down his life ( the garden of Gethsemane notwithstanding).
I think the distinction was helpful, he is no mere human. He was the God-man.
But you said He shed blood but God’s purpose was not to shed blood…

The Bible does say ‘without the shedding of blood there is no remission.’
And in another place ‘because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins’

I can understand the second statement in light of the first.
But it’s the first state I can’t understand.
I guess I am asking ‘Why is that true?’
Why is it that without the shedding of blood there no remission?

Maybe I’m asking a question, the answer to which is hidden in the mind of the Father.
‘Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he has put him to grief: when thou shalt make
his soul an offering for sin…’ Isaiah 53:10a.

Why is the shedding of blood necessary?

Peace and Blessings


I’m no expert and like You said and I agree with it’s in The Fathers mind. In Genesis God clothed Adam and Eve in coats of skin. Many believe and I agree this was the first shedding of the blood of a substitute in place of the required payment for sin which is death. God warned Adam and Eve that in the day You eat of the forbidden fruit ‘‘You shall surely die’’. So God had established His law that sin was to be punished by death. The blood I believe doesn’t just symbolize God’s wrath but mercy. I won’t go much deeper other than it’s what God in His infinite wisdom has established to restore us into a right relationship with Himself. It’s something we must rest in by faith! Thinking of Paul’s Doxology at the end of Romans. It is a mystery that should exult Praise and Worship! The infinite depths of the knowledge of our God!!!

The reply button is to the very right of Your post at the bottom it’s a return arrow. Hope this helps!


@love19 Great question! Thankfully, I do not think it is too complicated. As it says in Romans, because we have sinned we deserve to die. Leviticus says that the life is in the blood, so the shedding of blood represents the giving of a life. We deserved to die, but by shedding His life (His blood) Jesus satisfied the demands of the law so that we could live in Him.

  1. we deserve death
  2. life is in the blood
  3. if someone else who is sinless offers their life (their blood), the power of the law and sin over us is broken

The OT sacrifices were a foreshadowing of Christ. The entire OT system, as we read in Hebrews, foreshadowed the perfect sacrifice of Jesus and the future house of God - the Church.

Does that make sense?

Leviticus 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 souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.

Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Yes Sean that does make sense.

But here it is.

So when it’s asked ‘Why is this such a bloody, violent core of this religion?’

The answer is 'This an aspect of life focused on because of sin and the need

to cover sin. (Gen.3:21) It’s just the nature of life.

I say aspect because in Gen. 2:7 God breathed life into man and he became a

living soul (before the fall). And in John 6:63 Jesus says 'The Spirit gives life; the flesh accounts for nothing.

These words I speak to you are spirit and they are life.’

In Gen. 3:7, Adam and Eve made coverings for themselves after they had sinned and

realized they were naked (fig leaves-no blood).

In Gen. 3:21 God killed animals ( shed blood) and made coverings for Adam and Eve.

If Adam and Eve covering themselves was inappropriate or insufficient–why didn’t God just use some

other fig leaves , other types of leaves or products w/o blood, to provide coverings Himself?

Why did he kill animals?

Is the answer that the innocent animal gave its biood to provide covering for the guilty?

I guess I just wondered why provision wasn’t made by means of the Spirit/spirit instead of

by the blood. since Adam and Eve’s death was spiritual.

Even if Jesus had to die and be resurrected. 1Cor.15:17

And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; you

are yet in your sins.

Peace and Blessings


@love19 Good questions. Let’s try to think through this a bit more. First, a couple of clarifications.

  1. The Bible says the consequence of sin is death. There is no modifier “spiritual” in that sentence. That is something people often say - that spiritual death was the worst consequence of the fall, but the text does not say that… Certainly physical death, if not the main thing in Paul’s view, is certainly included.
  2. The animals died as an example to us of the seriousness of sin and to foreshadow the coming of Christ
  3. Leviticus 17:11, which talks about atonement, says that the life is in the blood. Plants, in that sense, do not have life. While grain was offered before the Lord, it could not play the role of foreshadowing atonement by the sacrifice of a life.

I’m not trying to sanitize the sacrificial system. It was bloody and I personally do not like the idea. But within that cultural context it was a perfectly rational way for God to communicate the seriousness of sin and the future coming of His Son. Remember, God was trying to reach a specific people at a specific time in history. We have to keep that in mind. The sacrificial system is no longer in place today, nor does it need to be…


Jesus’ death was a substitute in payment for our death. Because of sin we are under the penalty of death, Jesus died in our place that we might appear before The Father as faultless. not that we did not sin but the penalty has been paid.

1 Like