Someone asks, “Although Jesus made the only sacrifice we need to atone for our sin, don’t we have sacrifices which we are supposed to offer to God as well?”
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The Law of Moses provided for sacrifices of many kinds (Lev. 1-5, 16). A person brought a “sin offering” to ask for divine forgiveness. The worshiper presented a “whole burnt offering” to say that he offered himself to God. A “grain offering” expressed homage and gratitude to God. A “peace offering” symbolized fellowship with God by one who had been forgiven. And the “guilt offering” acknowledged some specific offense committed against the community of God’s People. These all found fulfillment in New Testament realities related to Jesus Christ.
The Epistle to the Hebrews repeatedly underscores that the only “sin offering” that can truly remove guilt and satisfy a holy God is the offering of Jesus Christ himself on the Cross, “a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world,” to borrow language from the Book of Common Prayer (Heb. 1:3; 7:25-27; 9:26-28; 10:10-14). However, we do offer other sacrifices, of “acceptable service” (12:28), of “praise, the fruit of our lips, that give thanks to his name” (13:15), of “doing good and sharing” with other believers (13:16). Or, to quote Paul in Romans, we offer ourselves “as living sacrifices” (Rom.12:1-2).
By our offerings of self-commitment, of praise and thanksgiving, of sharing and service, we offer ourselves to God’s service and enjoy fellowship with God and with his covenant people through Jesus Christ. It is part of our ministry as God’s “royal priesthood” to offer such sacrifices on a regular basis (1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6). The priesthood of all believers involves our entire life, including our marriage relationship (1 Pet. 3:7) and even our daily meals (1 Tim. 4:4-5).