Posted in Lamb, prophecy, sacrifice

Did Jesus perform sacrifices at the Temple?

I was asked a good question by a friend. I like questions. They send me searching into the Bible and I spend happy moments or hours delving into the mysteries of God in the Bible to unearth a Spirit-filled answer. The question was, did Jesus offer animal sacrifices at the Temple, even though HE was going to be the sacrifice? And was sinless?

After some thought and biblical research, this was my answer. As for Jesus offering animal sacrifices, I am not personally aware of any scene in the Bible that depicts this, but I am pretty sure that He did. How can I be pretty sure?

First, Jesus lived the Law perfectly–

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Mt 5:17)

Though the Bible does not offer extensive information about the early or childhood life of Jesus, there are a few glimpses of Jesus and His keeping of the Law. We know his parents Joseph and Mary kept the Law, and they taught Jesus to do the same. The pair came to the temple on the 8th day after Jesus birth to fulfill the Law of Moses (Luke 2:21-22).

Skip forward to a few years, we know the family went up to Jerusalem to fulfill the Law concerning the festivals. (Luke 2:41-42). And Jesus was submissive to his parents in all things [according to the Commandment honor thy parents]. (Luke 2:51)

Jesus was baptized, certainly He did not need to go through a ritual that represented repentance and cleansing from sin! But He did.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor 5:21).

This means that God treated Jesus AS a sinner, even though He was not.

So therefore we can extrapolate that He likely also performed sacrifices when He came to the proper age. If He didn’t do sacrifices, He would not have fulfilled the Law as Matthew recorded Jesus statement. Animal sacrifices foreshadowed Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf and Jesus performing the sacrifices was still a picture of that, until the cross and the torn veil in the Temple.

Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29b).

Author:

Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.