“Did Christ offer animal sacrifices?”
You wouldn’t think He did, since sacrifices were brought “for atonement” (Ex. 29:36), and He had no sins for which to atone. However, He also had no sins of which He needed to repent to receive remission of them, and yet He submitted to John’s “baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” (Mark 1:4). Of course, we know that He was baptized “to fulfill all righteousness” (Matt. 3:15). That is, in order for us to be numbered with the righteous, He had to be “numbered with the transgressors” so He could die for them (Isa. 53:12). So He was numbered with the transgressors in His baptism, and also when He died between two transgressors (Mark 15:28). But if He identified with sinners at the beginning of His ministry with His baptism, and at the end of His ministry with His death, perhaps He identified with sinners in between those events as well, with animal sacrifices.
But here we have to be careful how we say the Lord offered such sacrifices. As a Jew under the Law (Gal. 4:4) He had to keep the Law, for to transgress it would be sin (I John 3:4). Well, the Law required men to keep the seven feasts of Leviticus 23, each of which involved an animal sacrifice, and we know the Lord kept Israel’s feasts (Luke 22:15; John 7:2,10). These sacrifices were offered for the people of Israel as a whole, and He was one of the people, and so in this way He identified with them with animal sacrifices. But the One who “knew no sin” (II Cor. 5:21) never brought a sacrifice for any personal transgression.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.