The sacrifice of animals in religious rites by the early Jews as a freewill offering, a peace offering, or a sin offering was in propitiation of Jehovah, to them a tribal God who was liable to wrath and repentance, anger and appeasement. The Hebraic word zâbach, or sacrifice, had no higher meaning and was used interchangeably for the animal, the act of slaying, or the ceremony. As the Hebrew thought advanced, the word took on a more spiritual meaning. The Psalmist sang (107:22), "And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing."

During the next several hundred years the Hebrew thought gradually was uplifted through the lives and works of the prophets until it culminated in the ministry of Jesus. We have the following quotation from the master Christian's teaching (John 15:13): "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." The great Nazarene tells us why this supreme sacrifice was made. And as a result his words (John 8:32), "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," were fulfilled.

July 29, 1950

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