Human sacrifice was practiced by many ancient cultures. People would be ritually killed to please or appease a god or spirit. The Aztec practiced this in an unusually large-scale; they sacrificed every day to help the sun rising. I feel a bit guilty since I am from Mexican descent; and my ancestors participated in this massacre. The Greeks, the Scandinavians, there is evidence also to suggest Pre-Hellenic Minoan cultures practiced human sacrifice. The Arabic culture sacrificed as a ritual in the Fesitval of the Sacrifice, they sacrificed an animal that was healthy and conscious. They then divided the meat into three parts (which I find very fascinating). The first goes to the sacrifice, the second to their relatives and the third to feed the poor.
The lamb was the principal animal of sacrifice among the Jewish people at the evening and morning sacrifice in the first century AD. These sacrifices usually took place around 9am and then the lamb was slaughtered around 2:30 and then laid on the altar around 3:00pm in the afternoon. The lamb without blemish, in other words a lamb that was near perfect. The fact that we as humans have always sought to make a sacrifice,and a near perfect one at that, points to the need that we all have for an atonement. Atonement meaning a reparation for a wrong or sin.
I’d like to share with you about the sacrifice that put an end to all sacrifices. Jesus was slain on that 12th hour (3pm in our day). He was without blemish, he was conscious. He knew what he was about to do and did not fight to escape what was about to take place. Don’t you find that odd? Here are some other odd things that happened on that day. An earthquake, an eclipse and a curtain that ripped from top to bottom in the temple. Wow, what a day! But what sets this sacrifice apart from all the others is that this sacrificial lamb rose from the dead after 3 days. He returned from the dead to walk on the earth again. No other god, sacrifice or religious leader rose from the dead.
So even though this was a very sad day because Jesus was crucified, Sunday is coming. Sunday was the day he rose from the dead to become our savior once and for all.