In Leviticus 4:35 we read:

35 They shall remove all the fat, just as the fat is removed from the lamb of the fellowship offering, and the priest shall burn it on the altar on top of the food offerings presented to the Lord. In this way the priest will make atonement for them for the sin they have committed, and they will be forgiven.

So, by this text, we see that sinsare forgiven due to the burnt offerings, however in John 1:29, we can see a difference:

29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

I'd like to ask: what is this difference, and if it's necessary or not to continue the temple's services with burnt offerings after its reconstruction.

2 Answers 2


I'd like to ask: what is this difference*” … The answer(s) you could receive will be ‘shaped’ by whatever foundational doctrines the responder adheres to. With this in mind, here is one for consideration…

Leviticus outlines the sacrificial system put in place specifically for the covenant the Israelites had just entered. It was a covenant they, the people, asked to be put under. They wanted to rely on, to be ‘blessed’ on accord of their own goodness, ability (own righteousness.).

EXODUS 19:8 The people all responded together, “We will do everything the Lord has said.”

The Hebrew ‘source’ reflects the confident, almost arrogant attitude of these [stiff necked] people. However, their own righteousness was never going to ‘protect’ them - so the sacrificial system was needed for atonement- ‘Kaphar, which covered their ‘sin’, and by this they were protected from ‘sins’ consequences. The tragic story of the ‘man picking up sticks on the sabbath’ (Numbers 15) reflected the issue, as that occurred before the sacrificial system was put in place to protect them.

So the first part of your answer is - for those (Jews) who choose to stay under that covenant, then they will need to instigate sacrifices as soon as the temple is rebuilt. (This ‘system’ needs a temple/tabernacle).

Paul(?) explained to the Jews in the book of Hebrews that in fact there was now a new covenant they could choose to come under. That covenant as was promised in Jeremiah 31. And this covenant did not need sacrifices as Jesus had both ‘paid the price’, and also enabled them to come out from being under that previous covenant - but they themselves had to choose this ..

HEB 9:15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant [snip]

So the Jews now have a choice of which covenant they are ‘under’. If the new, then sacrifices are no longer required. They are protected via Christ’s sacrifice.

The verse you quoted from John 1:29 is John retelling the experience of John the Baptist. Proclaiming the Messiah. The one promised by the prophets, the one Jeremiah prophesied would end the need for sacrifices.

So, you asked about the difference between the two accounts - that difference speaks about two covenants. The ‘old’ and the ‘new’. And those covenants are the ones the Jews can choose to partake of. One needs constant sacrifices, and one doesn’t. Both protect from the consequences of ‘sin’. But one, according to the writer of Hebrews is far superior.

As to whether the sacrifices are/will be needed again, this depends on which covenant you are under. As for those Jews that do not accept Messiah - yes. Once (when) a temple is rebuilt, sacrifices will again be required.


The entire ceremonial/sacrificial system served a single purpose - to teach in metaphorical form about the coming Messiah and His sacrificial death, Note the following:

  • Heb 9:8, 9 - By this arrangement the Holy Spirit was showing that the way into the sanctuary had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. It is an illustration for the present time, because the gifts and sacrifices being offered were unable to cleanse the conscience of the worshiper.
  • Heb 9:11-12 - But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that have come, He went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made by hands and is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by the blood of goats and calves, but He entered the Sanctuary once for all by His own blood, thus securing eternal redemption.
  • Heb 10:1 - For the law is only a shadow of the good things to come, not the realities themselves. It can never, by the same sacrifices offered year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.
  • Col 2:16, 17 - Therefore let no one judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a feast, a New Moon, or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the body [= reality] that casts it belongs to Christ.

Even in Old Testament times, the ceremonial system had been misunderstood and abused and did not provide propitiation but only symbolized the sacrifice of Jesus (yet to come), eg, Isa 1:10-17, Ps 40:6-8, 51:16, 17, 1 Sam 15:22, Hos 6:6, Prov 15:8, 21:3, Jer 6:20, Micah 6:6-8, etc. Jesus used some of these verses to teach the superiority of the moral and ethical requirements over the ceremonial rules. Matt 9:9-12, 12:2-8, 9-14, 23:23, 24, Mark 12:33. Therefore, in New Testament times, after the reality of Jesus had come, its value was gone.

When Jesus died on the cross, the ceremonial system was finished and the temple curtain dividing the Holy from the Most Holy Place was torn in two from top to bottom (Matt 27:51, Mark 15:38, Luke 23:45, see also 2 Cor 3:13-16) to symbolize this. Jesus became the High Priest of the New Covenant (Heb 4:14-16) and fulfilled the Levitical Covenant.

Col 2:16, 17, Gal 4:10, Heb 9:10, Rom 14:17, (comp Isa 1:13, 14) explicitly make these ceremonial laws redundant.

Thus, the sacrifical lamb (Lev 4:35) is explicitly interpretted metaphorically in the NT as a type or foreshadowing (Col 2:17) of Jesus as Messiah:

  • John 1:29 - The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
  • 1 Cor 5:7 - Get rid of the old leaven, that you may be a new unleavened batch, as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. See also Rev 5:6.
  • 1 Peter 1:18, 19 - For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life you inherited from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or spot.
  • But the sacrifices (of animals) done in the right way can forgive sins, right? Nov 15, 2021 at 19:30
  • According to Heb 8:5, 9:9, 10:4, Ps 51:16, 17, 1 Sam 15:22, sacrifices of animals have no salvific value and do not forgive sins. THAT is found in Christ alone.
    – Dottard
    Nov 15, 2021 at 20:21
  • Why the forgiveness of sins imply salvation? Nov 16, 2021 at 12:12

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