Why Don’t Christians Sacrifice Animals to Atone for Sins?

There are many commands given by God to the Israelites at Mount Sinai that Christians do not obey, animal sacrifice being one of them. Aren’t we disobeying God by not following his commands? Skeptics of Christianity love to read through the Book of Leviticus and point out how inconsistent we are in obeying God’s commands. How do we explain this?

In general terms, Christians are told by New Testament writers that we are under a new covenant and that the old covenant given to Moses at Mount Sinai (often called “the Law”) is obsolete (see Heb 8:13 and Rom 7:6, for example). Therefore, there is no obligation for Christians to obey any commands in Leviticus without further consideration about how those commands should be applied by New Testament believers.

More specifically, the New Testament teaches that Jesus Christ is the all-sufficient sacrifice for all of mankind’s sins, so further sacrifices are unnecessary. Jesus said he came “to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Paul said, “Walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Eph. 5:2). Peter said, “You were ransomed . . . with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Pet. 1:18–19). And finally, Heb. 7:27 mentions the daily sacrifices the Levite priests offered, but Christ offered one sacrifice “once for all when he offered up himself.”