YOUR QUESTION (No. 50)
I am wondering about all of the commanded sacrifices carried out by the children of God prior to 70 AD. How do these fall into the plan of God?
They do not fall into the plan of God, and those who offered them were not children of God.
Searching the OT, we learn that the sacrificial system existed with the Hebrews in Egypt, long before Moses delivered the Law. Moses gave it an advanced interpretation and taught it as the plan of God for dealing with sin. The Lord was dealing with the ancient Hebrews, through Moses, as the best available for beginning to introduce humans to himself.
The following words of Jesus serve as a basis for my interpretation of the Levitical sacrifice according to Moses:
Matt.19I see that the same 'allowance' applies to the system of sacrifices. God (and Moses) allowed it for your hardness of heart; but, from the beginning it was not so.
Jesus restores what is absolutely and eternally true. He honored Moses as a servant of the Lord who bore witness to himself, but he was careful to distinguish between the revelations of a servant and what he was doing:
But Moses was only a servant:
Num.12We can see in this text from Numbers that Moses was claiming more for himself than he was allowed -- that he had seen the form of the Lord. The Evangelist correctly contradicts him:
The ancient Hebrews, as you can understand from this, were at best only servants of God. That is why I assert confidently that they were not God's children. Being begotten of God, so as to become children of God, had to wait for the fullness of time and the appearance of one who, as the first begotten Son, could draw others into the Holy Family as children of the Father. As you can derive from the above, the Father does not reveal his Truth to servants, but to his Son he reveals all things. Moses and the ancient Hebrews did not know what the Father was doing.
The Lord sowed the first Light in the world by announcing the Truth about the sacrifices, through his prophets, who also were only servants knowing only in part:
So, the Give ear to the teaching of our God, is precisely the teaching of Jesus, "Mercy, not sacrifice."
And Jeremiah informs us that the Lord did not command Moses to offer sacrifices:
Jer.7This is only a small sampling. The prophets knew! But now that we have the Word from the Son, there is no excuse either in Judaism or Christianity. God did not command sacrifices, and the only part they play concerning his Plan is to obscure the Truth.
Christians continue to support the Levitical sacrifices by making of Jesus their substitutionary sacrifice for sin. This is an abomination to God!