Was Jesus’ Death Human Sacrifice?

The Bible condemns human sacrifice.

“You must not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.”

Leviticus 18:21

What about the death of Jesus on the cross? Isn’t that human sacrifice?

When a man rushes into a burning building to rescue his trapped children but perishes in the flames, is that human sacrifice?

When a soldier loses his life while protecting his land from terrorist attacks, is that human sacrifice?

No. These are examples of heroism and courage. A father races into a burning house to save his children because of LOVE. Not because he’s performing a human sacrifice ritual.

In ancient times. in many cultures, worshippers of idols practiced sacrificing humans as part of their worship rituals. During the time of the Israelites, the local Canaanites were guilty of this when they offered their children as sacrifices to their idol deity Molech. God warned the Israelites against participating in and following such practices. Hence, we see the prohibition of such rituals according to the Scriptures. The Canaanites refused to repent and were judged by God for their evil, through the nation of Israel.

Human sacrifices were idolatrous worship rituals. The Romans did not crucify Jesus because they were performing worship rituals for their gods. Thus the crucifixion had nothing to do with human sacrifice.

Jesus said that he came to give his life as a ransom. (see Mark 10:45)

“This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

Matthew 16:28

It was an act of love. This act of redemption brought us salvation.

…John (the Baptist) saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

John 1:29

When a radical Muslim blows himself up in suicide for the cause of Islam killing infidels, is he performing a human sacrifice for Allah? Islam greatly values a martyr and promises eternal rewards for one who dies for the cause of Islam and its God. Allah promises great rewards for martyrs. Does this mean he accepts human sacrifice?

Furthermore, according to Islamic teachings, a martyr could intercede for 70 other people and lead them into paradise the moment his blood is spilled.

The Prophet said: The intercession of a martyr will be accepted for seventy members of his family.
(Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 14, Number 2516). Also, intercession is accepted by prophets for their followers. (example see Hadith Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0378).

If Muslims believe a sinful martyr could intercede for other people because of his sacrifice, why is it impossible that the sinless Jesus Christ who was killed on the cross, could also intercede for those who follow him and put their trust in him?

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