Bible Question:

Why are the animal sacrifices resumed during the millennium?

Bible Answer:

The Animal Sacrifice

The animal sacrifices that will occur during the millennial kingdom or the earthly 1,000 year kingdom (Zechariah 14:8-21;  Revelation 20:4-6) will be identical to those required of the Jews in Leviticus 1:1-6:7 and 23:13, 37. For example, Leviticus 1:3 starts describing the requirement for the burnt offering. Leviticus 2:1 begins the description of the grain offering and Leviticus 3:1 is the peace offering. The millennial temple is described in Ezekiel 40-48. At the beginning and in the middle of this section we are told that there will be animal sacrifices (Ezekiel 40:39; 45:15).

In the porch of the gate were two  tables on each side, on which to slaughter the  burnt offering, the sin offering and the guilt offering. Ezekiel 40:39 (NASB)

. . . and one sheep from each flock of two hundred from the watering places of Israel — for a  grain offering, for a burnt offering and for peace offerings, to make atonement for them,” declares the Lord GOD. Ezekiel 45:15 (NASB)

Animal Sacrifices In the Millennial Kingdom

Here is a summary of the animal sacrifices in Leviticus and Ezekiel.

SacrificeLevitical ReferenceMillennial Reference
Burnt OfferingLeviticus 1:1-17; 6:8-13 Numbers 28:1-29:40Ezekiel 40:39
Grain OfferingLeviticus 2:1-16; 6:14-23Ezekiel 45:15
Peace OfferingLeviticus 3:1-17; 7:11-36Ezekiel 45:15
Sin OfferingLeviticus 4:1-5:13; 6:24-30Ezekiel 40:39
Guilt OfferingLeviticus 5:14-6:7; 7:1-10Ezekiel 40:39
Drink OfferingLeviticus 23:13, 37Ezekiel 45:17

Why are the animal sacrifices resumed during the millennium

Why are the animal sacrifices resumed during the millennium? The answer is that the sacrifices will remind us of Christ’s vicarious sacrifice. On the night in which Jesus was betrayed, He instituted the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:26-29). Some churches call it communion. It is a celebration that we observe today to remind Christians of Christ’s vicarious sacrifice for our sins. We are to remember what Christ did for us (1 Corinthians 11:24-26). The millennial sacrifices will also remind us of Christ since each sacrifice has a special symbolic meaning or reminder of Christ.

Levitical SacrificePassageSymbolic Meaning
Burnt OfferingLeviticus 1:1-17; 6:8-13Atonement for sins. Reminds us that Christ had a sinless nature and consequently every believer’s sins are forgiven (Hebrews 4:15; 10:12; 1 Peter 2:24-25; 3:18)
Grain OfferingLeviticus 2:1-16; 6:14-23Voluntary commitment to the Father. Reminds us that Christ voluntarily did the Father’s will (Philippians 2:8; Hebrew 10:8-10)
Peace OfferingLeviticus 3:1-17; 7:11-36Peace or reconciliation with God. Reminds us that Christ is at peace with the Father and reconciled us to Him (Romans 1:4-5; 4:25; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Colossians 1:22)
Sin OfferingLeviticus 4:1-5:13; 6:24-30Propitiation for sin. Remind us of Christ’s substitutionary death for every believer’s sins (Romans 3:24-25; 4:25; 1 Peter 2:24-25; 1 John 2:1-2)
Guilt OfferingLeviticus 5:14-6:7; 7:1-10Redemption From Slavery to Sin. Reminds us that Christ redeemed us from our sins and slavery to sin (Romans 3:24-25; 6:5-6; Ephesians 1:7

Conclusion:

The millennial kingdom is the time when Christ will rule on the earth before the heavens and earth are destroyed. Zechariah 14:9-21 is one important description of the kingdom on earth. Joel 3:17-21 is another description. Christ will rule as king and be worshipped. The Feast of Booths will be celebrated (Zechariah 14:16) in the millennial kingdom along with two other feasts.The Feast of Booths symbolizes Christ’s millennial reign. The feast of the Lord will point us to Christ and the sacrifices will point us to Christ. Praise our Lord Jesus Christ.

Suggested Links:

Why do the sacrifices return in Ezekiel's temple?
Levitical Sacrificial Offerings
What were the different sacrifices?