Bible Question:

Why are the animal sacrifices resumed during the millennium?

Bible Answer:

The Animal Sacrifice

The Animal Sacrifice

Scripture tells us that the animal sacrifices will be resumed in the millennial kingdom, the earthly 1,000-year kingdom (Zechariah 14:8-21;  Revelation 20:4-6). They will be identical to the Mosaic sacrifices required of the Jews in Leviticus 1:1-6:7 and 23:13, 37. For example, Leviticus 1:3 describes the requirement for the burnt offering. Leviticus 2:1 describes the requirement for the grain offering and Leviticus 3:1 describes the peace offering. The millennial temple is described in Ezekiel 40-48. In these chapters we are told that there will be animal sacrifices (Ezekiel 40:39; 45:15).

The following verses list these Mosaic sacrifices that will be offered in the temple in the millennial kingdom: burnt offering, grain offering, grain offering, peace offering, sin offering, guilt offering, and the drink offering.

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)

“It shall be the prince’s part to provide the burnt offerings, the grain offerings and the drink offerings, at the feasts, on the new moons and on the sabbaths, at all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel; he shall provide the sin offering, the grain offering, the burnt offering and the peace offerings, to make atonement for the house of Israel.” Ezekiel 45:17 (NASB)

Animal Sacrifices In the Millennial Kingdom

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

Mosaic Sacrifices In the Millennial Kingdom
SacrificeLevitical SacrificesMillennial Sacrifces
Burnt Offering

Leviticus 1:1-17; 6:8-13;

Numbers 28:1-29:40;

Ezekiel 40:38, 39, 42; 43:18, 24, 27; 44:11; 45:15, 17, 23, 25, 46:2, 4, 12, 13, 15
Grain OfferingLeviticus 2:1-16; 6:14-23Ezekiel 42:13; 44:29; 45:15, 17, 24, 25; 46:5, 7, 11, 14, 15; 46:20
Peace OfferingLeviticus 3:1-17; 7:11-15, 17-36Ezekiel 43:27; 45:15, 17; 46:2, 12
Sin OfferingLeviticus 4:1-5:13; 6:24-30Ezekiel 40:39; 42:13, 19, 21, 22, 25; 44:27, 29; 45:17, 19, 22, 23, 25; 46:20
Guilt OfferingLeviticus 5:14-6:7; 7:1-10Ezekiel 40:39; 42:13; 44:29; 46:20
Drink OfferingLeviticus 23:13, 37Ezekiel 45:17

Why are the animal sacrifices resumed during the millennium? The answer is that the sacrifices will remind us of Christ’s vicarious atonement for our sins (1 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24-25; 3:18). On the night in which Jesus was betrayed, He instituted the Lord’s Supper as a memorial of His sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins (Matthew 26:26-29). Some churches call it communion and others call it the Lord’s Supper. It is a celebration that we observe today to remind Christians of Christ’s vicarious atonement 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 vicarious atonement for our sins since each sacrifice has a special symbolic meaning related to Christ’ sacrifice.

Symbolic Meaning of the Mosaic Sacrifices
SacrificePassgeMeaning
Burnt Offering

Leviticus 1:1-17; 6:8-13;

Numbers 28:1-29:40;

Ezekiel 40:39

Atonement for Sins — Reminds us that Christ was our sinless sacrifice on the cross and consequently every believer’s sins are forgiven (Hebrews 4:15; 10:12; 1 Peter 2:24-25; 3:18).
Grain Offering

Leviticus 2:1-16; 6:14-23;

Ezekiel 45:15

Voluntary Dedication. Reminds us that Christ voluntarily did the Father’s will even to the point of death on the cross (John 10:18; Philippians 2:8; Hebrew 10:8-10).
Peace Offering

Leviticus 3:1-17; 7:11-15, 17-36

Ezekiel 45:15

Peace or Reconciliation With God — Reminds us that because of Christ, believers have peace with the Father and are reconciled to Him (Romans 1:4-5; 4:25; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Colossians 1:22).
Sin Offering

Leviticus 4:1-5:13; 6:24-30

Ezekiel 40:39

Propitiation for Sin. Reminds 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 Offering

Leviticus 5:14-6:7; 7:1-10;

Ezekiel 40:39

Redemption 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).
Drink Offering

Leviticus 23:13, 37;

Ezekiel 45:17

Self-Sacrifice. — Reminds us that Christ sacrificed Himself for our sins  (Philippians 2:17; 2 Timothy 4:6). The drink offering was added to the burnt offering and the grain offering. When offered,  it became steam and disappeared.

 

Conclusion:

The millennial kingdom is the time when Christ will rule on the earth before the heavens and earth are destroyed (Revelation 20:11; 21:1). Isaiah 65:17-25 and Zechariah 14:9-21 provide important descriptions of the kingdom on earth. Joel 3:17-21 is another description. Christ will rule as king and be worshiped.

The Passover Feast (Ezekiel 45:21-24), Feast of Unleavened Bread (Ezekiel 45:21-24), and the Feast of Booths or Feast of Tabernacles will be celebrated in the millennial kingdom (Ezekiel 45:25; Zechariah 14:16). 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?