A Prayer of Jesus
I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will


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:

[7] They said to him, "Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?"
8] He said to them, For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

I 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:
15] No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
[20] For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing; and greater works than these will he show him, that you may marvel.

But Moses was only a servant:
[7] Not so with my servant Moses; he is entrusted with all my house.
8] With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in dark speech; and he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?"
We 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:
[18] No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.
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:
Isaiah 1
10] Hear the word of the LORD,
you rulers of Sodom!
Give ear to the teaching of our God,
you people of Gomor'rah!
11] "What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
says the LORD;
I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of fed beasts;
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
or of lambs, or of he-goats.
12] "When you come to appear before me,
who requires of you
this trampling of my courts?
13] Bring no more vain offerings;
incense is an abomination to me.
New moon and sabbath and the calling of assemblies --
I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.
14] Your new moons and your appointed feasts
my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me,
I am weary of bearing them.
15] When you spread forth your hands,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,
I will not listen;
your hands are full of blood.
16] Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your doings
from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
17] learn to do good;
seek justice,
correct oppression;
defend the fatherless,
plead for the widow.

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:
[21] Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat the flesh.
22] For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices.
This 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!

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