The Israelites would not leave Egypt without their livestock. Moses said the people needed their animals – “that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.” The worship of God required sacrifice – to give fully of oneself to him, to bring him gifts, to seek atonement for sins.
Keep in mind, the exodus preceded the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai, so Israel’s sacrificial system had not yet been formalized. And yet, the people saw a need for sacrifice.
For centuries now, progressive Christianity has sought to take the sacrifice out of the faith. Some Christians want to make Jesus’ death for our sins into some kind of example of kindness rather than substitutionary. But Christianity is empty without sacrifice, and so is the cross.
The apostle Paul wrote, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures …” (1 Corinthians 15:3).
A critical step in our walk with Christ is recognizing who he is and what he did for us. He “died for our sins.” This is what we come to believe as Christians. If we don’t believe we have sins or that Christ died in our place for them, then we are believing a different gospel that does not come from the Bible or the testimony of the apostles.
We can’t take the sacrifice out of the Christian faith. God’s people still are well aware of the need for sacrifice. When we move into freedom from sin and death, we do so with Christ. We don’t leave him behind. And we are thankful for his sacrifice that covers all.