Judiasm and Christianity

In Judaism, a sacrifice is known as a Korban; from the Hebrew root Karov, meaning “to come close to God”.   The centrality of sacrifices in Judaism is clear, with much of the Bible particularly the opening chapters of the book Leviticus, detailing the exact methods of bringing sacrifices.   Sacrifices were either blood sacrifices, which were animals or sacrifices of grain and wine.   Blood sacrifices were divided into holocausts (burnt offerings, in which the whole animal was burnt), guilt offerings (in which part was burnt and part was left for the priest), and peace offerings (in which similarly only part of the animal was burnt).   Yet the prophets point out that sacrifices are only a part of serving God and need to be accompanied by inner morality and goodness.   After the destruction of the second temple, Maimonides, a medieval Jewish rationalist, argued that God always held sacrifice inferior to prayer and philosophical meditation.   The Israelites believe that sacrifice was a necessary part of the relationship between man and God.   Maimonides believed that God’s decision to allow sacrifices was a concession to human psychological limitations.
According to the guide for the perplexed, but the custom which was in those days general among men, and the general mode of worship in which the Israelites were brought up consisted in sacrificing animals; it was in accordance with the wisdom and plan of God, that God did not command us to give up and to discontinue all these manners of service (Friedlander, 1956).   In Maimonides view, to obey such a commandment would have been contrary to the nature of man, who generally cleaves to that which he is used.
In Christian teaching, God sacrificed his first-born son to accomplish the reconciliation of God and humanity, which had separated itself from God through sin.   God’s justice required atonement for sin from humanity if human being were to be restored to their place in creation and saved from damnation....