Why did people in the Old Testament used to sacrifice animals?

The Bible explains that there must be a sacrifice of blood before God can forgive sins:

If there is no sacrifice of blood, God will not forgive our sins. (Hebrews 9:22)

In the time before Jesus, people used animal sacrifices to do this:

A person must tell the priest if he has done any of these things. When he gives a sheep or a goat, the Lord will not be angry with him. The priest will kill the animal. (Leviticus 5:5-6)

But Jesus died and he was the ultimate sacrifice:

So Jesus died once as the sacrifice. By doing that, he took away all the sins of many people. He will come a second time. He will not have to die again for our sins. He comes the second time to rescue all who are waiting for him and make them whole. (Hebrews 9:28)

To read about why Jesusí death means that no more animal sacrifices are needed, see the Book of Hebrews.

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