Sacrifice, contrary to much popular opinion, was not to the Hebrew some crude, temporary and merely typical institution, nor simply a substitute for that dispensation until better things were to be provided later. Sacrifice was then the only sufficient means of remaining in harmonious relation to God. No Hebrew dared neglect this obligation. It was adequate for the period in which God intended it should serve. This is not the same as saying, however, that Levitical sacrifice was on an equal with the sacrifice of Christ, nor that the blood of bulls and goats could, from God's side, take away sins; but it is recognizing the reality of the divine institution of Mosaic worship, and looking, as too often Old Testament interpreters fail to do, at sacrifice and priestly ritual from the viewpoint of the Hebrew in the Old Testament dispensation. Sacrifice, to the pious Hebrew, was not something insignificant, nor simply a perfunctory ritual, but it was an important element in his moral obedience to the revealed will of God. Sacrifice was by its very nature, which involved faith and repentance on the part of the worshiper and the putting to death of his substitute victim; intensely personal, ethical, moral, and spiritual, because it was intended to reflect the attitude of the heart and will toward God.
Quotes, by Hobart E. Freeman