Christianity is not a new religion but a historical manifestation of an eternal purpose, which was ordained in heaven. The whole Bible is about Jesus. Jesus can be found in each and every book. In John 5:39, Jesus spoke about the scriptures that are now what we call the Old Testament. Jesus said: "… These are the Scriptures that testify about me ...” John 5:39
In the Old Testament sacrificial system an animal without blemish or spot was required in order to make a sacrifice to the Lord for the forgiveness of sin or for a worship or devotion offering. Exodus 12:3,6 reveals that during Passover every man of the nation of Israel was to take a lamb without blemish or spot for his family, referred to as the Passover lamb, a type which points to Christ as our perfect Lamb without blemish or spot. He was to take this lamb on the tenth day and keep it until the fourteenth day, at which time the lamb would be sacrificed. All who partook in this Passover sacrifice would be passed over by God when He sent His wrath.
In the New Testament, Christ’s death puts an end to the Old Testament sacrificial system for He is the perfect Lamb without spot and without blemish. John the Baptist knew that Jesus would be the sacrifice that would atone for the sins of the world for He says in John 1:29 “… Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” and again in verse 36 “…Look the Lamb of God!”
The Old Testament sacrifices are types pointing to the ultimate sacrifice and atonement that was accomplished through the death of Christ. “Before the creation of the world, He who knows the end from the beginning had made provision for man’s redemption.” (Pearlman, Knowing the Doctrines of the Bible, p.186)
The blood of bulls and goats cannot actually take away sins. Though in the Old Testament you would read about certain sacrifices, sin offerings for example that would take the place of sin, and that Israel could be forgiven of sin; but they were to be, according to the New Testament, just types and examples that you would look forward to the time when God would in actual fact bring someone who could actually forgive sins.
So for the writers of the New Testament, the central reality is Jesus's sacrifice of himself on the cross to deal with the sin and guilt of his people. The Old Testament sacrifices were models or illustrations that pointed forwards to this reality.
The paradigm of sacrifice in the Bible, and indeed in Islam, is the sacrifice of Abraham. The faithfulness of Abraham in offering up his son has caught the holy imagination of every faith. The Biblical account is found in Genesis twenty-two and we read same account in Qur’an.
Let’s read the same story from Qur’an and Genesis:
Let’s read the same story from Qur’an and Genesis:
Qur’an 37:102 And when (his son) was old enough to walk with him, (Abraham) said: O my dear son, I have seen in a dream that I must sacrifice thee. So look, what thinkest thou? He said: O my father! Do that which thou art commanded. Allah willing, thou shalt find me of the steadfast.
Qur’an 37:103 So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice),
Gen 22:10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.
Qur’an 37:104 We called out to him "O Abraham!
Gen 22:11 But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I."
Qur’an 37:105 You have fulfilled the vision." Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good.
Qur’an 37:106 Most surely this is a manifest trial.
Gen 22:12 He said, "Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me."
Gen 22:13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.
Qur’an 37:107 And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice:
In Chapter 37 verse 107 we read about God's miraculous, personal intervention by sparing Abraham from this terrible ordeal through "ransoming his son with a momentous sacrifice."
As you see I quoted Genesis from Old Testament and chapter As-Saffat from Quran. Birth of Moses was at 1576 BC and the Quran revealed aroun 600 AD. There is more then 2 thousand years between these 2 books yet the story in perfect harmony.
Why is the sacrifice which Muslims, Jews and Christians believe to have been a ram (Genesis 22:13) called "momentous", especially when compared with Abraham's son? Surely he is greater, more important, than a ram! If someone gave you whole animals in the world would it replace your son!? But there is One Lamb! who is greater then the entire human race and God HIMSELF ransomed us with such a great sacrifice.
The greatness of the sacrifice can not just be found in the explanation that it serves as a symbol for an act of men's self purification or devotion. If that was the case, there would be no need for God to provide HIMSELF with such a great sacrifice.
For the same reason it is also unnecessary to call the sacrifice "momentous" just because since then an animal is offered by Muslims to commemorate Abraham's faithfulness and devotion. (See, "The Meaning of the Quran", by Maududi, Islamic Publications LTD. Lahore, 1992 commentary on Surah 37, Al-Saffat, verse 108)
God ransomed him with a mighty sacrifice, [a mighty] ram from Paradise.
Think about this “mighty” or “momentous” sacrifice from Paradise that the Qur’an talking about and remember that Jesus is the perfect Lamb without spot and without blemish. John 1:29 and 36.
We read in Qur’an the same; Jesus is faultless:
Qur’an 19:19 He said: I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may bestow on thee a faultless son.
The Old Testament sacrifices were models or illustrations that pointed forwards to the sacrifice of Jesus, and His death puts an end to the Old Testament sacrificial system. But in Muhammad’s time the Catholic Church had destroyed this vital truth with indulgence and other unbiblical doctrines. We should thank God that this sacrificial illustration was included also in Qur’an, to point the believers to a saving reality. The simple teachings had been clouded by false doctrines and the illustrations were again needed to give the true understanding of the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Of course not that we should start the sacrificial system again, but it was necessary for many to avoid accepting corrupted church doctrines.