The Messiah Anna Longed For

Sacrifices at the Time of Christ

Read Exodus 34:19-20

Because the firstborn belonged to God, obedience was a serious matter. No one could enjoy that firstborn son without bringing the sacrifice before God.

“No one is appear before me empty-handed.” (20b)

The descendants of Jacob were rather spread out in Anna’s day. Practicing Jews lived in Galilee, in Asia minor, in northern Egypt and elsewhere across the known world. Still, for important days like the birth of a son, families would brave the long trip. And traveling then was not as easy as it is now. Robbers and desperate fellow travelers preyed upon the heavily laden and the weary.

Most travelers to Jerusalem used as large a group as they could to reduce the dangers. Sometimes, bringing their sacrifice with them made the journey too slow.

So the Court of the Gentiles became a marketplace. For a price, you could buy any sacrifice needed. Then you wouldn’t risk appearing before God empty-handed.

For a price, the personal cost of faith could be eliminated.


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