Does God desire the shedding of blood for sin? Many Christians believe that he does, but we need to check the scriptures. According to Psalm 40:6, God does not require sacrifice and burnt offerings.

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire— but my ears you have opened— burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require (Hos 6:6).
This is blunt. God does not desire blood sacrifices. The statement is repeated again in the letter of the letter to the Hebrews.
Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased.

Then I said, 'Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll— I have come to do your will, my God.'

First he said, "Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them"—though they were offered in accordance with the law (Heb 10:5-10).

Clearly, God does require the shedding of blood for offerings and sacrifices. Yet blood offerings were mandated by the Old Testament law, so what is going on?

God does not require the shedding of blood. Yet the law does. The writer to the Hebrews reminds us that the law specified the shedding of blood for cleansing.

In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no freedom (Heb 9:22).
This is interesting. The law requires blood, yet God does not require the shedding of blood. If God does not require blood, then someone else must. Who requires the blood shed for the tabernacle sacrifices? And more importantly, who required Jesus blood to be shed on the cross.

The answer to this question is the spiritual powers of evil who tricked Adam and Eve into surrendering their authority over the earth are obsessed with the shedding of blood. Because they are mean and vindictive, the spiritual powers of evil demand the shedding of blood on every occasion. This is why the tabernacle sacrifices involved shedding of blood. That is why Jesus had to shed his blood on the cross. So the centurion put a spear in Jesus side, and his blood flowed. The powers of evil could make these demands, because they had been given authority on earth by humans. Jesus had to shed blood to deliver us from their power. The spiritual powers of evil are destroyers.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10).
They love bloodshed and death.

Cain and Abel

Cain and Abel both offered sacrifices to God. Abel offered fat to God (not blood). Cain offered some of the grain he had produced. God looked on Abel's offering with favour. He was satisfied with fat, because he did not need blood. Cain was jealous of his brother, so he killed him. When God challenged Cain, he said,

What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground (Gen 4:10).
This is interesting. Why was the ground crying out for blood? God created the earth and gave it to humans, but humans sinned and surrendered authority over the earth (the ground) to the spiritual powers of evil. So, the voice crying out from the ground was the spiritual powers of evil. They demanded blood in return for Abel's death.

God did not require blood as a penalty for Cain's crime. He said,

Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth (Gen 4:11-12).
God explained that Cain was under a curse. His sin had given the spiritual powers of evil authority to work in his life and bring harm. They had enjoyed the spilling of Abel's blood. They would enjoy harassing Cain.

God did not require Cain to pay with his blood. He actually put a mark on Cain to protect him. He acted to ensure that Cain's blood would not be shed. Cain lived a long time and had many children.


The standard Christian teaching is that God's covenant with Noah required the shedding of human blood, but this is misleading. After giving Noah permission to eat the plants and animals that grow on earth, God said that humans should not eat meat with blood in it (Gen 9:4). There were good health reasons for this command, because meat which has not had the blood drained from it will spoil quickly in the heat and go rotten.

Genesis 9:5-6 goes on to speak about the blood of humans. I have given a very literal translation. The blood of your life

I will require from the hand of every animal. I shall require it from the hand of the human his brother I shall require the life of the human. The one shedding the blood of a human His blood shall be shared, because he made him in the image of God.
These two verses are used to justify the death penalty for murder, but the passage has several problems.

First of all, the word usually translated as "require" is "darash". Its basic meaning is tread or to frequent, and thus to seek or inquire. Require is not the usual meaning of the world. Most translators assume that inquire or frequent would not make sense, so they use "require" instead. I wonder if the word "inquire" is used because the spiritual powers of evil are inquiring or demanding a right from God.

These verses also stand out because they have a chiliastic format common in Hebrew poetry. Ideas are expressed forward and backwards, using the same words.

These words are not God's standard. He loves life and does not take lives, unnecessarily. God does not want blood to be shed to pay for a person killed.

The last phrase said that he created humans in the image of God implies that God is not speaking.

I believe that these two verses could be the spiritual powers of evil speaking; possibly through Noah perhaps without him realising. They demanded blood for anyone who died. If a person was murdered, they lost a slave. They would demand the payment of the of another slave, even though it made them worse off. This was their warped way of thinking. They love so much they will do anything to get it, even if it harms them. This was not God speaking.

God granted this concession to the spiritual powers of evil, because he had no choice. Humans had placed themselves in their power by disobeying God and submitting to them. Humans had not paid the ransom that the spiritual powers of evil demanded, so he had to concede to their demand, but he did not approve.

Gen 9:5-6 was a concession to the spiritual powers of evil, not a command to humans. It was a statement of the current reality, not a command to implement the death penalty.

The uncertainty about the meaning of these verses means that we should be careful about using them as a basis for a claim that God requires blood from humans who sin. They should not be used as the basis for the death penalty.


Abraham was rescued by God when he changed his allegiance to him. He demonstrated his new allegiance by leaving his family and travelling towards Canaan. Abraham was justified by faith when he obeyed God. No blood was required (Gen 12:1-9).

The incident described in Genesis 15, where Abraham cut animals in half, he was not an offering of blood to God, rather he set them out so that God confirms the covenant by passing through between them. God did not require blood from Abraham. He offered his presence as confirmation of the covenant with Abraham that he had already confirmed.


The spiritual powers of evil tried to trick Abraham into killing his son Isaac. They wanted blood. God did not require it. I have explained this incident at Isaac.


At the first Passover, the Israelites were rescued from slavery to Egypt and the spiritual powers of evil and became God's possession.

  1. They had to be freed from Pharaoh's power. If they went into the desert to worship God, they would be outside Pharaoh's domain. They would be shifting their allegiance from him to God. That is why he did not want to let them go, and fought hard to prevent it. In the end, he had to give in to the greater power of God. The children of Israel were delivered from Pharaoh by force.

  2. God also did a deal with the spiritual powers of evil. The people belonged to them too. If God just took the people, he would be stealing what was theirs. This is the reason for the blood. They demanded a ransom of blood. They claimed that the price of a life is blood, and refused to let the people free unless a ransom was paid in blood.

I presume that God offered them the blood of his son as a ransom, with the blood of the lamb as down payment guaranteeing final payment when Jesus would die. The spiritual powers of evil must have accepted the deal and agreed to let the people go. Blood was the ransom price for one man. The blood of a god was the ransom price for all men.

Some of the powers of evil were upset, so they took the lives of the Egyptian children to get the blood that they wanted.


The tabernacle was the place where God lived with his people. The purpose of the blood sacrifices was to satisfy the spiritual powers of evil as a confirmation of God's deal to let them have the death of his son when he came in the future. The blood from the animal sacrifices was a guarantee that God would keep the deal that he had made for the rescue of his people. See Tabernacle.


In Romans 3:24-25, Paul summarises the achievements of Jesus' death on the cross.

They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God presented him as a propitiation in his blood, received through faith, to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his restraint, God passed over the sins previously committed.
There four main points in this passage. God was happy to forgive human's sin, because he is gracious and kind, and willing to give his people another chance. It was the spiritual powers of evil who demanded blood as a condition for letting the people go free.

God did these things to demonstrate his righteousness. He was generous and forgiving. In contrast, the powers of evil were cruel and unforgiving. They demanded the shedding of human blood.


The letter to the Hebrews speaks about what happened on the cross.

1. Dealt with powers of evil — both their accusations and their ransom demands.

a) Propitiation of the spiritual powers of evil (hilaskomai).

He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people (Heb 2:17).
b) He has redeemed us from captivity to the spiritual powers of evil (apolutrosis).
He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance (Heb 9:15).
2. God forgave our sins and forgot them. Sins were forgotten by God (mnaomai).
Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more (Heb 10:16-17).
Sins were forgiven by God (put away) (aphesis).
And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary (Heb 10:16-17).


God is gracious, loving and kind. He does not require the shedding of blood for the forgiveness of sins. He forgives freely. A clear confirmation is given in Eph 5:2.

Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
Paul confirms that Jesus offered himself as a sacrifice to God. But it was not a blood sacrifice, equivalent to what was offered on the bronze altar outside the Tent of Meeting. Those blood sacrifices were to satisfy the spiritual powers of evil. Blood is demanded by the spiritual powers of evil. They love inflicting pain and death on humans, so they demand the shedding of blood whenever they can.

Jesus sacrifice to God was a sweet-smelling aroma. It is the equivalent of the incense offered on the golden altar inside the Tent of Meeting, which symbolised loving obedience. Jesus obeyed his father without complaining, because they loved him. Loving obedience was the sweet-smelling aroma that Jesus offered to his father on our behalf. God does not demand out blood. All he wants is our allegiance.

Our loving obedience is also a sweet-smelling aroma that pleases God (Rom 12:1).