The Meaning of Eid al Adha

By on

Eid al AdHa means “the feast of the sacrifice.” It is the greatest holy day of the year for Muslims. All across the Muslim world, sacrifices of animals are made in honor of how Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son – but God/Allah provided a sacrifice in his place.

In some areas, on this day the streets run red with the blood of animals sacrificed by the fathers of each family. A portion of the sacrifice is given to the hungry. In the West, often a donation is made to a Muslim organization which does the sacrifice on behalf of the family, then gives meat to the poor.

Remembering Abraham’s total submission, and the day when he almost sacrificed his son is a good thing. Giving food to the poor is a very good thing. But Muslims miss the greatest meaning of Eid al AdHa – God’s provision of a substitute sacrifice, and its picture of what was to come.

Although Muslims know the story of Abraham and his “tremendous sacrifice,” they are largely unaware that animal sacrifice for sin was done by all the prophets. Noah sacrificed clean animals when he got off the ark. The Law of Moses included blood sacrifices for sin. It tells us that blood is what makes atonement.

Later prophets told us that God himself would become the final sacrifice for sin. This was Jesus Christ on the cross. The Bible tells us, “God shows his love for us in this: while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”

How did the son of Abraham receive the mercy of God?
Through the sacrifice God provided.
What would happen if they refused the sacrifice?
The son would die.

How do we receive the mercy of God?
Through the sacrifice God provides.
What will happen if we refuse the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ?
We too will die…eternally.

References: Quran 37:107, Leviticus 17:11, Romans 5:8