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  • Writer's pictureChapman Chen

The "Open Rescue" of Temple Animals by Jesus the Vegan Christ. By Dr. Chapman Chen


Summary: Jesus cleansed the Holy Temple and took direct action to "open rescue" the animals therein, because He and God "desire compassion, rather than sacrifice" (Matthew 9:13; Hosea 6:6); and the Temple had been turned by the chief priests, the vendors, the moneychangers, and the worshippers into "a den of thieves" (Mark 11:16, Luke 20:46, Matthew 21:12-13 KJV) or a slaughterhouse trading and sacrificing innocent animals as commodities, something akin to a modern mercantile exchange, from which the stakeholders, especially the big bosses -- the chief priests and the scribes -- made enormous profits. When Jesus disrupted their lucrative revenue stream, they plotted to have Him killed by the Roman Empire. Though animal sacrifice largely ceased after the Fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, the recent importation of five heifers into Israel for sacrifice has allegedly triggered off the October 7 terrorist attack. (It's still no excuse for Hamas to massacre innocent people.) And animal flesh consumption is in fact animal sacrifice to our belly-idol.


1. Jesus Desires Compassion, NOT Sacrifice

Jesus warned against meat-eating:- “Be on guard, so that your hearts do not become heavy with the eating of flesh" (Luke 21:34, Evangelion Da-Mepharreshe — Old Syriac-Aramaic Manuscript of the New Testament Gospels). And He admonished the Pharisees, quoting Hosea 6:6, "Go and learn what this means: I desire compassion rather than sacrifice" (Matthew 9:13 NASB).


In the Gospel of the Ebionites, Jesus condemned animal sacrifice in the Temple of Jerusalem:- “I have come to abolish the sacrifices, and if you cease not from sacrificing, my wrath will not cease from you” (Panarion 30.16.5). He deliberately held the Last Supper before the Passover (John 13:1-2), and during the Last Supper, bread instead of meat was blessed by Him (Luke 2:14-20; Mark 14:22-24; Matthew 26:26-29). When Epiphanius questioned a Jewish Christian as to why he was a vegan, the Jewish Christian responded simply: "Christ revealed it to me" (Panarion 30. 18.9).


2. Holy Temple = Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME)


During the open rescue, Jesus reprimanded those selling doves, "Make not my Father's house an house of merchandise" (John 2:16 KJV). In fact, the Temple as the central place of animal sacrifice was like the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) as the central marketplace for trading; the cows, lambs and pigeons being sold and bought as offerings were similar to commodities traded on an exchange (meat is still traded as a commodity on major exchanges like CME); the chief priests and scribes in charge of the Temple's operations were like the CME Group which oversees the functioning the exchange; the vendors in the Temple selling animals to those who traveled long distances and could not bring their own animals for sacrifice were akin to the brokers who act as intermediaries between the traders and the exchange, managing the placement of orders and the necessary financial transactions; the moneychangers who exchanged foreign currency for pilgrims from afar with different currencies into the local currency acceptable for the Temple tax are comparable to CME currency exchange services which facilitate the trading of currency futures and the settlement process; and the Jewish worshippers can be likened to traders purchasing commodities or securities.


3. A Den of Thieves/Murderers!


The chief priests and scribes were "thieves" because they literally stole wealth from the believers by deceiving them to pay dearly for animals to be sacrificed on the altar so that their sins may be forgiven by God, while in reality God hates and despises these burnt offerings (Amos 5:21-4). The Hebrew word מָּרִיץ (parits) for "thieves" can also mean "violent one" or "murderer" (Brown-Driver-Briggs 1906). The chief priests, scribes, vendors, moneychangers, and even the worshippers who paid for the animals to be killed, were, of course, murderers of innocent creatures of God.


4. Procedures of Animal Sacrifice


After a Jewish worshipper purchased an animal for sacrifice from a vendor in the Holy Temple, the following procedures would typically occur:


A. Confession and Laying on of Hands: The person bringing the sacrifice would rest their hands on the animal and, if applicable, confess their sins.


B. Slaughter: The animal would then be slaughtered by a priest, and its blood captured in a vessel.


c. Blood Manipulation: The blood would be applied to the walls of the altar through sprinkling, smearing, or pouring, depending on the type of sacrifice.


D. Processing the Sacrifice: The animal, after being slaughtered, would be washed, and certain parts would be prepared and offered on the altar. The remaining parts of some sacrifices were consumed by the priests, while others could be eaten by the person who brought the sacrifice and their family.


E. Disposal of Remains: Any remains not used or consumed would be disposed of in a manner prescribed by religious law


Thus, the chief priests were the party that received the greatest benefits from the animal sacrifice business; they got both the money and the fattest portions of the animal flesh involved, which was a most precious commodity in those days.


5. Jesus was Crucified for Animal Liberation


As God never required sacrifice (Isaiah 1:11-12), "the whole sacrifice business was a fraud", to borrow Keith Akers's (2000:118) words, a lie not to be trusted. "Cleansing the temple" was an act of animal liberation not unlike Direct Action Everywhere's open rescue of animals from factory farm. By emptying the Temple of the animals about to be sacrificed, by expelling the dealers in animals out of the Temple and by quoting Jeremiah 7:11, Jesus debunked the business fraud of the chief priests and scribes and disrupted their lucrative source of income. As a result, they profoundly resented Jesus and plotted to get rid of him once and for all (Mark 11:17). They framed Him up for being the "King of the Jews" (Matthew 27:11, Mark 15:2, Luke 23:3 and John 18:33), implying that He's the leader of a Jewish insurrection against the Roman Empire. This eventually led to Jesus' crucifixion by the Romans.


6. Animal Sacrifice and the October 7 Attack by Hamas


Although the traditional animal sacrifices, as conducted in the times of the Temple, in general ceased with its destruction in 70 AD, the recent importation of five red heifers into Israel, presumably required for a purification ritual in preparation for the building of a Third Temple on the Temple Mount, where the Al Aqsa Mosque currently stands, has allegedly triggered off the October 7 terrorist attack by Hamas.  


7. Conclusion


In conclusion, Jesus was a pioneer and a martyr for the cause of animal liberation. Although animal sacrifice is no longer practiced in Christianity nowadays, mainstream churches following Paul the religious conman instead of Jesus the Vegan Christ still treacherously maintain that meatism is allowed or even condoned by God. In reality, eating animal flesh means sacrificing innocent animals' lives to the idol god of the belly (Philippians 3:19), or to gluttony (Proverbs 23:20-21) (cf. Hicks 2018; Chen 2022a), thereby worshipping a false god in place of the Almighty God. Mind you: God is love (1 John 4:7 NIV); God loves the world (John 3:16), including ALL His creation (Psalm 145:9); and Christ is compassion (Matthew 12:6-7). So go VEGAN this Easter, if you are not already vegan. Amen!



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