This week we are privileged to read to portion of Vayikra, the beginning of the third book of the Torah. The portion begins with Hashem calling Moshe to the Ohel Moed and describing to him all the laws of the different offerings/sacrifices which one can/must bring to the Bais Hanikdash.
There's an intersting dispute between Rambam and Ramban as to the reason behind korbanos (sacrifices/offerings). Rambam writes (Moreh Nevochim), being that some nations worshiped animals and some worshiped demons that are similar to sheep (maybe in looks), therefore we offer that on the Altar (mizbeiach), to prove that we believe only in one G-d, the creator of all animals and humans.
Ramban learns, that the animals are the closest creatures to humans and therefore when we sacrifice them on the Mizbeiach, one should feel that what is/was happening to the animal is precisely what was supposed to happen to him/her. By bringing an offering one brought himself to atonement for all his sins.
The Akeidas Yitzchok says a more simple explanation. The truth is that G-d doesn't need our offerings he created all animals and all humans, he can take what he wants. G-d gave the laws of korbonos as a favor to us, so that we can somehow express our appreciation to Him. When someone gives a gift and the recipient refuses it, it causes aggravation and pain to the giver. On the other hand when he accepts it causes great pleasure. Hashem provided us an opportunity to have him accept our gifts, providing us pleasure.
The Torah Vayikra 1/2 the Torah states - ODOM Ki Yakriv mikem Korbon - a man who wishes to bring forth from amongst yourselves an offering... Rash"I says, that the reason the Torah uses the word Adam when referring to a man and not ISH or any other term, because just like Adam didn't bring fron stolen goods you shouldn't either.
The Klei Yakar explains what does Rashi mean from stolen goods, do I think that one would steal in order to bring an offering ? Says the Klei Yakar, unfortunately, we see many people made their money by being dishonest with others and even stealing at some level and thereafter they may be big charity givers.... G-d wants you to sacrifice honest money.
May we blessed to always offer of "ourselves" to G-d by serving Him with passion and being devoted to one another.