The Muslim concept of sacrifice is a bridge.
Muslims know the animal for this special occasion must be pure and without defect. Often the practice includes the family patriarch creating a list on paper of family members not present for the ceremony. The sacrifice not only covers family members in attendance, but those on the list as well. Christians can build upon and expand Muslims’ basic understanding of sacrifice in order to share God’s story of the ultimate sacrifice. “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Heb 10:4) and “By this will of God, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all,” (Heb 10:10). Before entering into the One Verse/One Story presentation, Muslims will benefit with a few transitioning Bible stories dealing with blood sacrifice. Telling any number of sacrifice stories along with prophecies connecting Jesus to the ultimate sacrifice helps Muslims to recognize the deeper meaning behind their annual practice.
Start with creation.
God and man lived in close fellowship in the Garden, and both were holy, therefore they could be together. Then man (this includes Eve) committed one sin that separated man from God.
One sin is too many.
Since Muslims adhere to a works-based idea of salvation, it is important to remind them that man was removed from the Garden because of only one sin and not allowed back in. When they ate from the tree, their eyes were opened, and they were ashamed because they realized they had no clothes.
God punished Adam and Eve.
By removing them from the Garden, he gave them clothes made from skins (Gen 3:21, see the diagram of sacrificed animal’s skin being placed on Adam and Eve). This represents the first time something died at the hands of God. The animal did nothing wrong; it was man who was guilty.
Sacrifice began long before Adam.
Through Cain and Abel’s sacrifices we learn that the sacrifice God requires must include blood. Moses was told to place animal blood above the doorposts to save the life of all firstborn children within the house.
The Prophets spoke about Jesus as a sacrifice.
King David (See diagram, the crown represents David) knew of a future suffering king (Ps 22:16–18). 700 years before the time of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah gave a prophecy of a child born from a virgin (Is 7:14). Isaiah said that God would cause the innocent one to die and all the guilt and punishment due to man would be placed upon him (Is 53:4-12). Referring to Jesus as they stood face to face, the prophet John the Baptist said, “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
One verse, one story, bad news first.
The story of Romans 6:23, begins with bad news, “For the wages of sin is death.” (Ask) What is a wage? (Something you earn). (Ask) What is sin? (Disobedience). This verse says that if we commit one sin, we earn death.
Now for the good news.
Thankfully, with the word, “but,” the verse transitions from bad news to good news. The word, “Gospel” (“Injeel”) means “Good News.” The remainder of the verse says, “. . . the gift of God is eternal life . . . .” (Ask) What is a gift? (Something you get for free). (Ask) If God wants to give you a gift, do you want it? What is the gift God wants to give you? (Eternal life). The verse concludes with God’s promise to give us eternal life through Jesus. When Jesus died on the cross (draw a cross over the one sin), he paid your penalty and now you can be with God in eternity. God prepared a list (For purpose of illustration, see the list symbol on the diagram) of potential beneficiaries for His last and final sacrifice. Your name is on the list. But in order to receive God’s gift, you must believe God’s ultimate sacrificial plan.