Psalm 51:15-17 (NKJV)
O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart--These, O God, You will not despise.
Sacrifice is a part of worship to God. In the Old Testament sacrificial system, not only were sacrifices were a foreshadowing of how God's justice is satisfied. The Bible speaks of our sin as a debt owed to God—not as in money but as in a transgression which must be righted. In order for a to be canceled, an acceptable payment must be made. Animal sacrifice in the old testament were a shadow of the real sacrifice that God wants us to understand. An innocent animal offered as a sacrifice died in the place of or instead of the offerer. What is it about such a sacrifice that God despises? It is when it is offered without an accompanying brokenness of spirit and contrite heart. This comes from an understanding of what is really going on. The dead animal does not please God.
What is it about an animal sacrifice that pleases God? It is the picture it paints of the one and only, perfectly innocent Son of God who would be sacrificed as the satisfaction of our sin debt. When we understand the astonishing love that God demonstrates with this, our only response can be a broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart. The absence of these indicates a selfish pride and a disdain for God. This is what God despises.
Isaiah 1:11 (NIV)
“The multitude of your sacrifices—what are they to me?” says the Lord “I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.”Psalm 34:18 (NIV)
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.