The release from guilt, obligation or punishment that was due because of sin.

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What was the purpose to animal sacrifices?

I've never completely understood the purpose as to why God required that the Israelite's should kill an animal in order for God to forgive them.
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What is the message of Matthew 9:5?

Matthew 9:1-8 (NIV) 1 Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, ...