Sacrifice was a common theme in the Aztec culture. In the Aztec “Legend of the Five Suns”, all the gods sacrificed themselves so that mankind could live.
Some years after the Spanish conquest of Mexico, a body of the Franciscans confronted the remaining Aztec priesthood and demanded, under threat of death, that they desist from this traditional practice. The Aztec priests defended themselves as follows:
Life is because of the gods; with their sacrifice, they gave us life. … They produce our sustenance … which nourishes life.