No sooner had sin entered the world, with the eating of the forbidden fruit, than God gave the principle of a sacrifice for sin. Genesis 3:21, ” Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” An animal died, blood was shed, to provide a covering for the naked sinners. They had tried a vegetable covering, an action to be repeated by their first son to cover his sin by bring the fruit of the ground as a sacrifice. That failed to satisfy God, just as our good works will not pay for sin. Titus 3:5-7: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Throughout the Old Testament, the appropriate sacrifice was a blood sacrifice. At the time of deliverance of Israel from Egypt, God gave specific instructions for what would be the Passover feast. Exodus 13: 3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: 4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: 6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. 7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.” The blood on the doorposts and the lentil were a sign of the dependence on God for deliverance.
Following the giving of the Ten Commandments, recorded in Exodus 20, God gives the requirement for the offering to be made three times a year at the special feasts. Exodus 23: 18 “Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the fat of my sacrifice remain until the morning.” Exodus 24: 3 And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do. 4 And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the LORD 6 And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 7 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. 8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.”
In Leviticus 16, we have the teaching on the Day of Atonement. On this day, the high priest slew the sacrificial animal as an offering for sin. He entered the holy of holies, within the veil before the mercy seat and there sprinkled the blood in the presence of the Lord. By this act, the blood covered the sins of the nation. The ideas of “imputation” and “representation” are both important in this event. The sins of the people were transferred to the animal victim, or put to its account. The Bible term for this is “reckoned” to the animal. The High Priest was the nation’s chosen representative in the atoning process. How amazing that the Lord Jesus Christ can be both our sacrifice and our High Priest.
On the Day of Atonement, the high priest wore a special garment. On the breastplate were precious stones to represent the tribes of Israel, signifying that the high priest was the representative of the nation. The robe he wore was described in detail in Exodus 28:31-35: “And thou shalt make the robe of the ephod all of blue. And there shall be an hole in the top of it, in the midst thereof: it shall have a binding of woven work round about the hole of it, as it were the hole of an habergeon, that it be not rent. And beneath upon the hem of it thou shalt make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the hem thereof; and bells of gold between them round about: A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe round about. And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before the LORD, and when he cometh out, that he die not.” When our Savior died on the cross, He presented His sacrifice to God the Father as the payment in full. He needed no pomegranates or bells to let us know that He was alive. He came forth from the tomb, before the stone was rolled away, alive and triumphant. His resurrection is listed as a part of the Gospel over and over because it was when the high priest appeared again to the people, having returned from inside the Holy of Holies after offering an acceptable sacrifice, that the people knew that God had accepted their sacrifice.
With all of these elaborate sacrifices, the believer in the Old Testament really had no complete payment for his or her sins. The animal sacrifices were merely an admission of a debt owed. It was like a debtor showing up at the place of the creditor and acknowledging that a debt was owed, and that it would be paid someday by someone. The debt was still carried on the books, but payment was not demanded at that time. Romans 3:25 teaches that God was just in forbearing the collection of the debt for sins from Old Testament saints. He merely passed over that debt, knowing that His Son, Jesus Christ would pay that debt in full by shedding His blood on Calvary’s tree.
The New Testament also stresses the need of a blood sacrifice for sin. Hebrews 9:22 “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” No remission, no forgiveness, no salvation, without a blood sacrifice. The sacrifice of Christ far exceeds the Old Testament example. First, because of the One Who died. Second, because the Old Testament atonement could only put off the debt for one year. Christ has paid the debt off completely by His death. Now there is “no more condemnation” Romans 8.
One of the problems faced by modern day Judaism is a lack of a place for blood sacrifice. The Temple Mount is not open to Jewish sacrifice, because a greater blood sacrifice took place on Golgotha when Christ died for our sins, shedding His blood for us. Let me ask you, my friend, regardless of what religion you have, where is your blood sacrifice to pay for your sins?
Jesus Christ paid your sin debt. He died, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God. If you have not trusted Him as your personal Savior, may I lead you in the sinner’s prayer? If you are able to bow your head where you are, do so and pray this prayer with me. “God, I know that I am a sinner and that I cannot pay for my sins. I know that I need a Savior and I ask that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead be counted as my payment for sins. Forgive me and cleanse me. I accept Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. Please give me eternal life as You have promised in Your Word. I pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen” Now, receive the gift of God, eternal life and forgiveness of sin. In your own words, right now, thank Him for saving you.
Please let us know that you have made that decision, contact us at www.bbnradio.org