What was the purpose of the Old Testament sacrifices?
Did Jesus fulfill them?
What is their meaning for us today?
Why did God institute animal sacrifices in the Old Testament? What was their purpose? Are they required today?
Some of the Jewish faith believe that they should be reinstituted. Many Christians believe Jesus Christ in the New Testament abolished the laws of the Old Testament and that we no longer have to keep any of them because "Jesus did it for us." Do they have a purpose and meaning for us today?
What does the Bible say?
The purpose of this study is to learn, from both the Old and New Testaments, the purpose and meaning contained in the law of the sacrifices and offerings, especially as they were fulfilled by Jesus Christ and as they apply to Christians today.
God made a covenant with Adam giving him and his offspring dominion over the earth and all the living creatures on it and free access to the tree of life (Gen 1:26-29; 2:8-9,15-17).
Adam's part of the agreement was to "multiply and fill the earth" and "to dress and keep it" and rule over all that God had created on the earth as God would instruct and guide him (Gen 1:28; 2:15; Psa 8:6-8). And he was free to eat of "every herb bearing seed...and every tree whose fruit yields seed," including the tree of life, but he was forbidden from eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for that would surely cause his death (Gen 1:29; 2:16-17).
God created man (male and female - Gen 1:27) to be the children of God to inherit all things - the whole universe and more (Psa 8:3-9; 1 Cor 6:2-3; Heb 2:6-8). God prepared the earth as the training ground for His children in preparation for the Kingdom of God. But man must first learn the laws of the Kingdom of God and develop godly character before he can be given power as sons of God to rule over the universe. No evil or sin will be allowed to enter the Kingdom of God.
"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers (abusive speaking), nor extortioners will inherit the Kingdom of God" (1 Cor 6:9-11; also Rev 21:7-8).
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and sinned they brought on themselves the curse of death, and because they were unrepentant they were expelled from the Garden of God's pleasure (Eden) (Gen 3:6,22-24; Gal 3:10-13). God then offered the first animal sacrifice and made clothes of the skin and clothed them (Gen 3:21). Later Abel brought offerings
"of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering" (Gen 4:4).But most all of mankind continued in evil and brought on themselves destruction by a worldwide flood, except for Noah and his family (Gen 6).
"Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean beast and every clean fowl and offered burnt offerings on the altar.And God renewed His covenant with Noah and set the rainbow to be for the sign of His covenant.
"And the Lord smelled a sweet savor. and the Lord said in His heart, I will never again curse the ground any more [on account of man], for the imagination ("yetser" meaning forming of thoughts, plans, purposes) of man's heart is evil ("ra" meaning inferior, evil, wrong, mischievous, injurious, causing unhappiness, morally deficient, unable to come up to good standards) from his youth" with the promise that He would not again smite every living thing as He had done.(Gen 8:20-22).
"And I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature..." (Gen 9:1-17).
Ten generations later God called and made a covenant with Abraham promising national greatness and that the Savior, first promised to Adam and Eve (Gen 3:15), would come from his offspring if he would obey (Gen. 12:1-3; 15:1-21; 17:1-19,21). Abraham offered sacrifices as God instructed and when God said to him,
"Take now your son, your [beloved] Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you,"he obeyed. When God saw his trust and obedience to Him, the angel of the Lord said to him,
"Lay not your hand upon the lad, neither do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your [beloved] from Me" (Gen 15:7-18; 22:1-14).Because of his faith and obedience God confirmed His covenant with him (Gen 26:1-5; Gal 3:17-18; Jam 2:21-24). God then continued His covenant through Abraham's seed Isaac and Jacob (Israel).
But Abraham's descendants become enslaved in Egypt. God delivered them from their bondage and established His covenant with Israel through Moses (Ex 19:3-8). God then came down on Mt. Sinai and gave Israel the ten commandments and laws of His covenant which Moses recorded into the first five books of the Old Testament, known as The Law (Heb. "torah" Deut. 31:24).
The commandments, statutes and judgments given to the early patriarchs (Gen 6:9,12; 18:19; 22:18: 26:5) and to Israel in the covenant at Horeb (Mt Sinai) (Ex 19-24, 34; Deut 4:8,13-14; 5:22; 6:1-3: 12:1) are God's laws of righteousness - the laws of the Kingdom of God (Deut 4:8; Ps 19:9; 119 7,62,172; Rom 2:26; 8:4; 9:31; 10:4; Mat 5,6,7).
After the 40 years in the wilderness God renewed the covenant with the next generation of children of Israel "in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which He made with them in Horeb" 40 years earlier (Deut 29:1-6,9-15). But after receiving God's promised blessings, Israel did not keep God's covenant and eventually went into captivity as God had forewarned them (Deut 28:15,41; Jer 31:32; Heb 8:9).
Centuries later, the prophesied Mesiah, Jesus Christ, established the New Covenant with His disciples as recorded in the New Testament (Lk 22:20; Heb 10:12-18).
"This is the covenant I will make with them in those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,
"Then He adds, 'Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more'" (Heb 10:16-17). He ratified the new covenant with His blood (Lk 22:20; Heb 9:11-15).
Was God's law of righteousness done away by the new covenant? God said,
"my righteousness shall not be abolished...but my righteousness shall be forever" (Isa 51:6,8).
Paul wrote, "Do we make void the law through faith? God forbid: Yea, we establish (confirm) the law" (Rom 3:31).
"Behold, the days come...that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers...which...they brake...But this shall be the covenant that I will make...After those days...I will put my law in their inward parts, and write them in their hearts" (Jer 31:31-33; Heb 8:10).
But didn't Jesus do away with or abolish the law (Eph 2:15)? Ephesians 2:15 does not say He abolished the law, but rather He "katargeo" meaning put down in His flesh the enmity or hatred to the law as an example for us (1 Pet 2:21). The carnal mind is enmity against the law of God (Rom 8:7). He said,
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
"For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled" (Mat 5:17-18).
In the NT, the Greek word for law, "nomos," sometimes refers to the books of the law, or as the Law of Moses (Luke 24:27,44; John 7:22-23; Gen 17:11; Acts 13:39; 15:5; II Cor 3:15; Gal 3:10). In other places, the law of Moses refers more specificially to the laws of the old covenant (Mal 4:4; John 1:17; 7:19 I Cor 9:9; Heb 10:28). In some cases the context refers to the works of the sacrificial laws (Acts 13:39; Heb 10:1), added as a written sacrificial code to the old covenant because of transgressions of Israel in the wilderness (Deut 29:1; 27:1-26; 28:1-68; 29:1-15; Lev 1:1; 4:1-4...).
Sin has cut man off from God and from the tree of life (Gen 2:17; 2:22-24; Ps 66:18; Isa 59:2). The Tree of Life is symbolic of the Spirit and Truth of God's Word (John 6:63).
Sacrifices have been made since the time Adam and Eve sinned - as a physical reminder that the consequence of sin is death (Eze. 18:4; Heb 10:3-4) and of the atonement Christ would make to redeem us from death (Rom 5:11).
God made the first sacrifice to cover their nakednesss. Later Abel brought an offering of the firstlings of his flock (Gen 3:21; 4:3-5). Sacrifices were also given by Noah for thanksgiving unto God (Gen 8:20-21).
The laws regarding sacrifices were added to the old covenant with Israel because of transgressions (Gal 3:19). Man beginning from Adam's time perverted and corrupted everything that God had given, and also perverted the use of sacrifices (Deut 12:31-32; Psa 106:37), "for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods." God therefore had to codify laws for sacrifices and gave warning,
"What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: you shall not add thereto, nor diminish from it (Deut 12:32; Rev 22:18-19).
The laws and ordinances of sacrifices and offerings became part of the law of Moses (John 7:19,23; Acts 13:39; 15:5; 2 Cor. 3:7; Gal 3:5,10,13,19; Heb 10:1-3,28). They were added to the covenant given to Israel in the land of Moab during their 40 year in the wilderness (Num 28:1-31; 29:1-40). The sacrifices and offerings spelled out in graphic terms the requirements of God's laws of righteousness for acceptance and also the penalties and requirements for atonement of sin as fulfilled by Christ (Num 28:1-31; 29:1-40; 36:13; Lev 1-7; Deut 5:22; 29:1; Gal 3:19,21-23).
Israel left Egypt exactly 430 years after the covenant and promises given to Abraham were confirmed (Gen 17:1-24; 21:5; 22:15-18; 26:2-5; Ex 12:40-41; Gal 3:17-19). The sacrifices and offerings (the works of the law Gal 3:2-13,17-19) began to be offered on the altar after the tabernacle was reared up in the second year, after the exodus from Egypt (Ex 40:17,29; Lev 1:1). This was a year after the ten commandments were given on Mount Sinai (Horeb), after which they also turned away from God and the covenant (Ex 32:1-14; Deut 1:26-45). The sacrificess became part of the book of the law and terms of the second covenant given in Moab (Deut 29:1; 31:9).
God said that He did not desire sacrifice and offering, and He did not require burnt offering and sin offering (Psa 40:6; Mic 6:7-8; Hos 6:6), neither does He delight in burnt offerings (Psa 51:16; Isa 66:2-3; Heb 10:6,8). God asks,
"To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me?" (Isa 1:11).
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Eternal (Prov 15:8), and fools sacrifice and consider not that they do evil (Eccl 5:1). Is it any wonder then that God said,
"your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me" (Jer 6:20).
"Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel;...I spoke not unto your fathers nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: But this thing commanded I them saying, Obey my voice and I will be your God, and you shall be my people: and walk you in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you" (Jer 7:22-23).
"Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of rams" (I Sam 15:22).
"To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice...The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination" (Prov 21:3,27).
"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart..." (Psa 51:17; Isa 66:2).
He shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness (Psa 51:19).
If God did not desire sacrifices, then why are sacrifices a major part of Old Testament worship?
A pivotal key in understanding the meaning of the sacrifices is in their fulfillment by Jesus Christ.
Before faith (before the law is written in our hearts and minds - Heb 8:10) the law - including the laws regarding sacrifices - serve as a schoolmaster to bring us to repentance and to lead us to Christ (Rom 7:7; Gal 3:19-24). And because it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins (Heb 10:1-4), that law of sacrifices was only a shadow of the good things to come, but not the very image of the things...
"for by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified [of sins] in his sight" (Rom 3:20; Heb 9:9).
The physical services of sacrifices cannot make our hearts and minds perfect (Heb 10:1-4). We don't receive the spirit by doing the works of the sacrificial law, but by faith (belief and obedience)...There are no works in the ten commandments, they are restrictions of what we should not do (Lev 4:2). However, the spirit and intent of the law, summed up as love (Matt 5; 6; 7; 22:36-40) are works and gifts of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22 ; I Cor 12-13) which God gives to those who repent, believe and are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and obey Him (Acts 2:38; 5:32; 16:31; John 1:12).
The laws of sacrifices and offerings specify the manner in which Jesus Christ had to fulfill the requirements of God's spiritual law (Matt 5:17), to be accepted by God and to take away our sins and redeem, justify and make us acceptable before God (Rom 3:24-25: Heb 2:10; I Pet 2:5). Jesus Christ fulfilled the law (Matt 5:17; Lk 24:27) in perfect obedience as an example for us (I Pet 2:21), and then offered His own blood for our sins (Heb 9:12,28; 10:10-14), condemning sin in the flesh (Rom 8:3), for
"without shedding of blood is no remission of sins" (Heb 9:22, 26).
A primary purpose for the sacrifices and offerings was therefore to bring to remembrance the sins (Heb 10:3) which separate us from God (Isa 59:2; Rom 10:3) and the need for repentance and for an intercessor, Jesus Christ.
The laws of sacrifices and offerings were a shadow of good things to come--the good news portraying our redemption by the fulfillment of the penalty of the law for our sin by Jesus Christ taking our place on the stake to reconcile us to God (Deut 21:23; Gal 3:13; Rom 5:10). Then we also must become acceptable to God as a sweet saviour by allowing God to fulfil His righteousness in us (putting His laws in our hearts and minds) through faith and obedience using the gift and power of the Holy Spirit in us (Rom 8:4; 2 Tim 1:6-9).
Faith works by love (Gal 5:6). God's spiritual law, the ten commandments summed up by spiritual love, is fulfilled by obedience (Rom 13:10). Obedience brings life and blessings (Deut 30:20). There are two aspects to the law of love. Love to God and love to fellow man.
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength...The daily offerings, offered morning and evening, of burnt offerings, meal and drink offerings, and the peace offering as well represent the various aspects of loving obedience to God's law, even in the face of temptations and trials on a daily basis from morning to evening (continually) (Ex 29:38-46). Jesus Christ fulfilled these requirements as an example for us - not for us so we wouldn't have to (Matt 4:3-4; 5:17; 1 Pet 2:21-23).
"and...You shall love your neighbor as yourself...
"[This] is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices" (Matt 22:36-40; Mark 12:29-33).
The sin and trespass offerings represent what is required for disobedience to God's laws. Disobedience to God's law is sin or unrighteousness (I John 3:4; 5:17), which causes every evil, disorder, chaos, confusion, disease, destruction and death. Sin automatically brings curses and the penalty of death (Gen 2:17; Eze 18:4,20; Rom 6:23) just as suspending the law of gravity would cause chaos in the universe.
God gave man the freedom of choice. God is pro-choice, He commands all to choose, but God is also pro-life, He commands all to choose life (Deut 30:15-19; Lev 26). No sin or unrighteousness will be allowed in the Kingdom of God (I Cor 6:9-10).
Adam and Eve's choice brought death upon all men, their progeny, for all have followed their way and have sinned (Rom 5:12). The penalty for disobedience to the law is fulfilled by claiming the life of the sinner for there is no remission of sins without the shedding of blood (Heb 9:22,27; Rom 6:7,23). He that is dead is freed from sin, but he is dead.
The sin and the trespass offerings represent the fulfilling of the penalty for disobedience and the necessity of making restitution to the victim of our sins. Jesus Christ fulfilled this requirement by giving up his life through the shedding of his blood and making restitution for us so we could be forgiven upon repentance.
Baptism symbolizes our understanding of and accepting the death penalty required for our sins (Rom 6:3) and our choice to repent and bury our past and change to a new life of obedience to God's laws under the new covenant (vs 13,16-18; Heb 10:15--29).
The Passover, fulfilled by Jesus, represents the fulfillment of the sin and trespass offerings to deliver God's firstborn, the firstfruits of salvation from sin (Ex. 4:22; Heb 12:23; James 1:18).
"For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).Jesus' blood was shed so that our sins could be passed over with the penalty paid in full and we could be pardoned, forgiven, reconciled to God, when we accept his sacrifice and repent by choosing obedience to God (Deut 30:15).
Taking the passover every year reconfirms our covenant (agreement) to come out of sin and our choice to obey. To take the passover unworthily (I Cor 11:27-29) is to not repent or not examine oneself but to desire and willfully continue in or carelessly ignore one's sins and vanity of the past (I John 2:15-17). Willful sin unrepented of, crucifying the Lord afresh, after having accepted forgiveness may result in the second death, which is the penalty of eternal death (Heb 6:6; 10:26-29; Rev 20:14).
The Atonement also represents Jesus sacrifice as a sin offering and peace offering to make reconcilliation for the rest of all mankind with God (Lev 16:9; Rom 5:1-11; Rev 7:9-17).
"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ...
"For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly... while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
"Much more then, having been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
"For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
"And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the atonement" (Rom 5:1,6,7-11).
God will not hear sinners (John 9:31; Psa 66:18). When man became separated from God by sin, need arose for an intercessor (Rom 8:26; Heb 4:14-16; 7:25). Melchisedec (Hebrew meaning King of Righteousness), King of Salem (meaning King of Peace - Heb 7:14,20-22), the one who became Jesus Christ (Mat 1:20-24; Heb 1:8-9), was the Word ("Logos," meaning Spokesman) and Lord ("YHVH," or "Jehovah," meaning Eternal) God (John 1:1-3,10,14 - see Who is Jesus Christ) and Priest of the Most High God to man before Israel became a nation (Heb 7:1-3,14-17).
After the exodus of Israel from Egypt, God established the Levitical priesthood after the order of Aaron to administer the services of the tabernacle and to offer gifts and sacrifices for physical Israel (Num 17-18; Heb 7:11; 8:3; 9:6). The priests taught the people God's laws and were required to offer up sacrifices daily first for their own sins, and then for the sins of the people (Heb 7:27) as a reminder of their sin and as a shadow of heavenly things - Christ, the Savior who was to come (Heb 8:5; 9:9-10; 10:1-4).
A priest had to be consecrated and sanctified by the washing with water at the door of the tabernacle; and put on the holy garments, the breastplate of judgment (Isa 59:17 Eph 6:14), an ephod as a memorial to the children of Israel, and the robe, coat, mitre and girdle; be anointed with oil; and bring unblemished offerings for sin as an atonement unto God to be acceptable before the Eternal (Ex 28,29,38-39; Lev 8,9,10,21). This is representative of the requirements Jesus had to fulfill to qualify as our High Priest.
Jesus Christ, the living Word of God (John 1:1-3) by whom God created all things (Eph 3:9), gave up his power and glory and position with God the Father to become the son of man (Phil 2:6), fulfilled all the requirements of the law to become our High Priest, except for his lineage was not from Aaron, which reqirement of the law was changed (Heb 7:11-14), and He was restored as
"a Priest forever according the order of Melchisedec" (Heb 7:17; 9:11)
"who needed not to offer up sacrifices daily, as those high priests who did for their own sins and then for the peoples: for this He did once for all when He offered up himself" (Heb 7:27; 9:28; 10:12)
"without spot to God" (Heb 9:14) "to make intercession" and sanctify and perfect us (Heb 7:25; 10:10,14);
that we could have "boldness to enter into the holiest" (Heb 10:19) "unto the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb 4:16).
Jesus Christ thus was the offerer and the offering to become our intercessor or High Priest before God the Father. He of his own voluntary will presented His own unblemished life and blood as a perfect and righteous sacrifice to justify and atone for our sins, paying the supreme penalty of death on the stake in our stead.
He was then resurrected from the dead "because it was not possible that He," who had not sinned, "should be held by it" (Acts 2:24) and became our High Priest. Jesus took His own blood before God to obtain eternal redemption for us (Heb 9:12). He now makes continual intercession for us to God the Father to supply our needs, giving protection, encouragement, correction, etc. He takes our prayers (Rev 5:8) to God - if they are acceptable. When they are not, He intercedes so only our righteousness is presented before God (Rom 8:26-27).
All the offerings, as well as the ceremonies and laws, served to constantly remind Israel that God is eminently holy. He says,
"You shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and you shall be holy, for I am holy" (Lev 11:44-45; 19:2; 20:26).God could be approached only in strict obedience to the detailed instructions for purification. God ordained the sacrifice of innocent animals for the covering of man's sin as an object lesson (Gal 3:24). These sacrifices were symbolic of the ultimate sacrifice which would take away the sins of the whole world (John 1:29).
Offering - Heb. "qorban" or "qurban," meaning something which is brought near (the altar) from "qarab," meaning to approach. It is a sacrificial present, offering, oblation, gift, contribution or sacrifice offered in worship of or for a particular purpose (Websters).
Sacrifice - Heb. "zebach" from "zabach" meaning to slaughter an animal.
Order of presenting offerings: (From The Law of the Offerings, by Andrew Jukes, 1854, pp. 138-140)
The significance of the order of the offerings can be seen in their application.
The order presented in Leviticus 1-7 is typical of Jesus Christ's fulfillment of the sacrifices. He first fulfilled the burnt offering, meal offering and peace offering in perfect obedience to be acceptable to God. Jesus never sinned. He pleased not himself (Rom 15:3), but kept himself spotless before God (Heb 9:14), made himself of no reputation taking on the form of a servant (Phil 2:7), then offered himself in complete obedience as a sweet savour, acceptable and well pleasing to God (Mk 1:11) and as an example for us (I Pet 2:21).
Then, to redeem us from the penalty of sin (I Pet 1:18-19, Heb 9:28), He took our sins on himself and offered himself in our stead, bearing in His own flesh our penalty to free us from the penalty for sin (Rom 6:7,23; I Pet 2:24) in fulfillment of the sin and trespass offerings.
The order in which the offerings were presented by the Levitical priesthood and the order in which they are understood and apply to us is quite the reverse of their fulfillment by Jesus Christ (Ex 29:1-18; Heb 10:16-21).
Our sins have separated us from God (Isa 59:2), as symbolized by a veil (II Cor 3:14-16) which first must be removed before we can come before God. Death frees us from sin (Rom 6:7) and since all have sinned, all must die (Rom 5:12; Heb 9:27). But now the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as a sin offering for us has given all men a chance to repent and become acceptable to God (II Pet 3:9).
After we have been redeemed from death, we must then offer ourselves as a living sacrifice in obedience as a sweet savour to God (Rom 12:1; Heb 2:1-3). These are the works that show our faith and appreciation for the sacrifice of Jesus (James 2). Any that will not become pleasing to God (John 3:20-22) will die the second death in the lake of fire (Matt 25:46; Rev 20:13-14).
The law of the burnt offering reveals what is required to fulfill the first great commandment, to
"love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." (Matt 22:37)It was the voluntary offering of one's life to God. It was wholly burnt upon the brazen altar, the table of God on the earth (Lev 1:9; Mal 1:12), as a sweet savour to God. No part of it is to be withheld (Matt 16:24-26).
The burnt offering represented a sweet savour, something that is pleasing, desirable, appetizing, as food that is satisfying to God and therefore had to be perfect without blemish. God is pleased with and looks "to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit" (Isa 66:2) and keeps his commandments (I John 3:22).
"For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments and His commandments are not grievous" (I John 5:3).However our sacrifices are not without blemish and cannot be acceptable to God because of our sin except through Jesus Christ who gave himself without blemish for us as a sweet smelling savour to God (Eph 5:2).
The fire that consumed the offering was from God (Lev 9:24). Fire is used to refine and purify precious metals (Rev 3:18) and used to typify the manner in which God is proving, purifying and perfecting his godly character in us (I Cor 3:13). Jesus Christ learned obedience by suffering (Heb 5:8-9), being tempted (tried) in every point of the law yet without sin (Heb 4:15). In all his trials, Christ pleased God, not himself (Rom 15:3; John 5:30; 17:4; Matt 26:39). All that are called to become sons of God can expect a fiery trial to prove and perfect godly character and faith (Acts 14:22; I Pet 4:12; 1:6-7).
The burnt offering was offered as a voluntary offering to become accepted by God (Lev 1:3-4, 23:11). An important point is that it was offered for God's acceptance and not man's. Christ was accepted by God but not by man (John 1:11; 5:41). Carnal men seek to be accepted and esteemed of men and not God (Gal 1:10; John 5:44; Jukes pp. 65).
Jesus Christ, as man's offering, was accepted by God to make atonement for us. To make atonement is to satisfy the requirement of the law. Jesus, as our offering, makes us acceptable, justifies us, before God by his perfect obedience (Rom 5:1-2,19). God sees us as Jesus Christ, perfect and without sin.
The types of burnt offerings acceptable to God are represented by the animals offered.
An offering of fowls (Lev 1:14-17) was a turtledove or a young pigeon. The dove represents a harmless or simple (Matt 10:16) and mourning (Isa 38:14; 59:11) nature with God's holy spirit (Matt 3:16-17; 5:3-9) which is the most basic requirement for acceptance with God. Without God's holy spirit represented by the dove, none can please God (Rom 8:8-9,14-16). Jesus set the example of harmless innocence (John 18:23), forgiving all (Lk 23:32) while bearing the marks of evil against himself (Isa 52:14). He mourned and wept over Jerusalem (Matt 23:37; Lk 19:41). The offering of a fowl was not cut up into its various parts and it had to be presented by the priest, indicating that very little of a positive nature was required on the part of the offerer other than controlling human nature and to be cleansed of sin and without guile (Psa 32:2).
An offering of the flock Lev 1:10-13), is a male without blemish of the sheep or of the goats. Sheep represents one who follows the good shepherd as Christ followed God. A kid or goat is representative of one who leads as Christ leads us or as a leader in the community. A lamb, represents a willing submission without complaint or murmur (Isa 53:7). Jesus Christ, as the lamb of God (John 1:36), willingly gave up all that he was (Phil 2:7; Heb 2:14) to take on the nature of man and submit himself to the laws of God and man and to do the will of God (John 5:30; Heb 10:7).
God has no pleasure in the self willed (Tit 1:7), the stubborn (I Sam 15:23), the proud (Prov 6:17) or the complainer (Num 11:1), but He will look to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit and trembles at his word (Isa 66:2; Psa 51:17). Jesus suffered all unrighteousness against himself without a murmur (Matt 27:14) to fulfill God's will (Lk 22:42) for the salvation of man.
The offering of the flock is killed by the offerer even as Jesus willingly gave up his own life (John 10:18). The offering was then cut up into various parts to represent the different aspects of ones life required to fulfill the law in obedience to be accepted by God. The offering represented one's life being yielded to God (Eccl 12:7). The priest, representing Christ, is the only one sanctified to prepare and present the offering and sprinkle the blood or life (Lev 17:11) upon the altar to God. King Saul presumptuously took upon himself that responsibility to present an offering, only to be rejected by God (I Sam 13:12-13).
A burnt offering of the herd (Lev 1:2-9) shall be a male bullock without blemish. A bullock is a beast of burden representing untiring service. The bullock is strong to labor (Psa 144:14) and brings forth much increase by his strength (Prov 14:4).
The work and service of God is to believe and follow the example of Jesus Christ (John 6:27,29; 14:12; I Pet 2:21). Jesus commanded his people to go and teach all nations (Matt 28:19) and to feed his sheep (John 21:15-17). The harvest is plenteous, but laborers are needed (Matt 9:37) who have exercised their senses to discern good and evil (Heb 5:14) and are able to rightly divide the word of truth (II Tim 2:15) to fulfill God's commission (Matt 24:14).
The offering of the herd was flayed and cut into pieces. Jesus disciples didn't recognize him after he had been beaten and flayed (John 20:14-16; Lk 24:15-16,31). The pieces of the offering represent the various aspects of a man's life which are to be dedicated completely to the love of God (Lk 10:27; I John 5:3) in fulfillment of the law.
The head identifies the man - the offerer put his hand upon the head indicating that the offering was to represent him taking his place (Lev 1:4; Jukes pp. 46) even as Jesus is our offering (Heb 10:10). Christ is also the head of the church Eph 1:22; 5:23).
The head also represents the mind and thoughts. To be acceptable and pleasing to God, every thought must be brought into control into captivity to the obedience of Jesus Christ (II Cor 10:5). However, with our natural mind and human spirit (I Cor 2:11), we cannot please God (Rom 8:7-8). It is only with God's Holy Spirit in our mind witnessing with our spirit (Rom 8:16), guiding us into all truth (John 16:13), shining his light on our wretched nature and past sins, that we can come to understand his spiritual laws (Heb 8:10) and have our minds renewed in truth and love (Rom 12:2).
The legs of the offering represent the way in which we walk. The law requires man to walk in God's ways (Ex 16:4) after the spirit (Rom 8:1,4) by faith (II Cor 5:7; Eph 4:1). The way of man is not in himself to direct his own steps (Jer 10:23). If we acknowledge God in all our ways, then he will direct our paths (Prov 3:6). We ought therefore to walk even as Jesus walked (I John 2:6). To walk is to work doing the work of God which takes effort.
The inwards are symbolic of the deep feelings and affections of the heart (II Cor 7:15). God will put his law in our inward parts and write it in our hearts (Jer 31:33). We ought to be moved with bowels of compassion when seeing others in need (I John 3:17; Matt 25:34-46) and not harden our hearts. Jesus was moved with compassion seeing the people fainting having no shepherd (Matt 9:36 and he wept over Jerusalem (Lk 19:41). He never judged or condemned people (John 3:17; 5:45; 8:11,15; 12:47; Lk 23:34; 9:56). God desires mercy more than sacrifice (Hos 6:6).
The inwards and legs were washed in water (Lev 1:9; Ex 30:18-21), symbolic of how our ways and feelings need to be renewed with the washing of water by the word (Eph 5:26; John 14:3). Once cleansed, the inward man is renewed day by day (II Cor 4:16) like the daily offering by the true bread from heaven (John 6:32-35).
The fat of the offering represents the energy and well being that the animal draws upon for strength. It also represents the blessing of health and abundance (Gen 27:39; John 10:10; III John 2; Rom 11:17). We are to love God with all our strength (Lk 10:27) and not live by our own might or power, but by God's spirit (Zech 4:6). Jesus could do nothing of his own self (John 5:30) in God's service, but had to receive power from God to perform his ministry (Lk 4:18). Likewise his disciples (Acts 1:8). All our strength, which comes from God, is to be used in God's service as part of our offering as a sweet savour (Lev 3:16).
The burnt offering was part of the daily sacrifice (Ex 29:38-46) along with the meal and drink offering which typifies the daily fulfillment of love to God and love to man fulfilling the law of love.
This is the law of the burnt offering (Lev 7:37-38) which the Lord commanded Moses in Mount Sinai.
The meal offering reveals, in type, a sweet savour or a pleasing offering acceptable to God in the form of man's love to man in fulfillment of the 2nd great commandment:
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Matt 22:39).It is the offering of the fruit of one's labour rather than a life. God gave the fruit of the earth to man as his portion from his labour (Gen 1:29; 3:19; Eccl 2:24; 3:13,22; 5:18-19).
The meal offering is always offered with the burnt offering (Ezra 7:17; Num 28:3-28) as God's full standard of obedience revealing that service to man without devotedness first to God is not an acceptable offering (Lk 14:26). This would be a form of idolatry or lead to self righteousness as in Job's case (Job 29:14; Rom 10:3).
Cain's offering of the fruit of the ground without a brunt offering was not acceptable (Gen 4:3-5). A portion of the meal offering was burned upon the altar to God and the rest was given to the priests which is typical of the tithes and offerings and firstfruits and firstlings to provide meat and pleasure for God's priests (Num 18:12, 20-32; I Pet 2:9). It pleases Jesus Christ, our high priest, greatly when we give of our fruits to his little ones (Matt 25:35-40).
The meal offering was presented in several different forms. The first is the parts mixed together and not baked. It is the most perfectly understood in all aspects. In the baked cakes, the parts are merged together and are not as distinct. The third form presented as green ears dried by fire is seen more as simply the firstfruits of the ripening harvest. Young tender corn (grain) is matured by fire, trials (Heb 5:8), then beaten out of the ears or heads to be sacrificed.
The requirements for fulfilling this offering are revealed in its parts. The fine flour represents the bruising (Isa 28:28; 53:10) grinding trial that tests our endurance in serving and well doing (Gal 6:9) against the hardness of men's hearts (Mark 3:5; 9:19). Jesus sacrificed himself completely to feed man as the "Bread of God," the "bread from heaven," the "bread of life" (John 6:32-35,55; Matt 26:26) yet he received only bruising and evil from man for it (Psa 35:12; 69:19-21). He was the bread for man (John 6:48) that gives life. Fine flour is also characteristic of no unevenness. Jesus is perfect in every character and always the same (Heb 13:8).
Oil, a symbol of God's Holy Spirit, is always poured upon the meal offering. When Jesus was anointed with the power of God's Holy Spirit, he began his public ministry (Lk 4:18; Acts 10:38). His disciples were not able to serve until they had received that power (John 5:30; Acts 1:8). Zeal and knowledge are useless without the power of God's Spirit (Rom 10:2-3; Zech 4:6).
Frankincense, a fragrant resinous plant used for incense, was put on the offering to give it an enduring and delightful fragrance (Jukes pp. 88). The full fragrance of frankincense is not brought out until it is submitted to the action of fire, significant of fiery trial (I Pet 4:12). The sweetness of human nature is like honey (Lev 2:11) which stinks when tried in fire. Jesus offering was like frankincense which under trail became more fragrant and precious to God.
Every oblation of the meal offering was seasoned with salt. A seasoning of savour brings out or emphasizes the delightful flavor (Matt 5:13; Mk 9:49-50). Even our speech should be in good flavor, seasoned with salt (Col 4:6), being wise as serpents and harmless as doves in our words (Prov 25:11 Matt 10:16; James 1:26; 3:1-17). The salt of the convenant is God's commanded gift to man (Num 18:19; 2 Chr 13:5) as a savour to man. Salt is also significant as a preservative and as a perpetual reminder against turning back to corruption... remember Lot's wife (Lk 17:32). The covenant of salt was forever (Num 18:19). The world will be preserved because of the elect who are the salt of the earth (Matt 24:22).
No leaven nor honey could be used in the meal offering. Honey stinks when burned in fire and leaven is a symbol of sin and corruption (I Cor 5:7), neither of which is pleasing to God. Leavened cakes were offered to the Lord at Pentecost, but they could not be burnt as a sweet savour (Lev 2:13). These represent the firstfruits (Lev 23:17) and reveal that the oil or holy spirit in us can only subdue, but not eliminate the leaven or old nature until we are changed to incorruptible spirit (Rom 7:14-25; I Cor 15:52-54). We are only acceptable to God through Christ's perfect offering (Lev 23:18-19).
This is the law of the meal offering.
Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God" (Mat 5:9).
The peace offering is a sweet savour offering that feeds or satisfies God, the priest (Christ), and his children (the Church) and the offerer and his friends. It is the only offering that all feast upon and share together in peace.
Jesus Christ is the King of Peace (Heb 7:2) who offered himself to reconcile us unto God, abolishing the enmity, so making peace (Eph 2:12-19; Rom 5:1). His unblemished sacrifice satisfies God (Isa 53:10), and when we eat of it (John 6:27,35,54) we are strengthened, satisfied and sustained. Christ himself is then also satisfied (John 4:34; Lk 12:15; Isa 53:11) and fed by his offering because it has brought peace to all. We have true fellowship with God, Christ and one another (I John 1:3) when all are satisfied by the same things indicating that we are all of the same mind and spirit (Phil 2:5; I Cor 12:13,25).
Christ, as our peace offering unites us together as children, brethren, fellowheirs and sons of God (John 17:21; Heb 2:10-18). It is an important point that nothing but the precious meat of the altar can sustain and nourish the needs of our new nature and satisfy its cravings (John 6:35; Jukes pp. 112).
Jesus Christ can be our only grounds for peace with God. We put on garments of righteousness (Rev 19:8), but they cannot be used for meat that satisfies. They also had to be washed in his blood (Rev 7:14), and anyone that is spiritually unclean or defiled (Mk 7:20) cannot eat of the offering (Lev 7:20) until they are cleansed (Lev 22:1-7) with warning of judgment (I Cor 11:29).
The various aspects of the peace offering are defined in the animals sacrificed - the bullock, the lamb and goat as in the burnt offering. The detail of the parts is not distinguished in the peace offering.
The peace offering was offered in two ways to distinguish two aspects of its meaning, as a thanksgiving or praise offering (Lev 7:12; Heb 13:15-16) and as a vow or a voluntary offering of service (Lev 7:16). As a vow or offering of voluntary service, it had to be eaten the same day and on the morrow. Any that remained the third day was burnt with fire (Lev 7:17-18; Hos 6:1-3).
As an offering of thanksgiving or praise, it is offered to glorify God (John 17:4). A type of the meal offering (love to neighbor) was also made with it indicating that God is glorified before men through his people (Deut 4:7; I Cor 6:20).
The offering of his people (the Church) is represented by the leavened bread presented with the animal offering. This was a heave offering unto the Lord for the priest. The peace offering for thanksgiving had to be eaten the same day, possibly as our food until the resurrection (Lev 7:15; Jukes pp. 134). This is one place where the meal offering as part of the peace offering satisfies both the offerer and the priest (Jukes pp. 132). Christ also feeds on the leavened offering of his Church and is satisfied.
This is the law of the peace offering (Lev 7:11).
The sin offering represents the price (Rom 6:23; Heb 9:22) required to atone for our sin, the transgression of God's law (I John 3:4; 5:17).
Flesh and blood is corruptible (Rom 8:20), made subject to vanity, and cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3-6; I Cor 15:50). All physical things are temporary and corruptible, they wax old as a garment according to the 2nd law of thermodynamics (Heb 1:11).
Man was created in God's image (Gen 1:26), but made subject to corruption and vanity (Rom 8:20). And as it is written,
"There is none righteous... for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:10,23).Because of man's physical nature without God's Spirit, the carnal mind is enmity against God and His law, and may become evil continually (Gen 6:5; 8:21; Jer 17:9; Rom 7:21; 8:7). Sin defiles the heart and out of the heart precede evil thoughts (Matt 15:19; 7:14-23). The carnal mind cannot even understand the things of God (I Cor 2:14) making man unfit in his natural state to enter God's family and kingdom. Because of sin it is appointed unto all men once to die (Heb 9:27).
God gave the first man Adam the opportunity to take of his Holy Spirit, represented by the tree of life (Gen 2:16), so that he would be able to understand spiritual things and conquer the carnal spirit and bring it into subjection to God's spiritual law as a son of God.
But Adam and Eve and all their progeny after them, under the influence and temptations of Satan, have made the wrong choice, rejecting God's spirit and chose their own ways, to trust their own knowledge and decide for themselves what is good or evil rather then to trust and obey God. So all mankind have sinned and have earned the death penalty (Rom 3:23; 6:23) and have cut themselves off from God and eternal life in God's righteous kingdom (Gen 3:24; Rom 5:12-14). To sin through ignorance (Lev 4:2) is to be carnally minded, which is a mind that is contrary to God, for the flesh lusts against the spirit and are contrary one to the other (Gal 5:17). Such a mind is only worthy of death (Rom 8:6-7) and is already dead spiritually (Gen 2:17).
Sin can only be cleansed or removed by death of the sinner (Rom 6:7, 23) to fulfill the requirement for disobedience to the law. The sin offering was a constant reminder of the consequences of sin and the need for a Savior (Heb 10:3-5).
The full meaning of the sin offering represented what was required of our Savior to fulfill the penalty required for our disobedience to the law in order to redeem us from eternal death, which we have all earned by our 'works'. Jesus Christ had to fulfill the requirements for us because we can not redeem ourselves from the corruption of sin (Matt 5:17; Rom 5:6-11; 6:7).
"For when we were yet without strength, in due time died Christ for the ungodly... while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom 5:6,8).Through Him we received the atonement (reconciliation).
"He has not dealt with us after our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities.
"For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
"As far as the East is from the West, so far has He removed our transgressions from us" (Psa 103:1-12).
The sin offering was not a sweet savour, it was not pleasing, for God says,
"I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live".(Eze 18:23,32; 33:11). The sin offering, except for the blood (life-Lev 17:11; Eccl 3:19-21) and the fat, was taken without the camp to be burned, it could not go into the holy place. The offerer came not as a worshipper to present himself as something pleasing, but he came as a convicted sinner (Psa 69:5) born with a corruptible nature (Psa 51:5; Rom 8:20). Even Jesus took on this same corruptible nature (Phil 2:7-8; Matt 19:17) when he was born of the flesh, but he had God's spirit from birth and successfully strove against all temptations to sin (Heb 5:9; 12:3-4; John 16:33) to overcome and conquer it.
The sin offering required to make atonement (satisfy the law to fulfill justice) to redeem carnal man had to be without blemish. If it were blemished, it would have to die for its own sin. But since it was to pay for the sins of others, it would have to be without blemish. Jesus was without blemish. He conquered all temptations of wrong desires, thoughts and actions to qualify without blemish (Heb 9:14) to become an offering for us. Our sins were then transferred onto him and he took our penalty upon himself (II Cor 5:21; Gal 1:4; 3:13; Rom 4:25) as a sin offering laying down his life as a ransom for us (Matt 20:28; 26:53; John 10:17-18; 19:11).
The types of the sin offering are specific in their application.
An offering for the sin of the priest had to be a bullock. The blood (life) of the offering was sprinkled seven times before the veil of the sanctuary (probably representing the seven eras of the Church before Christ returns - Rev 2 & 3) and on the horns of the altar of incense and poured out at the brazen altar before God representing the spirit returning to God the source of all life (Eccl 3:21).
The golden altar for incense in the holy place represents the heavenly places and their appointed services (Heb 9:4-7, 24). The brazen altar was in the outer court and represents the earth and God's work done by the Church (Ex 29:36-43). Sprinkling of the blood was required to approach into God's presence. The veil represents the blindness and separation of man from God as a result of sin (Isa 59:2; II Cor 3:14).
The fat was burnt upon the brazen altar to show the offering itself was perfect, without blemish, and acceptable to God. But the whole bullock, the skin, all its flesh, head, legs, inwards and his dung were burnt without the camp to testify how completely the offering was identified with sin (Jukes pp. 145) and was not acceptable in God's kingdom but will be burned up in the lake of fire (Rev 21:8).
God's Holy Spirit and his law reveals the sin that is in us (Rom 3:20; 7:7; John 16:8; James 1:23-25), but it is Christ's sacrifice that cleanses us from sin (I John 1:17). The sin offering also reveals how hateful our sin is to God (Rom 8:3, Jukes pp. 153) in that he allowed Jesus to suffer and die and be cast out for our sin (John 3:16) as an example to us (Heb 13:11-13; I Pet 2:21-24) of the result of sin and need to repent and be forgiven.
The bullock was used to represent both the priest and the whole congregation which is the Church or the body of Christ (Col 1:18, 24). The willing and untiring labor of the priest and church is cast out when sin is present (Matt 7:22-23; Eze 33:12). A ruler is represented by a male kid goat. The commoner is represented by a female kid goat or a female lamb.
Sin offerings for particular sins, such as for the sin of swearing or making an oath, or touching of any unclean thing, are represented by a female lamb or kid, two turtledoves or pigeons or fine flour without the oil or frankincense upon it (Lev 5:1-13). A ram plus a fifth part of the shekel of the sanctuary to make amends for the harm done was offered for sin in the holy things of God.
The level of understanding of Christ's offering is represented by the types. In one view, Christ is seen as our High Priest (Heb 7:27). The next view is Jesus representing the whole church, or the family of the priest or the congregation of Israel. Others may see Him as the ruler, losing sight of the unity of the Church. More commonly, He is understood as the sin offering for the individual and often only for the particular sin with the sinful person of the offerer not seen at all (Jukes pp. 160). The individual sinner had to slay the sacrifice for sin offering. This was to show recognition of sin in himself and a willingness to lay down his own sinful life (Lev 4:3-4,15,22-24,27-29; Matt 16:24-25).
The blood of the bullock was sprinkled on the horns of the incense altar, representing the horn of salvation (Lk 1:69) or Christ who takes our prayers before God, to restore communion of the priests with God. The consequence of the sins of the priests was much greater because it affects not only the priest, but the whole congregation. Christ had the burden of the whole world on Him. He was accountable for all life.
In the lower grade of offerings, no notice is made of either altar, but only that the priest has made atonement for sin (Jukes pp. 164). The fat is also overlooked in the lowest class indicating that the perfectness of Christ's sacrifice is not understood.
The body of the offering in the higher grades is cast without the camp, representing the nature of the judgment borne by it, but this also is not seen in the lower grades. Also the separation from God is not seen, only that it satisfies the mediator shown by the priest feeding upon it (Jukes pp. 166). The distinction between the sin offering and the trespass offering in the lower grades is so slight that they are called by both names. In one case, it is for the persons (Lev 4:20 Gal 2:20) and in the other for the act (Lev 4:26,35; I Pet 3:10).
As we grow in knowledge and depth of understanding, that which we understood only in part is perfected by greater comprehension of the whole of Christ's sacrifice for our justification (I Cor 13:9-12; Acts 13:39; II Pet 3:18). Then as we understand the nature of sin we must examine and prove ourselves (I Cor 11:25-32; II Cor 13:5). If we don't judge our own selves and slay our sin, God will judge us.
The sin offering culminated in the passover (John 3:16). Jesus' blood was shed so that our sins could be passed over in judgment and remove the veil that separated us from God (II Cor 3:14).
This is the law of the sin offering.
The trespass offering is that which is required to make amends or restore what was lost by transgressing the law.
Every evil we commit against God or against man makes us debtors to God or to man. When man corrupts the earth (Gen 6:12; Isa 24:5; Rev 19:2), he destroys what belongs to God (Psa 50:12). The trespass offering reminds us that the damage or loss must be restored. God has given us all that we have so we can only restore what already belongs to God (Matt 25:14-30). Even sinning against oneself is a sin against God (Lev 5:3; I Cor 6:19). We may be responsible and accountable for another's sin if we are a witness and do not tell it to the priesthood we shall bear their iniquity (Lev 5:1; Eze 33:6-9).
The requirement of the law for trespass is to restore the principal and a fifth part more be added (Lev 6:4-7) to restore fully for the trespass. In some cases the trespasser had to restore double or more (Ex 22:1-15). The difference in the sin offering for our sinful nature is that justice is satisfied with the death of the sinner. Not so for the trespass. The important part is not the punishment for the trespass, but that the injured party is repaid the wrong (Lev 6:4-7; Jukes pp. 180).
God's truth is the standard for justice and the payment was made according to the shekel of the sanctuary (Lev 5:15; 27:25). Man owes God a tithe of all his increase. According to the law, a trespass of robbing another must be restored double (Ex 22:4,7,9). When a man robs God of his tithe (Mal 3:8) restoring double would be a double tithe or a fifth part of the principal Lev 5:15-19). Before trespass occurred, God only claimed a tenth (tithe) as his part or right.
In addition to restoring what was lost by the trespass, the trespasser also had to bring a trespass offering of the flock, fowl or of fine flour to the priest to make atonement (Lev 5:6-13,17-18). This is for a sin offering and also a burnt offering was given Lev 5:7).
By our trespass, we have sinned and forfeited our life (Rom 6:23). The sacrifice of Jesus as a trespass offering has bought and paid for our life (Acts 20:28; I Cor 6:20) and fulfilled all our debts (Matt 6:12; Lk 23:34). Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound (Rom 5:20). The offering of Jesus Christ has fulfilled God's claim and has added unto him the lives of all men (I Cor 6:19). So God is satisfied.
When we wrong or offend others, we can ask Christ to make intercession for us with them when we have done our part (Matt 18:15; Prov 18:19) and Christ will restore them. When we are wronged or offended, we may claim and receive repayment through Jesus Christ also for in all cases he stands for the trespasser to fulfill everyone's claim against him. When we forgive others, God through Christ will restore our loss (Matt 6:14,33; Job 42:7-10; Rom 5:1-2,5).
This is the law of the trespass offering.
This is the law of sacrifice and offerings fulfilled by Jesus Christ for us (Dan 9:27; Matt 5:17-18; I Cor 5:7). Jesus had to fulfill all these sacrifices and be forsaken (Matt 27:46) for our redemption (Rom 3:24; I Cor 1:30; Eph 1:7; Col 1:13-14). We cannot establish our own righteousness before God (Isa 64:6; Rom 10:3-10; 5:19), but we are sanctified in him (Heb 10:10; Rom 6:1-4).
What then is required of us?
"To fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
"To keep the commandments of the Lord and his statutes which I command you this day for your good...
"Be no more stiff-necked. For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God...". (Deut 10:12-13,16-17).
"He has showed you O man, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God"? Mic 6:7-8).
"Fear God and keep his commandments, this is the whole duty of man" (Eccl 12:13).
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present yourselves as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God by your reasonable service. Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (with God's spirit and truth), prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Rom 12:1-3).
Prove your faith by your works (James 2:18) by walking even as He walked (I John 2:6) and following in his steps (I Pet 2:21), living by every word of God (Matt 4:4). "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required" (Lk 12:37,43,48; I Cor 4:2). And
"when you have done all those things which are commanded you, say, 'We are unprofitable servants. We have done that which was our duty to do'" (Lk 17:10).But because of Christ's sacrifice for us, we can look forward to the resurrection as sons of God in his soon coming kingdom (Matt 6:33; I Cor 15:52; Col 3:2; I John 3:2; Rev 3:12; 20:4,6; 21:7; 22:12-14). . .
"It is finished" (John 19:30).Return to Index