FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 2022
THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE
BIBLE READING: HEBREWS 8:1-13; HEBREWS 9:11-28; HEBREWS 10:3-20
“Whereas this One [Christ], after He had offered a Single Sacrifice for our sins [that shall avail] for all time, sat down at the Right Hand of God.” Hebrews 10:12(AMP)
The question could reasonably be asked, “Why did God institute the sacrificial system in the first place? Why require from men what was inadequate and inefficient?” Different answers may be offered, but the earlier quotation from Hebrews indicates that we needed to be educated about sin and sacrifice in order to appreciate the Ultimate Sacrifice of Christ.
Animal sacrifice was inadequate for several reasons. Each animal sacrifice was involuntary, amoral and qualitatively different from the sinner on whose behalf it was offered. The intrinsic value of human beings, who are uniquely God’s Image-bearers, could not be adequately represented by an animal. Rather, an Appropriate Sacrifice must be fully human in value and capacity. At the same time, the Sacrifice needed to be Spotless and Unblemished, which disqualifies all of us because of the utter depravity of the human heart. (Rom. 3:23).
The Bible reveals that in the story of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis chapter 22, God tested Abraham’s devotion to the limit, but would not allow the sacrifice of Isaac. Abraham’s faith that God would provide for Himself a sacrifice was realized in a ram caught in a thicket and offered instead of Isaac. It is in Abraham’s prescient words to Isaac, “God will provide for Himself the lamb” (Gen. 22:8) that the solution is found. Jesus Christ came as the “Lamb of God” (Jn. 1:29). The Father and the Son met at the Place of Sacrifice and in this case the Son was the Sacrifice we needed. (Jn. 3:16)
The Lord Jesus Christ not only met every qualification necessary in order to be an Acceptable Sacrifice for sin, but in His Death legitimized the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament which pictured His once for all work on Calvary. (Rom. 3.25).
In other words, the Lord Jesus was fully qualified to be the Perfect Sacrifice being genuinely human yet at the same time infused with Divinity as Co-Eternal and Co-Equal with the Father. He was in every way a Moral Being, having complete knowledge of good and evil yet remaining without sin despite the temptations (Heb. 4:15).
Furthermore, His Desire to be the Perfect Substitute for sinners is described in Hebrews 10. He willingly came into the world to perform this service and thereby “offered One Sacrifice for sins forever” (Heb. 10:12). As a result, “by One Offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (Heb. 10:14). Jesus’ Sacrifice on our behalf satisfies both aspects of substitution. He took our place as the Bearer of sin’s penalty and we take our place in Him in all His Perfections as our Representative before God. These twin aspects are beautifully seen when Paul writes that in the Sacrifice of Christ God “made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the Righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5.21).
Because Jesus’ Sacrifice on the Cross has forever satisfied God with respect to the sins of His people, there is no longer any other sin offering He accepts (Heb. 10:18).
The vital question to ask is this: Do I have a Relationship with God? This was from the beginning the ultimate purpose of sacrifice therefore, the restoration of a Broken Relationship with God. The way into a Genuine Relationship with God has always been by faith, not human works or religious ritual. (Heb. 6:1) But in Old Testament times, the very act of offering an animal sacrifice demonstrated faith in God’s Revealed Plan of Salvation. That Salvation reached its Climax in the Cross of Jesus Christ.
Just like the Israelite who came to the altar with his animal sacrifice, we must lay our hands on Christ, identifying ourselves with Him as our Substitute through Whom we are acceptable before God (Eph. 1:6-7). Any other offering will be rejected, like Cain’s, as inadequate.
The responsibility of believers, those who have already trusted Christ, is to approach God boldly in faith. (Heb. 4:12)
All genuine Christians have an appreciation of the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This is our core belief, without which no one can be right with God.
From the beginning, sacrifice was inaugurated by God. Indeed, three times in history, He provided the victim.
First, in the Garden He instituted sacrifice on behalf of rebellious Adam and Eve.
Second, in response to Abraham’s faith He provided a substitute for Isaac. Finally, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be the Sacrifice to end all sacrifices. This Sacrifice satisfied the claims of justice so that He has been freely able to forgive all who come to God by Him (Heb. 7:25). The Adequacy and Completeness of Christ Jesus’ Sacrifice for sin was confirmed by His Resurrection from the dead, for He “was delivered up because of our offences, and was raised again because of our justification” (Rom. 4:25).
Father Lord, please give me a Revelation of the Ultimate Sacrifice of Christ Jesus and grant me the Grace to walk in the Light of it in Jesus’ Name. Amen.