Could any of us imagine that the Eternal God would be willing to dwell in the body of a man, allow Himself to be crucified for crimes He did not commit, resurrect Himself, and live for eternity as a man?
This is a principle that is revealed in the Bible and essential to our understanding of who the Lord is. It was necessary that God would create a human body for Himself in order that He would be qualified to act as our Savior. This body is described by the prophecy of Psalm 40:6-8 and confirmed by Paul in the New Testament Book of Hebrews 10:5-9.
What was it like for Jesus, who had been alive forever as an Eternal Spirit, to suddenly find the limits of a human life? Here, David and Paul reveal for us a great mystery, that God would become a man and be willing to suffer and die for us. Notice that the words David penned 1,000 years before Jesus was born, in describing a body that would be prepared for the Messiah, are the precise words Paul wrote in his description of Jesus.
Psalms 40:6-8 “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; My ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require. Then I said, ‘Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.’ ”
Paul’s New Testament Description:
Hebrews 10:5-9 (Paul writing) Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—In the volume of the book it is written of Me—To do Your will, O God.’ ” Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.”
John 5:39 (Jesus speaking) “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.”
John 17:1-4 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.”
By the words of Hebrews Chapter 10:5-9 above, we understand that Paul believed, that Jesus was the object of David’s words from Psalm 40:6-8. Paul quotes portions of Psalms 40:6-8, verbatim:
“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire… and In the volume of the book it is written of Me—To do Your will, O God.”
This is a sure confirmation that Psalms 40:6-8 is prophetic, as David describes the Messiah and Paul confirms that Jesus is the fulfillment of that prophecy.
In order for God to be able to justify the sacrifice Jesus was desiring to make for all of man’s sin, He would have to become one of us and live a perfect life apart from sin.
The Old Testament Book of Ruth leaves us with a clear precedent that is established: only a close relative has the right to be the redeemer of a family member. In order for Jesus to offer the sacrifice of His life, the Father prepared a body for Him before the foundation of the world. Jesus is often spoken of as The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Revelation 13:8 “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
The Passover lamb, as it is described in the Book of Exodus, was an advanced look at Jesus who becomes the perfect Lamb, who takes away the sins of the world and cleanses all those who would accept His sacrifice for their sins.
Jesus was the firstborn, a male, with the testimony that He was without one spot or blemish (1 Peter 1:9). Perfection was a strict requirement of the Passover lamb. On the 10th day of Nisan (April), the Passover lamb would be brought before the congregation of Israel and inspected for defects before He was offered four days later, on the 14th day of Nisan.
Jesus allowed Himself to be proclaimed as the Messiah on Nisan 10, 32 A.D., as He rides into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey and is proclaimed the Messiah by the words, “Hosannah to the Son of David.”
Matthew 21:9 Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!”
In direct fulfillment of Exodus Chapter 12, Jesus offers His life on the 14th day of April, Passover, 32 A.D., and perfectly fulfills the type and purpose of the Passover Lamb:
Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.’ ” Exodus 12:1-8
The Passover Lamb Was:
- A male
- Without blemish
- Examined on the 10th, sacrificed on the 14th
- Killed at twilight
- His blood covers from judgement.
- Participants must eat the lamb.
- A male
- Without blemish
- Examined on Palm Sunday, 10th of Nisan, 32 A.D., as He rides into Jerusalem as the Messiah, the Son of David; sacrificed as the Passover Lamb on the 14th of Nisan, 32 A.D.
- Killed at twilight
- His Blood is what covers us from the judgement of God.
- We must eat or partake of Jesus personally in order to have eternal life.
John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
Paul wrote that it was not the sacrifices and offerings of the Old Testament that God really desired; it was the perfect life of Jesus that would permanently remove all of our sins. The words of Psalm 40, “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,” gives us a hint as to what the true plan of God was from the beginning. A death must occur to pay for the sins, and salvation can only occur by the offering of the perfect life of the Son of God. All of the Old Testament sacrifices were pointing to Jesus; every promise God made for our salvation was fulfilled by Jesus. We are complete in Him, and we have the full assurance of God that all of our sins have been properly discharged.
Psalms 103:10 “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.”
God has not dealt with us according to our sins; He has dealt with us according to the death Jesus has died for those sins. Jesus has exchanged all of our unrighteousness for His perfect righteousness.
2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
1 Corinthians 15:3 “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures…”
Galatians 1:4 “who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father…”
Hebrews 1:3 “who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…”
1 Peter 2:24 “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.”
According to this prophecy from Psalms 40:6-8, the Father prepared a body for His Son, which He offered for you and me. This body was sacrificed for us to pay the debt we owed to God for our sins. It is by this body, that Jesus has made us perfect in the sight of God. Because this sacrifice was perfect and fully acceptable to God, there is no further need for you or me to earn God’s favor, by any other works we might do. When we come by faith in what Jesus has already done for us, God accepts us completely. We must, however, remain fully committed to Jesus throughout our life and remain in Him until our life is finished here on earth.
There is no other person, church, or organization that can be substituted for what Jesus has done. All other attempts at achieving a righteous standing before God are insufficient. God will only accept us through His Son, because only His Son was perfect.
1 John 5:9-12 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.