One of the points of contention I have experienced with those who do not believe in God, as well as the modern Jew of today, is the idea of a human sacrifice for the sins of mankind. It is the opinion of these two groups that Jesus’ death on the cross is a human sacrifice—the reason why they do not believe the Bible is true or Jesus is the Messiah He claimed to be.
I am puzzled by these assertions because the body of text in the Bible greatly supports the idea of a perfect and sinless Savior, who will die for the sins of the world.
Jesus’ death was not a human sacrifice to appease an angry god, as is true regarding many pagan religions. Jesus’ death was a necessary response by God to the error of man, in sinning against God and the breaking of an absolute law of the universe. The result of sin is death, just as the result of a violation of the laws of gravity is apparent by those who seek to defy its power. God has engineered certain laws that govern the physical universe. These laws are described in the principles of physics.
Here in this chapter, the laws man has broken and have caused the suffering and death of all people are explained in the light of God’s principle of sacrifice for sin. This concept is first disclosed to us in the first prophecy of the Bible, and later here in Exodus 12:3-5, fully explained and clarified.
The Messiah Will Be The Passover Lamb, Without Spot Or Blemish.
Exodus 12:3-5 “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.’ ”
New Testament Fulfillment:
1 Peter 1:18-19 “…knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
When a person wrongs us, we may choose to forgive his error and release him from the debt he owes us. Jurisprudence requires that a penalty be paid when a crime has been committed. To enact laws without the enforcement of those laws would constitute injustice. In order for God to have a just reason to forgive, a penalty must be paid by the person who committed the wrong.
God has said, “The soul that sins will die”; therefore when we sin, the law requires that we must die.
Ezekiel 18:4 “Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.”
Only God possesses the right to institute laws by virtue of His title as Creator. Since He is perfect in every regard, His law is always just and true. It is impossible that God could institute any directive that did not have a righteous basis.
Psalms 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect…
We may not understand the laws of God; but we should accept, as a basic fundamental principle, that whatever God has said is the truth; for He cannot lie.
Titus 1:2 …God, who cannot lie…
Hebrews 6:18 t… it is impossible for God to lie…
If the Lord has commanded us to adhere to certain rules of moral conduct, these directives will always have our best interests at heart. His infinite wisdom and eternal knowledge of all things allows Him the benefit of knowing the reasons and consequences for every law He institutes. Every law of God is designed to order and protect human life and the planet itself.
Imagine that God would declare laws by His wisdom and then fail to enforce them by His power. If God did not punish those who break His laws, then He could not be trusted to reward those who obey Him. What kind of nation would the United States be, if the laws instituted by the executive and legislative branches of our government were not enforced by the judicial branch with penalties exacted against those who violated these laws? This land would be unsafe and unfit for any decent person to live in.
If God cannot be trusted to do what He has said, both positively and negatively, then He cannot be trusted at all. What makes God trustworthy is the certainty that He always does what He says He will do. More importantly, since God has promised to punish sin, we can understand that there are moral absolutes in the world. We are not left to decide for ourselves what is right and what is wrong. All of the laws of civilized societies have, as their origin, the laws of God, defined first in the Old Testament. Each one of us understands that if we break human laws, we will suffer a penalty for our errors.
Part of the justice of God is to forever deal with the curse of sin and death. God did not create human beings to suffer the horrible effects of sin, sickness, and death. He made us perfect, morally upright, and eternal. The horrible condition of the world today is due to sin. If anyone should deny that sin is a reality, they would have to be completely blind to all of the unjust actions of human beings that occur every day on the earth. There is selfishness, evil, corruption, and violence in every corner of this planet.
Genesis 6:5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (ESV)
The purpose and plan of God is to end all sin and the horrific effects that it causes. We have been robbed of the infinite blessings God so earnestly wants to give us. Sin has ruined our lives and our planet and deprived us all of the beauty that life was meant to contain. Soon, the Lord will restore the earth to His original purpose, and make all human life full of joy and perfect forevermore.
Terms For Redemption
As established by Ezekiel 18:4 (above), the law of sin requires the penalty of death initiated against the guilty party. No sin is sufficiently dealt with under the law of God without the punitive action of God’s judgement. Either the sinner must die for his sins, or a redeemer must come in his stead to bear the penalty of death for him.
Under the law of God, there is a provision in His justice system for a substitute to be offered. This principle is illustrated by the sacrifices of the Old Testament, which were only shadows of the true intent of the Law: to provide a single, perfect sacrifice that would permanently remove all sins forever.
The animals that were brought to the priests for sins were an example of the future offering Jesus would make to fully pay for all of our sins. This one sacrifice would bring to an end the Old Testament need for perpetual sacrifices and fulfill every requirement of God’s law to forgive all sins.
The Old Testament provision for dealing with our sins originates from the Book of Leviticus, Chapter 1.
Leviticus 1:1-5 Now the LORD called to Moses, and spoke to him from the tabernacle of meeting, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When any one of you brings an offering to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of the livestock—of the herd and of the flock.’ If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the LORD. Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. He shall kill the bull before the LORD; and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall bring the blood and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of meeting.”
The Important Components of the Sacrifice Required For Sin:
- The sacrifice must be a male.
- The sacrifice must be without blemish.
- The sacrifice must be offered of his own free will.
- The guilty shall lay his hand on the head of the sacrifice.
- The sacrifice will be accepted on his behalf.
- The sacrifice will make atonement for him.
- He shall kill the sacrifice before the Lord.
It is interesting that Jesus is described as possessing all of these qualities in His life.
When we arrive at the New Testament, we see Paul describing these sacrifices that were made by the sinner under the old covenant. Paul designates these sacrifices as only a shadow of the good things to come. These sacrifices were an example of how God was going to forgive the sins of all people, after the Messiah came and offered His one sacrifice for all sins, for all time.
Hebrews 10:1-10 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. 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.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
The sacrifices of the Old Testament were a temporary covering for sin, not a permanent removal of them. When Jesus came as the Messiah and offered His perfect life, as God dwelling in human flesh, this one sacrifice was sufficient to remove the sins of every person forever.
In Exodus 12:3-5, we see that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Passover Lamb of Exodus 12, who is without sin and spotless.
The Lord was very specific in regards to the kind of sacrifice that could be offered for sins. In the Old Testament, there were certain qualifications required if He would accept the offerings that were brought. Exodus Chapter 12 describes a lamb that was ordained to die. His blood would cover those who had sinned, protecting them from judgement and death.
The Passover lamb was an advanced look at the arrival of the Messiah who would be the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world.
The Lord instructed Moses in the specific manner he was to select the lamb for Passover and the way in which the Feast of Passover must be conducted. These instructions were very detailed and distinct.
- The Old Testament animals had to be perfect in order to qualify as a sacrifice that would cover sin.
- The future New Testament sacrifice of the Messiah also had to be perfect, if He would be qualified to cover all our sins.
All men are incapable of meeting the requirements for salvation, because they are sinners. How could someone, who is himself imperfect, be able to help another who is also imperfect? By the example given to us here in the Book of Exodus, we understand that anyone who would be qualified as the Savior of all others would, himself, need to be without sin. If a future candidate should arrive, who would claim to be the Messiah, an evaluation could easily be made of his qualifications. If he is not without sin, a male, and willing to die for the guilty, he cannot be the Messiah.
This is why it is illogical to think that any person, a religious organization, or a personal attempt at approaching God based on past good works is possible.
The standard of God for righteousness is perfection; anything less is not acceptable. Since all men are born imperfect and they demonstrate their continued imperfection throughout their entire life, no man is good enough to meet the standards necessary to save themselves or anyone else. When a church or an individual claims that they are the way to God, and that by following their doctrine or methods a person can receive eternal life, they are in error. We know this because of Exodus 12, in which we see the standards required by the Passover lamb.
No man could save any other man, unless he has been able to live a perfect and holy life himself. Since all men are sinners, no man can be saved without a Savior who is perfect.
The Passover Lamb
When a lamb was brought to the priest at the entrance of the Tabernacle for the sacrifice of sins, he was carefully inspected for any defect or flaw. If a single blemish was detected—even a hair that was not snow-white—the lamb would be disqualified.
According to Exodus 12, the lamb for Passover must be presented to Israel on the 10th day of the month. He must also be the firstborn, a male, and without blemish. If he met these requirements, he would be killed about sundown on the 14th day of the month.
Exodus 12:3-6 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.”
Before the feast of Passover arrived, Jesus had refused all attempts by His disciples to announce to the world that He was the promised Messiah. Jesus told them: “My time has not yet come.”
John 7:3-6 His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” For even His brothers did not believe in Him. Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.”
Jesus was waiting until the 10th day of Nisan, so that the announcement of His arrival would be in accordance with the date established by the Old Testament prophecy of Exodus 12. On the 10th day of Nisan, the Passover Lamb would remain under inspection until the 14th day of the month.
Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the 10th day of the Nisan (April), and allowed men to proclaim Him as the Messiah. The people who were there to greet Him spread palm branches over the road ahead of Jesus, as He rode into Jerusalem. His arrival on Palm Sunday was the same day that Exodus called for the inspection of the Passover lamb. It was an opportunity for those who came to greet the Lord, to inspect His life for any imperfection. If they believed that Jesus was perfect and qualified to be the Messiah, they could hail Him with the praise that was called for when the Messiah arrived, as prescribed by Psalm 118. If the people believed Him to be a sinner as with all other men, they would have rejected Him for His imperfections. On Palm Sunday, 32 A.D., the crowd hailed Jesus as the perfect and spotless Lamb, and they received Him as their Messiah.
Matthew 21:1-3 Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.”
Matthew 21:6-8 So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
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!”
The proclamation of the people who hailed Jesus as the coming Messiah was predicted in Psalms 118. When the psalmist proclaimed, “This is the day the Lord has made,” he was speaking of one specific day: the day the world would be introduced to Israel’s Messiah.
Psalms 118:24-26 This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I pray, O LORD; O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!
Later, Jesus told the religious leaders of Israel, who rejected Him as the Messiah, that they would not see Him again until they proclaimed this declaration written in Psalms 118: “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord…”
Matthew 23:39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!”
Notice that the people who were hailing Jesus as their Messiah were proclaiming: “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” They had been taught that when the Messiah arrived, these words from Psalm 118:24-26 should be spoken in response to His appearance.
Jesus presents Himself at Jerusalem in fulfillment of an additional Old Testament prophecy: The Messiah will arrive on the foal of a donkey, according to Zechariah 9:9.
Zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.”
Jesus knew that He was fulfilling this prophecy of Exodus 12 as the spotless Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world.
Matthew 21:4-5 All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”
On the 14th day of the month, again in fulfillment of Exodus 12, Jesus will be killed at twilight as required of the Passover Lamb.
The Lamb Who Takes Away The Sins of the World
When John saw Jesus coming towards him as he was baptizing in the Jordan river, he proclaimed Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world…
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!”
The fulfillment of Exodus 12 that describes Jesus as the spotless Lamb is found in Peter’s words from the Book of 1 Peter 1:18-19:
1 Peter 1:18-19 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
Jesus Claimed That He Was Without Sin
John 8:46 “Which of you convicts Me of sin?”
The testimony of the scriptures is that Jesus’ life was one of perfection and Holiness, and that this was the source of His power over sin and death as our Savior.
Romans 1:4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
It is because of Jesus’ sinless perfection, that He is qualified to be the Savior of the world. There is no other person who could make this claim. This is one of the reasons why these prophecies of the Messiah are so important. They validate, explain, and provide a foundation for all the events of Jesus’ life, and define how He was able to perfectly fulfill all of the requirements of these many prophecies.
Every person on the earth today has the opportunity to have all of their sins forgiven—permanently removed—and obtain eternal life. All of this is possible, because Jesus lived a perfect life as a man and then offered up His perfect life in exchange for all of us, as the spotless Lamb of God who has taken away the sins of the world.
To believe this, trust in this, and live for this truth is what causes the salvation and eternal life of a human being.
In the next section of this chapter, we see that the sacrifice of the Passover lamb is clarified by further instructions from God: Take the blood of the lamb and place it upon the house of those who believed.
The blood shall be the sign of God’s covenant to pass over the sins of the believer.
Exodus 12:13 “Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”
Making Salvation Personal
Romans 5:8-9 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.”
In Exodus 12:13, we see that when the blood of the Passover lamb was placed upon the doorpost of each household of Israel, this act caused the judgment of God to pass over those who believed.
When the angel who brought this judgment saw the blood of the lamb on the door, the people who took refuge in that house were spared. When God’s judgment arrived, as He saw the blood of the lamb, His wrath and judgment were precluded from hurting anyone who stood under its protection, according to the provisions of God’s word.
The Passover feast was a picture of the coming of Jesus as the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world by His one sacrifice. When any person places the blood of Jesus’ sacrifice upon the doorpost of their heart today, death and judgement passes over them also; and they are covered by God’s Grace and Mercy.
It is the Blood of Jesus Christ, our Passover Lamb, that justifies us before God and saves us from the coming wrath of God upon all sin.
What Sins Can Be Forgiven?
Whatever it is you have done in your life that has caused you and others pain and suffering, all of these things are covered by the Blood of Jesus Christ. There is no sin, no terrible and vile act we have done, that Jesus cannot remove it by His precious blood. Jesus’ blood is the ultimate stain remover. Though we may sometimes feel completely unworthy of the love the Lord has given us, it was for this purpose why He died—to remove our sins forever.
The blood of Jesus’ sacrifice does not simply cover up our sins; it completely removes them as if they never existed. The requirement for admission into heaven is perfection. When a person believes that Jesus died for his sins and receives the forgiveness He offers by His sacrifice, the blood He shed while on the cross wipes away all our sins and makes us as if we had never sinned. From the moment of our confession of faith in Jesus and the acceptance of His death for our sins, we are made perfect in the sight of God.
Colossians 2:13-14 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…
The Importance of Blood
God has established a principle, that blood is the element which cleanses our sins. When I first heard that blood must be shed for my sins, I was shocked and horrified. Most of us attribute blood to something awful, ugly, and repulsive. This is the exact purpose God had in mind: Our sins are awful, ugly, and repulsive; therefore, it will take something equally horrific to cleanse us. None of us will fully realize the horror our actions have caused during our lives, until we are with the Lord in heaven. The fact that our sins required the death of God’s Son should give us a moment of pause in realizing the seriousness of our condition. It was not easy for the Father to allow His Son to die for us. It was not easy for Jesus to take the permanent body of a human being, and allow men to torture and brutalize Him so that all of our sins could be cleansed.
The True Definition Of Sin
Sin is defined as moral imperfection. We all recognize that there is something terribly wrong with the world today. All around us, we see and hear things people do that shock us and cause our heart to feel a sense of sadness. We know that people should not harm each other, take advantage of one another, and exhibit such self-centered behavior. The world could be such a wonderful place if somehow we could all treat each other better. What causes the selfish and immoral actions of a human being? Why do people want to hurt others? From deep within us, our heart cries out for justice, mercy, peace, and love. We earnestly desire a life unencumbered by stress, anxiety, and fear.
We seem to know and understand what is right; but when the time comes for us to personally do what is right, we often find it difficult if not impossible.
Every day when we rise to greet a new day, news of pain and suffering fill the newspapers, television, and our electronic devices. We ache within our soul for goodness to come upon all the people of our planet, yet it never does. The longer we live on the earth, the worse things seem to get. Day after day injustice and selfishness plague us, depriving our world of the joy that could be ours, if we were all better people.
One of the most profound proofs for the existence of God, in my estimation, is His detailed description of our human condition. Everything the Bible says about us, as human beings, is absolutely true. The Bible is the only book that is completely honest with us about our genuine moral condition. All of the people who are depicted in the Bible are shown to us with their failures, weaknesses, and wrongful actions. These lives are on public exhibition before us, not to shame these individuals but so that we might see, that even those who have committed their lives to following God’s way are still fallible. Without the help and mercy of the Living God, none of us would have any hope of becoming the person we genuinely want to be.
Sin is the act of translating specific thoughts into actions that are morally wrong. All of us understand that certain behaviors are a violation of a moral code of decency that we have implanted in our heart. Whether a person believes that God exists or not, everyone agrees that certain behaviors and actions are morally wrong—the abuse and torture of a child or elderly person, taking something of value that belongs to other people without their permission, and the killing of those who are innocent. These types of behaviors are generally considered wrongful actions by most human beings.
What determines whether or not something is considered morally wrong depends largely on an individual person’s definition of injustice. The problem with using the individual moral judgment of a person’s feelings is that these emotions vary from person to person. There must be a universally acceptable basis for all morality. For the majority of people who live on the earth, the laws of God, as described in the Bible, are the foundation for how we treat each other.
We can trace every law that exists today, in virtually every country, to an origin residing in the Ten Commandments of the Bible. Even those societies that do not believe in the first four commandments, which deal with a person’s relationship with God, do agree that the last six laws of God are important and should be a part of all cultures and social orders.
Honor your father and your mother.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Lie)
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.
To sin is to break these moral laws that have not only been established by God, in the Bible, but have been accepted by all nations and people as a moral code.
Over the years, the word that has been used for someone who commits a wrongful moral act is to designate this person as a sinner. In ancient England, those who drew a bow to strike the bullseye of a target were called a sinner if they missed the mark of perfection. This term was later used as a meaningful definition for all human behavior in relationship to God’s law. When we miss the mark of perfection in our words and actions, we are called a sinner. This term is not meant as a derogatory remark, but simply as an accurate description for what immoral behavior is defined as.
Sin Originates In The Heart
The source of these wrongful behaviors comes from the inner fiber of a person’s being. Sin originates in the heart, where our feelings and emotions reside. All of our outward actions arise from our heart. What we do comes from who we are.
This is why all human beings are called sinners. At the core of our being, we are flawed. Our tendency is towards wrongful words and actions, not towards those things that are right. We are capable of wonderful deeds of which we may frequently perform. We are, however, more likely to commit unjust acts in many of the situations of our life.
How many times during a day do we have a wrongful thought, action, or word? If we would measure these errors against the good things we do throughout our day, we will be shocked to discover that we are most often wrong in the manner in which we conduct ourselves. In short, we are sinners. This came as a terrible revelation to me when I began to make a mental note, throughout my day, how many times I commit sin.
If you carefully study human beings, you will notice one startling fact: We are all selfish and self-centered. Now, there are many moments when we are kind, considerate, generous, and thoughtful. These moments are wonderful examples of what a human being is capable of. The problem is that these moments are infrequent in our life. We can be entirely generous and self-sacrificing in one moment; seconds later, so angry, that we could inflict harm or death upon a person. If we were morally perfect, we would always be kind, generous, and thoughtful. The fact that we are not is an indication that something is terribly amiss with our basic nature.
When God originally designed human beings for life on earth, we were perfect in all of our thoughts, words, and deeds. It was at the moment of Adam’s disobedience and personal choice to reject God’s authority over his life, that sin entered his being. Because we are descended from this one man, we have all inherited his nature towards wrongful actions; therefore, we do not have the capacity to be morally perfect.
God Describes The True Nature of All Human Beings, In Genesis Chapter 6:
Genesis 6:5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
The concept that is difficult for us to grasp is that our heart is the culprit behind all of our wrongful actions. We do not really have the capacity to understand the deceitfulness of our own heart nor its tendency towards evil.
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?”
The wonderful and yet difficult fact of the Bible is that although God loves us tremendously, He is also brutally honest with us. The Bible describes all human beings precisely as they are: sinners with no hope of redemption apart from God. Man is, by nature, a mess. We cannot repair ourselves; it will take an act of our Creator to change us and make us into new people. This was the purpose of Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross—a perfect human being, dying for the sins of all other human beings. Jesus possesses the life of the eternal God, dwelling in the body of a man. He is described as the Creator and Sustainer of all things (Colossians 1:17). When Jesus became a human being and lived a morally perfect life, He was qualified to offer His perfect life in exchange for all of our imperfect lives. When we receive Jesus as our Savior, His Spirit takes up residence within us and enables us to be new creatures.
The Bible teaches that the blood of Jesus Christ has the capacity to cleanse us of all our sins and make us perfect in the sight of God. This qualifies us for admission into heaven. The Bible describes the Blood of Jesus Christ as the only agent that can accomplish this for us. There is no other way.
Hebrews 9:22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission (cancellation of our debt).
Sin is much worse than we can really fathom. For a large part of my Christian life, I did not like to discuss or bring up the subject of sin. It was offensive to me, as it is to most other people. The thought that we are known as sinners is a grossly negative term. This is not so much a title of degradation or humiliation, as it is intended by God as a justifiable description of who and what we are.
We Are Not Called Sinners Because We Sin; We Sin Because We Are “Sinners.”
Sin is what we do, because this is what we do best. Does this offend you? It should; it certainly offends me. How can I be labeled as someone who constantly performs unrighteous acts? This seems cruel and unfair. The fact is, as we look around the world (because we don’t often look at ourselves), we see that the people who live on earth are a mess. I have traveled to a number of countries around the world. One of the things I have learned in all my journeys is that people are the same, no matter where you go. We are the same in our basic nature. People from all over the earth have one thing in common: We are all sinners.
It was because of our helpless situation, that God determined He would do something to help us.
The prophecy of Exodus 12 establishes that the blood of God’s Lamb causes His judgment for our sins to pass over us and declare us not guilty. The blood of the Passover Lamb is fulfilled by Jesus’ death for us, as the Lamb of God who takes away our sins and makes us perfect in the sight of God.
The third part of this chapter instructs the reader to make certain that they choose the Lamb for themselves. Salvation is meant to be personal and intimate. A person cannot be saved because their parents or grandparents believed in Jesus as their Savior. Each human being must decide for themselves, and either choose Jesus or reject Him.
Exodus 12:21-23 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb.
New Testament Fulfillment:
1 Corinthians 5:7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
It is important, in the discussion of the Old Testament prophecies Jesus fulfilled, to remember that these are not just words on pages or a computer screen. The Bible claims to be the eternal word of God and, as such, the words within its pages have, as their origin, an intelligence from outside of time. These words have the power to bring a human being into everlasting life, if the instructions are believed and followed. When we speak of Jesus as the Passover Lamb who takes away the sins of the world, we must remember that the intent of the Holy Spirit is that Jesus would become your Passover Lamb.
In this part of Moses’ instructions, he calls for the elders of Israel to pick a Lamb for themselves. They were to choose, of their own free will, a lamb, and place his blood upon their own home in order to be saved. It was not enough to simply know what to do; they had to go out and take action for themselves in order to be saved.
In the prophecy of the Passover Lamb, there is a requirement by God for us to personally take action. When we arrive at the New Testament, we find that in the fulfillment of Jesus as the Passover Lamb who removes our sins, we must personally partake of Him, claiming His blood as the covering for our sins.
Why Does God Choose Blood As The Covering For Our Sins?
Because sin is so destructive to the beauty that God created for us, because of the horrible consequences that sin has caused in our world, because of the graphic results of sickness and death that sin causes, God has given us a very graphic remedy for sin—blood. When we see blood spilled, it is horrific. When we see an animal that has been killed, and its blood has been splashed upon the ground, we are shocked and horrified. God was seeking to display what sin and death really are, by the graphic nature of blood necessary to cover our sins. We learned in the chapter, Virgin Birth, that our sin nature came to us by the transmittal of our father’s blood.
Salvation is very easy to obtain by any person who sincerely wants to be saved. It is also very difficult, in that salvation does not occur in the life of the casual hearer who has no real desire to know Jesus deeply. There must be a purposeful movement of the heart into a place of honest repentance from sin and a desire to follow Jesus with all of our heart, before salvation is realized.
God, through Moses, required the people to observe the Feast of the Passover Lamb personally, and do it forever.
Exodus 12:14 “So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.”
If a person wanted to be protected from God’s judgement, they needed to abide in the blood of the Lamb every day of their life, until their life was concluded.
Exodus 12:24 And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever.
Jesus Said That We Must Abide In Him Until The End, If We truly Want To Be Saved:
Matthew 24:13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
Jesus fulfilled the type and purpose of the Passover Lamb, as described in Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth:
1 Corinthians 5:7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
In the same way that people from the Old Testament were required to observe the Passover Lamb every day of their lives by the confession of sin, which allowed them to remain in fellowship with God; so also must we daily confess our sins and remain under the blood of Jesus, our Passover Lamb, in order to maintain our fellowship with God.
1 John 1:5-10 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light (absence of sin) and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness (unconfessed sin) , we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light (daily confession) as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin (unwilling to daily confess sin), we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
Just as the children of Israel had to choose the lamb in former times, today men and women must also choose Jesus as their Lamb. It is by an honest and sincere acceptance of Jesus as our Lamb, that we experience the forgiveness of our sins and obtain eternal life.
The Passover Lamb of Exodus 12 is the basis for our salvation, which defines for us why the blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse us from all our sins and keep us in continual fellowship with God. It is foolish to try and approach God by any other method or means—since it is only the blood of the spotless Lamb, Jesus Christ, who has the power to cleanse us and make us perfect and ready for heaven.
The Preceding Is From The Book: “These Things Were Written.”
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