The most fundamental
thing we can say about God is His holiness. He is
just and He must punish sin. The flip side of that
same coin is His love in which He provides atonement
for the sinner. How can a holy and righteous God be
just and at the same time the justifier of the
The God of the Old
Testament is the God of the New Testament. He is a
holy and righteous God who loves His people and
provides what they cannot possibly provide for
THE LAW REVELED THE
HOLINESS OF GOD
The Law of the Covenant
revealed the holiness of Yahweh and therefore
exposed the sinfulness of sin. We can conclude with
the apostle Paul, "by the works of the Law no flesh
will be justified in His sight; for through the Law
comes the knowledge of sin" (Romans 3:20). Every
individual the world over comes up short of the
glory of God. We do not live up to His expectations
for humanity (Romans 3:23).
The Law never saved
The Law could not save
anyone. It was never intended to save anyone. The
Law was given to redeemed people. Ever since the
Passover night in Egypt Israel was a redeemed
people. They belonged to Yahweh. He purchased them.
Therefore, the Law revealed how a redeemed people
should live. A holy God must have a holy people and
this holiness must embrace the whole life of the
redemptive nation. Law never was and is still not a
means of salvation. It was never meant to be a means
of salvation for anyone.
God's purpose in
redeeming Israel was for her to be a holy nation and
a kingdom of priests. "Now then, if you will indeed
obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall
be My own possession among all the peoples, for all
the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom
of priests and a holy nation." These are the
words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel"
(Exodus 19:5-6). Therefore, in the words of the
apostle Paul the Law was a schoolmaster or tutor to
lead Israel to Christ (Galatians 3:23-26). First
Peter 2:5, 9 tells us now that we have come to
Christ all believers share in the priesthood of the
believer. The priesthood belongs to all with Christ
the High Priest. All believers are priests and all
priests need to function in His kingdom.
The Covenant with Israel
and the Law were ratified with a sacrifice (Ex.
24:3, 7-8). Various sacrifices are introduced to the
new nation in Exodus and Leviticus. God came and met
with His people on the Mercy Seat over the Ark of
the Covenant (Ex. 25:17, 21-22; 26:34). Sin was
removed by means of the propitiatory sacrifice on
the lid or covering of the Ark. The blood of the sin
offering was sprinkled and atonement was made on the
lid or covering of the Mercy Seat. Justice and mercy
met there. It was the Old Testament throne of grace.
All of these various
sacrifices and blood rituals were prophetic types,
antecedent figures, o foreshadows of the great
sacrifice Christ would later make when He offered up
Himself for the sins of His people. Every sacrifice
anticipated the true and perfect sacrifice that
Christ would offer (Matt. 26:28; Lk. 22:20; 1 Cor.
11:25; Heb. 13:20; Zech. 9:11). These were shadows
of the coming perfect sacrifice for sin in His death
(Titus 2:13-14; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). Therefore, Christ
is the end of the sacrifices in the Old Testament.
The Romans in A. D. 70 destroyed the Temple and
there were no more sacrifices for sin by the Jewish
The Bible is imperatively
clear in its message in both the Old and New
Testaments that "without the shedding of blood there
is no remission of sins" (Hebrews 9:22). "The wages
of sin is death" (Romans 6:23a). Someone has to pay
the debt for the penalty of sin. Who will pay it?
This "shedding of blood" is the payment of the
prescribed death penalty. Without it, there is no
covering for our sins. Therefore, "the free gift of
God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord"
All of these sacrifices
in the Old Testament were signs and a token pointing
to the real atonement which was to come later. Every
Old Testament saint gained entrance into heaven on
A. H. Strong boldly
expressed it when he wrote, "Before Christ's
sacrifice, God's administration was a scandal; it
needed vindication. The Atonement is God's answer to
the charge of freeing the guilty." Therefore, God
can be "just and the justifier of the one who has
faith in Jesus . . . For we maintain that a man is
justified by faith apart from works of the Law"
(Romans 3:26, 28).
anticipated some aspect of the true and perfect
sacrifice, which Christ would offer. These were
shadows of the coming perfect sacrifice for sin. The
Hebrew sacrifices came to an end when Christ died on
the cross and rose from the dead. The sacrifices
taught that the people could only be saved by a
substitutionary death, offered on their behalf. All
of these sacrifices of the Covenant were mere
shadows of the perfect vicarious substitutionary
sacrifice of Christ and His new covenant (Hebrews
7:22-28; 9:11-15, 22-28; 10:19-20; Matt. 26:28).
JESUS FILLED THE LAW
WITH A PERFECT SACRIFICE.
Jesus Christ is the
"ransom" for our sins. Jesus said the Son of Man
came "to give His life a ransom for many" (Mark
10:45). This "ransom" is the payment in order to
deliver someone from captivity or bondage.
Therefore, we are redeemed from the captivity of the
bondage of our sin by the ransom payment of Christ.
The ransom payment is the blood of Jesus Christ. "In
Him we have redemption through His blood, the
forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the
riches of His grace which He lavished on us"
(Ephesians 1:7). Our redemption depends solely on
the price paid in the blood of Jesus. Jesus paid it
in full! You cannot add one thing to the finished
written on the heart
The LORD has written a
new covenant of forgiveness upon the heart of
believers which issues in forgiveness. The prophet
Jeremiah in 31:33-34 clearly states, "But this is
the covenant which I will make with the house of
Israel after those days," declares the Lord, "I will
put My law within them and on their heart I will
write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be
My people. They will not teach again, each man his
neighbor and each man his brother, saying, "Know the
Lord," for they will all know Me, from the least of
them to the greatest of them," declares the Lord,
"for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I
will remember no more." The blood of Jesus is the
fulfillment of this new covenant and we celebrate
that covenant in His blood every time we come to the
table for the Lord's Supper. His body is broken and
His blood is poured out for many. In the vicarious
shedding of His blood, an offering has been offered
up for our benefit (Heb. 8:6; 7:22; 13:20).
The apostle Paul wrote,
"For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness
to everyone who believes" (Romans 10:4). Therefore,
we have a perfect righteous standing before the LORD
based on faith in Christ. Now "if you confess with
your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart
that God raised Him from the dead, you will be
saved; for with the heart a person believes,
resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he
confesses, resulting in salvation" (Romans 10:9-10;
cf. 2 Cor. 5:21).
Here are some more
Scriptures for you to ponder regarding this grand
ransom by Christ. Ephesians 1:7; 2:13; Mark 10:45; I
Peter 1:18, 19; the whole book of Hebrews,
especially 9:1-10:39; Romans 3:24-25; 5:9; I
Corinthians 10:16; Colossians 1:19-20; I John 1:7;
4:10; Revelation 1:5; 5:9.
Title: Exodus 25;
Leviticus 1-16 Sacrifices of the Covenant
Christ in the Old Testament