Sacrifice: Heb 10; Rom 3:12-26 The death of the incarnate Christ on Calvary was the climax of His life on earth. It was an event exceeded in significance only by the Resurrection. The New Testament explains that death as an atoning sacrifice. In the Old Testament, sacrifice played a central role in Israel’s spiritual experience. Immediately after God gave the Law, He instituted the sacrificial system. The blood of the sacrificial animal, offered on the altar, made atonement, or covering, for sin. Sin was not removed, but it was covered. God was then free to act in grace toward those He loved even though their characters and actions cried out for judgment. The question, “How can a holy God deal kindly with sinful man?” is answered in the Old Testament by sacrifice. “I have given [the blood] … on the altar … that makes atonement for one’s life” (Lev 17:11). But the blood of sacrificial animals was not able to remove sin, only to cover it. Death is the necessary and essential outcome of sin. Paul explained, “The wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). Even God could not set aside this necessity: between darkness and light, holiness and sin, death and life, there can be no compromise. The issue must be faced and resolved. The New Testament reveals the divine solution. Sin brings death, but God sent His own Son to die as a Substitute for the sinner. God presented Jesus, the Bible says: As a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood. He did this to demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished – He did it to demonstrate His justice at the present time, so as to be just and the One who justifies the man who has faith in Jesus. Rom 3:25-26 Jesus, by His death, entered the presence of God “once for all by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption” for us (Heb 9:12). The Old Testament sacrifices were, in effect, a dramatization of Calvary. The repeated lessons, teaching that only death could provide a remedy for sin, looked forward to that once-for-all death of God’s Son. And so our understanding of God grows. Who is He? A Person. One in three. One who through human birth became totally involved in our condition. One who ultimately sacrificed His own life that through His death you and I might be made alive
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