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THE LAMB OF GOD IN THE OLD TESTAMENT SANCTUARIES; CH- IV, PART- 1

By Dr Surya Kumar Daimari

Continued after CH-III, Part- 3

CH- IV; PART- 1, GOD’S PURPOSE IN USING THE LAMB.

1. The progressive revelation of God’s redemption work.

The Heb word for revelation is “galal” when the Gr word is “apokalypto” Both of the words mean to uncover, or reveal something which has been hidden and unknown. The other word in Gr is “Phamerosis”. The word means to display human intelligence by both natural and supernatural means.

Revelation is thus the process by which God manifests to human beings who know nothing of him but a man grasps the things of eternal God-head by natural and supernatural means. In the context of our study, we will see how God has revealed the plan of the ages i.e., the plan of salvation for the fallen man through the sacrificial system throughout the history of humanity mainly through the history of the nation Israel.

There are two kinds of revelations:

(i) General and

(ii) special revelation.

Special revelation was given to Israel alone of all nations to be a channel of blessings to all the nations on earth. The revelation given to Israel included the covenants and promises of God made with them which culminated in Christ Jesus Himself as the suffering sacrificial Lamb, i.e., the Messiah, “the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.”

Our God is a God of purpose. He must have a purpose in using the lamb all throughout the history of humanity. We have seen the progressive revelation of God’s redemption work in the sacrifices of the lambs in various occasions and times mainly in sacrifices of the lambs in various occasions and times mainly in the OT sanctuaries. It is very precise to say that every sacrifice made in the OT times pointed towards the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. The Lamb that Abel offered, the ram that Abraham put for a burnt offering in the place of his son, Isaac, the lamb that was slain on the day of Lord’s Passover and every animal brought in the OT sanctuary for sacrifice, all meant and only meant the lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.

So the revelation of God’s redemption work began in the garden of Eden when man first sinned and was excluded from the life of blessedness. It is the fall of man and the destruction of man’s direct communication with God that necessitated the new mode of revelation, i.e., the special revelation. And it is through the history that God had revealed himself and his plan of the ages. When Christ came, his life, his works, his words all became a revelation of all the purposes intended. Because, every thing culminated and completed in the person of Jesus Christ.

The OT verdict in the history of the nation Israel was only a preparatory work of a greater revelation of God’s redemption work. The prophets of the OT always looked forward to a day when God would reveal himself by sending a redeemer, the Messiah, i.e., his own son.

It was the great prophet, John the Baptist who first recognized Jesus Christ as representing the lamb of the OT sanctuary service, Thus he said,

“Behold the lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.” Jn 1:29

In the symbol of the sanctuary, the sins of the people of Israel were portrayed as removed and forgiven by the sacrifice of the Lamb. The greatest purpose of God in using the lamb for Christ is to present the lamb like characteristics of meekness and gentleness that is perfectly seen as a sacrifice so that we can be redeemed and forgiven eternally.

The nation Israel was a prototype of the Church in the NT. Israel has been often descried as “the church in the wilderness” (Act 7:38) which has constituted on the mount Sinai. They were called out and brought out people peculiar unto God. Ex 6:6-8; 12:3,5:3

The distinction between the “Church in the wilderness”

#Church in wilderness

(i) The LXX used the word EKKLESSIA to describe the Israelite who responded to the call of God. They were called out, brought out and separated people form Egypt by command, obedience and grace of God.

*Church in the NT

(i) In the NT, the EKKLESSIA, no longer refers to the Israelite, but a new Israel, the people of God in a spiritual sense, (Gal 6:16). They are the called out and separated people from the world by the grace of God, By faith-by grace of God,

By Faith- by Grace, I Pet 1:15; Eph 4:4; II Pet 1:3

#(ii) God made a covenant with the people of Israel at Mt. Sinai by the sacrifice of the Lamb.

*(ii)God made a new covenant by the sacrifice of the lamb of God, the Christ at the cross.

#(iii)They were sanctified temporally by the yearly sacrifice of the animals, Heb 9:20-22; 10:1

*(iii) Sanctified by the blood of Christ once for all. Heb 10:10

#(iv)The Mosaic Covenant was written on the tables of stone,

Deut 9:11; Ex 24:3-8

*(iv) The new covenant is written on the heart of man. Jer 31:31-34 cf Heb 8:9-10

If in the OT, we were in the outer and inner courts of the Tabernacle, surely, in the NT we stand in the holy place, the place we stand in the holy place, the place of the altar and sacrifice-where we behold the lamb of God. But at the end of the gospel, when Christ died, the veil of the temple was rent from top to the Bottom. And gates of death and grave were opened, thus ushering the redeemed into presence of God (Heb 10:18), into the most holy place. On the other hand, the way was opened for God to come and dwell in us by the Holy Spirit. What the Shekinah glory was to the tabernacle (Ex 40:33-38), the Church is the Tabernacle of God in NT. The whole record is one progressive unfolding of divine revelation of God.

All the times of the History and types of Psalm and prophecy convert towards one centre- Jesus Christ, to one supreme event- his death and resurrection, to one great goal – the glory of God and his Christ. In the OT, Israel looked for the Messiah and an earthly kingdom. In the NT, God intervened Christ with a redemptive purpose.

2. The Necessity of Christ’s Blood.

The Greek word for “Blood’ is “Haima” which signifies the life.

“The life is in the blood” Lev 3:17

Blood is the physical origin of human life. It is therefore, shedding blood means violently taking the life of another, or murder (Acts 22:20, Rom 3:15). Blood has played a significant role in the OT sanctuary. According to the sacrificial system of the law, the sprinkling of the warm blood of the victim means offering of the life itself to God as the substitute for the repentant sinner. In this way sin was covered with blood and cleansed and guilt taken away.

“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” Heb 9:22

The shedding of blood of animals in OT was of utmost necessity for the following reasons-

(1) Blood was necessary to establish the covenant of God with his people. Heb 9:18

So God made a covenant with the people of Israel at Mt Sinai by the blood of the lamb.

“When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool, and branches of hissop and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you to keep.” Heb 9:19- 20 (NIV)

This is also known as the covenant of the blood.

(2) Blood was necessary for sanctification, Heb 9:22,

i.e., to make holy, to cleanse, to purge.

The Latin word is ‘Sanctus’ the verb in Heb is “Qadash’ the meaning is to be set apart. Gr noun is ‘hagiasmos’ which means purification, consecration Gr verb “hagiazo” means to set apart or to separate from. The idea is separation from all kinds of uncleanness and unrighteousness.

“Almost all things are by the law purged with blood.” V22a ref. Heb 10:10 e.g., Sin offering.

(3) Blood was necessary for the remission of sin.

“And without shedding of blood is no remission”. Heb 9:22b The word in the OT is “atonement.”

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an ‘atonement’ for the soul. Lev 17:11

The Heb word for atonement is “Kawfar” which means to cover, to conceal. Thus, “to make atonement”, it means that God covers our sins with the blood. It means that God forgives our sins by the giving of the blood.” By the giving of the Blood” It means that God forgives our sins by the giving of the life itself. E.g., Sin offering, guilt offering.

(4) Blood was necessary to make peace with God or to have fellowship with God, e.g., Peace offering.

It was also a kind of thanksgiving offering.

(5) Blood was necessary to give thanks to God, e.g., burnt offering.

“It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.” Lev 1:9,17

The burnt offering is a thanksgiving offering to the Lord.

(6) Blood was necessary for redemption from sin and death.

The blood of the slain lamb without blemish was necessary for the great redemption work of God in Egypt. The Israel was saved by God only because of the blood of the slain lamb stricken on the door of the house. Because, God had killed all the first born in Egypt in whose house the blood was not found. The blood of the slain lamb without blemish was necessary every year on the day of Passover, i.e., the day of atonement.

Whether it be burnt offering, sin offering, guilt offering or peace offering except grain offering (cereal offering) all required blood. Thus according to the law, blood was of utmost importance in the OT sanctuary service. While looking at the whole scene, it does really create a strange feeling, just how can the blood of an animal make things right with God? Is the blood of an animal just enough to pay the price ?

The answer is absolutely ‘NO’

(1) “——- IT is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” Heb 10:4

(2) “———– in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.” V3

(3) It “—— can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the come unto perfect.” Then why all the blood ? Blood on the altars, blood on the mercy seat, blood on the horns of altar ?

Why the blood ? (reviewed)

(i) Which cannot take away sins,

(ii) Which cannot give us life,

(iii) Which cannot sanctify us,

(iv) Which cannot make us perfect ?

The book of Hebrews gives us the answers (reviewed). The law of sacrifice i.e., the law of blood in the OT Sanctuary was,

(i) A shadow of heavenly things. Heb 8:5

(ii) A shadow of good things to come, 10:1

(iii) The patterns of things in the heavens. 9:23

(iv) A worldly sanctuary 9:1

The shedding of blood in the sanctuary foreshadows the shedding of blood of Jesus Christ on the cross who voluntarily died in our place as the lamb of God to redeem us.

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

I Pet 1:18-19 (NIV)

See Rom 3:25; Rev 5:6,9,12

Christ portrayed as the lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.

References made in the N.T.

That taketh away the sin of the world” Jn 1:29,36

“———– as a lamb without blemish.” I pet 1:19

“———– worthy is the lamb that was slain” Rev 5:12

“———–lamb slain from foundation of world” Rev 13:8

“———– midst of elders stood a lamb” Rev 5:6

“———– throne of God and lamb” Rev 22:1,3

“they follow the lamb Rev 14:4

“———– written in the lamb’s book of life. Rev 21:27

“———– Christ our Passover is sacrificed. I cor 5:7 cf ex 12:11,27

“———– Christ is our atoning sacrifice. Heb 9:11-14; IJn 2:2; Rev 1:5

Christ is “our sin offering” I pet 1:18-19;Rev 5:9

“Christ the great peace offering”, Eph 2:14-17

The Book of Hebrews clearly indicates that it is not the blood of bulls or goats that takes away our sins. It is the living blood of Jesus only, the only lamb of God that takes away our sins (Heb 9:11-14; Jn 1:29)

So, the blood of Jesus was of utmost necessity for the following reasons —-

(1) To make a new covenant.

“Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance” Heb 9:15 (NIV)

And “this New Covenant was sealed with the blood of Christ.” Heb 9:14

While instituting the Lord’s supper, Jesus spoke of the cup, as “the new covenant in my blood.” LK 22:20 cf MK 14:24; I Cor 11:25

(2) To make a final atonement eternal redemption.

“——— he entered the most Holy place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.” Heb 9:12 (NIV)

” —— in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Col 1:14

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness Eph1:7

“He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” I Jn 2:2

See Rev 5:9; I pet 1:18-19; Mt Rev 7:14-15

(3) To set free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

“——— he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” Heb 1:5

“——— has freed us from our sins by his blood.” Rev 1:15

(4) To sanctify us, to make us holy.

“——— we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Heb 10:10

“Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood” Heb 13:12 see Heb 2:11

(5) To justify us before God.

“By the blood of Christ we have been justified.” Rom 5:9

Made righteous.

(6) To be a propitiation.

“whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness.” Rom 3:25

(7) To receive eternal life.

“Jesus said to them,” I tell you that truth, unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” Jn 6″33,54 (NIV)

(8) To restore the fellowship with God, ie for reconciliation. “since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him”

For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his son, how much more, have been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life.” Rom 5:9,10 (NIV) see Col 1:20-22 for peace and reconciliation.

(9) To make us perfect,

“—- by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those whom are being made holy” Heb 10:14 (NIV)

(10) To cleanse our conscience, our guilt.

“How much more, them, will the blood of Christ, ————- cleanse our conscience from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God.” Heb 9:14

(11) To bring us close to God.

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.” Eph 2:13

See Heb 10:19-22

(12) To enter God’s presence with boldness.

“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus ———” Heb 10:19

(13) To purify our heart

“The blood of Jesus, his son, purifies us from all sin” I Jn 1:7

(14) It is through his blood that Christ purchased the church.

“Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood,” Acts 20:28

See I cor 6:19,20; I Tim 2:6

It is the precious blood of Jesus (I Pet 1:18) that made all these possible. It was only the blood of Jesus that only was satisfactory and expiatory to God.

To be continued..

Name of the Author of this article: Dr. Surya Kumar Daimari, MA,M.Ed, PGDTE,D.Min.(Doctor of Ministry)

The author is a freelance writer.

E-mail- suryadaimari@yahoo.in

Assam, India.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITER

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