For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God…
In the Old Testament, under the Law of Moses, a religious system based on rules and regulations was established by God. The Law of Moses was not God’s ultimate plan for salvation, but was a temporary system intended to expose and punish sin, and to promote true faith by doing so. It also provided a legal system for the people of Israel, fulfilling a similar purpose as the various legal systems in countries throughout the world today. A primary purpose of the Law of Moses was to lead the people to true faith:
So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Galatians (3:24 NIV)
As part of the Law of Moses a system of animal sacrifices was set up, which showed the need for blood sacrifice to deal with people’s sins. However, the writer of Hebrews makes clear that those sacrifices were really just shadows of the ultimate reality of Christ’s sacrifice for our sins:
For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’” When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. (Hebrews 10:1-14)
What about you? Will you accept Jesus’ sacrifice for your sins?
For Further Reflection
Romans 5:6-21: Christ died for the ungodly.
Isaiah 53:1-12: An Old-Testament prophecy about Jesus.
Matthew 26:47-27:54: The trial and crucifixion of Jesus. (Also Mark 14:43-15:39; Luke 22:47-23:49; John 18:1-19:37)
Book Reference: “The Power of the Blood of Jesus” by Andrew Murray; available free on the internet.
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