When God created this world, it was perfect. It was free from sin, sickness, and every other kind of evil. However, man’s initial error caused sin and death to enter this world. The initial relationship we had with God was lost. The penalty for sin is death and because of the fall of man, we lost our divine nature and took up the sin-nature instead. To atone for our sin, God created a supplementary and temporary solution by allowing us to offer animal sacrifices. But this wasn’t enough. (Rom. 5:12-21; Rom. 6:23)
The blood of bulls and rams did not really cleanse us of our sin. Rather, it served as a “fill-in-the-gap” until the perfect sacrifice was made (Heb. 9: 23). The perfect sacrifice cleansed us of our sins and made us presentable to God again. It also reconciled us with Him. This perfect sacrifice is Jesus. Just as God had promised from the beginning, He sent Jesus Christ to die for our sins (Gen. 3:15). The penalty for sin is death but God wasn’t telling us to die. Instead, He gave up Himself for us (Heb. 9:22). He died for our sins, paid the price, and gave us the victory. It was essential that Christ die, so that we may be saved from sin and the grave and that our initial relationship with God may be restored. (Col. 1:19-22)
This perfect sacrifice is a single, complete one. Formerly, several various sacrifices had to be made. A sacrifice for guilt offering, sin offering, peace offering, and the list goes on. The people of God had to follow so many guidelines on the specific animal to sacrifice and the specific way and time to sacrifice. It was hectic. But the sacrifice of Jesus cuts across all of this. The timing was impeccable, the manner was perfect and it served as a complete sacrifice. Our guilt, our sin, the cost of our peace, the requirement for our healing, everything was laid upon Him (Isa. 53:5)
In the time past, people could lose their lives as a result of even the tiniest mistake made while carrying out the sacrifice (Lev. 10:1-2). It would have been quite burdensome to even know the specifications of everything. But when Jesus gave His life for us, He eased this burden. He made it such that we no longer had to pay for our wrongdoing. We could connect with His finished work through faith and receive salvation just by that (Jhn. 3:16). He became our perfect sacrifice.
And this sacrifice needs no further improvement. That is, there is nothing that can be done to make it better than it already is. It is God giving Himself up for mere men. What more could we possibly ask for? The sacrifice of Jesus is a once and for all sacrifice. Jesus will never need to die again for anyone. His one-time death (and resurrection) is sufficient to cover for us all for life (Heb. 9:25-28; Heb. 10: 10-14). There is no sin or sickness that would require Him to come down to earth and die again. What He did, He perfected.
His sacrifice is superior to that of the ancient days. The animal sacrifices needed to be made often but as stated earlier, Jesus’ sacrifice is a one-time thing. The animal sacrifices did not really wash away sins, they only made our sins less irritating to God. But the blood of Jesus cleanses us. A particular songwriter even says it makes us white as snow. There was no possibility of this with those animal sacrifices. Best of all, the sacrifice of Jesus brought back the dominion and relationship with we had previously lost. He, through His blood, restored us to our rightful place as heirs of God and children of the Most High. (Heb. 9&10)
But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.Heb. 10:3-4, 10 NIV
The victory we now have is because of Jesus’ sacrifice. We have peace with God because God gave Himself up for us. The benefits of this sacrifice are numerous. However, the one that encompasses all, the one that gives us the most joy and confidence is salvation. Through this sacrifice, we are saved. From hell, from death, from sin, and even sickness, Jesus has paid the price. (Rom. 5:9; 1Jhn. 2:2)
Nevertheless, to benefit from this sacrifice, there is one thing that we must do. Jesus has done everything else but this is our part to play. In the old times, when an animal sacrifice was being made, it was necessary for the person who owned the sacrifice to lay his hand on the animal. This was done so as to identify with that particular sacrifice and also “transfer” one’s sin to the animal of sacrifice (Lev. 1:4). In like manner, we must also identify with Jesus to benefit from His sacrifice. We must do this by accepting Him as Lord and Saviour. Until we do this, we will bear the penalty of our sin. Death came to the world by one man (Adam), life is coming to you today through Jesus (1 Cor. 15:22). Say this prayer: Dear Jesus, I thank you for your love. I thank you for dying for my sake. Today I submit to you and accept your life as mine. I am yours now, forever and always. Amen.
General prayer: Take a moment to thank God for His love and Jesus for His blood.
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