How do the leading sacrifices bear witness to what Christ accomplished in his death and resurrection?
Christians do well to see the death of Christ as putting an end to the need for the entire sacrificial system. Too well. Since the Christ has delivered his followers from sin, many do not bother to try to understand the biblical sacrifices and their meaning. The lack of understanding is not only evident with respect to the biblical instructions for the sacrifices, but this impediment greatly obstructs understanding for what Christ accomplished at Calvary.
Notice how the Passover sacrifice is interpreted as being for sin in the trailer of “The Sacrifice.” This represents a typical mixing together of teachings.
See free trailer of Joel P. Kramer, “The Sacrifice,” DVD, Sourceflix, 2011.
The purpose of this session is to briefly sketch the function three of the leading biblical sacrifices and how these sacrifices, each in their own ways, point to explain the manifold accomplishments of the death of our Lord.
The Passover, the Day of Atonement, and the reparation (guilt) offering, have different functions. The different functions of these sacrifices reveal what the Christ accomplished in his death.
PASSOVER signifies redemption and substitution, and especially emphasizes remembrance and substitution. There are communal aspects of Passover, wherein all circumcised persons among the redemption community celebrate the deliverance (see Exod 12:43-49).
Exod 12:1-8, 26-27
Matt 26:1ff.; cf. John 19:14, 31;
(cf. no broken bone Exod 12:46; Ps 34:20-22; John 19:31ff.)
DAY OF ATONEMENT signifies the purging of the holy place and tabernacle of ritual impurity to allow the glory of the holy God to remain in fellowship with his people. The Day of Atonement accents the satisfying of God’s wrath when the blood of the goat is sprinkled on the purgation/atonement cover (i.e., place of propitiation hilisterion in Lev 16:2, 13, 14, 15 LXX). The function of the Day of Atonement is especially communal acting to purify the tabernacle, encampment, and the people for another year of relations between God and his people.
Rom 3:21-26; Heb 9:6, 7 (cf. 1 Jon 2:2; 4:10)
The author to the Hebrews emphasizes the definitive once for all sacrifice of Messiah over and against the daily and yearly sacrifices of the tabernacle priests (9:12, 25; 10:11ff.). This is an important and rightful contrast between the temple sacrifices and the death of Christ. Hebrews especially emphasizes the sacrifices that cleanse the temple from ritual impurity on the Day of Atonement (9:6, 7).
REPARATION OFFERING (or guilt offering) signifies the repentance and faith of the person who has wronged another and the Lord and is seeks forgiveness of sin ad restoration of fraternity with the one he wronged and restoration of fellowship with God. The primary use of the reparation offering is to seek forgiveness from God after mending wrongs between persons. While is covers sin against God, that in not primary since many of the sins against God are capital offences (e.g., idolatry, blasphemy, sabbath-breaking).
Lev 6:1-7 [5:20-26]; cf. Ps 51:4; Gen 39:9
Isa 53, esp. 53:10; (cf. New Testament allusions, e.g., Acts 8:30-35; Mark 14:60, 61//Isa 53:7; John 12:37-41//Isa 53:1 with 6:9, 10
New Testament connects Passover and Purification offerings (Day of Atonement) with forgives of sin through the sacrifice of the Christ.
● The Christ as temple—connecting the sacrifices to the one definitive work of Christ
● The propitiation of Christ includes sin, and is especially for sin, the definitive and fundamental basis for God’s judgment. Paul sets up the depth and breadth of sinfulness for all people, Jew and gentile, and then speaks of Christ’s propitiation for sin (see Rom 1-3; esp. 3:21-26).
● The commentary on the “lamb given by John the Baptist—“behold the lamb who takes away the sin of the world” (1:29, 35), thus showing the expatiating nature of Christ as the sacrificial Passover lamb, not just in place in death, but also to cleanse from sin, along the lines of a “guilt offering”; or like the Day of Atonement goat (see Rom 3:21-26)
[the atonement theology of John’s Gospel, substitution, “on behalf of” or “instead of” (huper) texts, 6:51; 10:11, 15; 11:50, 51, 52; 15:13; 17:19; 18:14; esp. 11:50-52 with Caiaphas’s spoke better than he knew prophecy; note Peter’s repeated attempts to stand against Jesus’ substitution and humiliation 13:8; 18:10, cf. 13:37, 38; cleansing from sin, see esp. 17:19; possibly 6:51]
● John explains why the signs did not lead to belief, and he connects Isa 53:1 with Isa 6:9-10 (12:37-41).
Although he had performed so many signs in their presence, they did not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “Lord, who has believed our message, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” [Isa 53:1] 39 And so they could not believe, because Isaiah also said, 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, so that they might not look with their eyes, and understand with their heart and turn—and I would heal them.” [Isa 6:9-10] 41 Isaiah said this because he saw his glory and spoke about him. (John 12:37-41 NRSV)
What does the function of Passover tell us about what Christ accomplished in his death?
What does the function of Day of Atonement tell us about what Christ accomplished in his death?
What does the function of the reparation offering tell us about what Christ accomplished in his death?
How does the New Testament make connections between these several sacrifices in what Christ accomplished in his death and resurrection?
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