December 18, 2015 (No Comments) by Christian Israel

In the beginning, God had supplied all of the needs of Adam and Eve, our first parents. God created a perfect world in a perfect universe. There was no trace of sickness or death in either man, beast, or plant. Pollution didn’t fill the atmosphere, nor selfishness the heart of man. Rather, joyful songs of praise from both man and bird filled the air; every beast dwelt together in perfect peace in their glad existence. The trees would clap their hands in the gentle breezes, and both fruit and flower were pleased to give the air their therapeutic aromas. There was no scarcity of food or water, and perfect health in a wonderfully fit body accompanied all of man’s endeavors. Life was how God intended it to be. “And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31) In it, it was seen the truth: “the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11)

So what happened? Sin happened. We are told that “the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23) and that sin separates man from God, the Source of all life: “your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you.” (Isaiah 59:2) Sin turned all of man away from his God. Adam and Eve did not keep the commandments of God, but were led to see their Creator as a withholder of good things. When told by God that Adam and Eve would surely die if they ate of the fruit that God had not given to them for food, the fallen angel, through the medium of an Edenic serpent, countered the Word of God, charging God as being both a liar and a withholder of good things:

Genesis 3:4-5 “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: (5) For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

Eve had not heard a lie before, and she was led to view God with a shadow of uncertainty. Through this, the enemy gained a foothold; through this, she now regarded the thing forbidden as acceptable, and sin prevailed.

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked…” (Genesis 3:6-7)

Now, the testimony of their disobedience was clear: they knew they were naked. They knew their shame and guilt; it was without the covering of God’s Spirit, and were destitute of that Life-sustaining presence. By their own choice, they forsook the Word of God, and were left in cold desolation: only to await death. The Bible is clear regarding God’s Word: it is “impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18). Therefore, God had to make a way to save man from their fate, while not forsaking the strict justice that transgression of His word requires. Two things must be seen to strengthen man against Satan’s claims upon God’s character.

1) God’s Word must be proven just and true. Truth requires justice. 2) God must make it known to the fallen race that He would withhold no good thing to those who wholeheartedly seek for good.
It was for this purpose that the gospel was given to mankind: to bring restoration. At the fall of man, death was introduced into the world. And the very first death was that of a slain lamb.
Genesis 3:21 “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” And what was the purpose of that sacrifice? To clothe their nakedness. However, their nakedness was deeper than a physical nakedness. The slain lamb was symbolic of the death of the innocent Son of God. In the death of the animal was displayed a heart-wrenching message that God’s only begotten Son should lay down His life for man’s spiritual nakedness, and cover them in His own sacrifice. Even so, it is now:

Romans 13:14 “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”

Death, not prevalent as it is now in the world, was not witnessed before, but the One by whom all things were made, showed that He Himself would be the innocent victim of sin’s deadly assaults upon man. Every death to man, beast, and plant that has followed upon the earth, were not only a testament to the fact that sin was entered into the world, but also, in a much deeper sense, it may show something of that Innocent Victim who bore our sins at the cross. Today, however, because of sin and death becoming so commonplace, this fact has well-nigh been lost sight of. If understood in it’s true nature, every death may be a message preached; a reminder that Christ Himself has died, “evidently set forth crucified among you” (Gal. 3:1). But how could these things be?

THE TRUE SACRIFICE

The animal sacrifices observed by God’s obedient children, who by faith were looking to the True Sacrifice as the consummation of their hopes, continued for 4,000 years. It was to keep in perpetual reminder the sacrifice which Christ Himself was to bring. Day by day, the repentant sinner was to bring his offering to the altar of sacrifice, and was to “lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering.” (Lev. 4:33), to “confess that he hath sinned in that thing” (Lev. 5:5), and in making confession over the head of the animal, it demonstrated the transference of sins from the sinner to the innocent victim. However, those sacrifices never of themselves afforded anything but death. The Scripture tells us that “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins”(Hebrews 10:4). The sacrificed animals could never truly take away any sin at all. So what did they do? Those sacrifices pointed by their sacrifice to the One who alone can take away sins. That reality was true even at the time of the first slain sacrifice; that Christ alone, even at that time, could take away sins:

(John 1:29) “The next day John saw Jesus coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.”

Here was a call to behold the Lamb of God, and we see clearly who the Lamb of God is. It is none other, and can be no other, than Jesus Himself. And why repeat this point? Because it bears repeating, because so many have lost sight of Him as the One who powerfully takes away our sins. What is more than this? Here is a call to behold Him as that Lamb and take in that sacrifice. And that was the call given not only by John the Baptist, but was the call of every sacrifice that was slain, and was bound up in the message of every true prophet, for in it, the most forcible call to the gospel is given. And in the gospel, “the righteousness of God is revealed, from faith to faith” (Rom. 1:17)In fact, none can joyfully behold the light of the glory of God without having their sins taken away, for in the true glimpse of the light of that beauty of holiness, which is the righteousness of God revealed, the true state of sin is revealed, being made clearly visible by the light of His Presence. Let us consider the prophet Isaiah’s experience in vision, for it expresses this reality perfectly:

Isaiah 6:1-3 “…I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. (2) Above it stood the seraphims…(3) And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.”

How great should have been this to behold is often the remark given! What a privilege that we may marvel! Isaiah saw a vision of the throne of God, and Christ upon the throne in His glory! We have marveled at the vision, but how many souls marvel in unbelief because that experience of beholding God’s glory is not their own. What experience am I speaking of? Let us see what Isaiah’s response to the light of this glorious presence was, and we will know.

Isaiah 6:5 “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”

Isaiah beheld the glory of God, and saw his righteousness laid in the dust. The realization of His presence brought forth how unbelieving he had been in the gospel. All he could see was that he had fallen short of the glory of God; all he could see was his uncleanness and nakedness in the presence of God. Then in a most forcible gospel presentation, that we might know the power of God to take away sins, Isaiah’s eyes are directed to the altar, upon which the innocent victim, the sacrifice of Christ, is laid for the sins of the whole world:

Isaiah 6:6-7 “Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: (7) And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.”

Take a look, what do we here see? Isaiah’s experience was not only to see his sinfulness, but also to see the Lamb of God’s sacrifice in connection with his sins that his own sins are purged. Now, Isaiah’s testimony was to be the testimony of everyone that believes in the Lamb of God: “thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” Nothing is left undone by Christ; whether before His death, or after, by the promise of God, “in which it was impossible for God to lie,” (Heb. 6:18). The sacrifice of Christ which was yet to come, was as good as though it were already finished. Such is the power of the gospel to everyone that believes:

Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth… (17) For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. Now, as Isaiah was, so are we to have peace with God “by faith” if we believe.

Romans 5:1-2 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (2) By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” And by faith in what? The blood of the Lamb of God.

Romans 5:9-10 “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (10) For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

Isaiah clearly saw the Innocent Victim who bore His sins as though it were already done, and his testimony speaks of it in just this manner. This is how Isaiah speaks of the Lamb of God:

Isaiah 53:7 “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”

Notice how to Isaiah this was a finished act as well as something happening presently as the words were speaking; Christ was brought as a lamb to the slaughter. And toward Isaiah it was as though it were finished, and by this testimony today, it is as though it were even today present, and available for the sinner, that he might believe on Christ and Him crucified. However, this experience can only be by faith, that the promise of God in the gospel may be to us as good as though it were already written in history. So firmly confident was Isaiah in the God of his salvation, that he saw with prophetic vision that which would be, and with firmness he spoke without doubting that it was so, as coming from a God who fulfills His Word. For this cause, Jesus is called “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8). This is the power of the Lamb of God to take away our sins! We may always assure ourselves in the promises of God. To us, “It is finished” is not only to be expected, but it is to be our experience. When we embrace this living reality, we watch the working of our God on our behalf in every trial and conflict, in every blessing to the world; everything that comes to us will bring blessing to the world if our lives our hidden in the gospel of the Lamb’s blood. Therefore, it was necessary to lift his eyes to the Lamb of God which takes away His sins, just as it is necessary for us: there is no difference.

“When they look on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10, RSV). Whom are we to see pierced? The Son of God on the cross—His hands and feet pierced with nails, His brow pierced with thorns. “When they look on him whom they have pierced …” Who will look? Those who have pierced Him. And with what result? “They shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child.” To mankind, it is only in the light of the glory shining from the cross that sin can be seen for how truly horrific it is; there is no other way in which a man can mourn for sin.

THE INNOCENT LAMB

Now, consider the innocence of the lamb as a fitting symbol of Christ: “There was a man that had worked for a meat packing firm for many years. He had cut the throats of several different kinds of animals and had heard their death cries. He had heard cattle bellow. He had heard chickens squawk. He had heard pigs squeal. But he had never killed a sheep. One day, a farmer brought a lamb to be slaughtered. Like it was business as usual, the man took his sharp knife and cut the lamb’s throat. But the lamb didn’t bellow like the cattle, or squeal like the pigs, or squawk like the chickens. The little lamb just stood silently before his executioner. With the life-blood flowing from its throat, the little lamb tottered toward its killer, licked the blood from his hands, and began to stumble from side to side. Then the little lamb slumped and slipped into death. The man was so moved by the little lamb’s death that he could never kill another animal.” Surely such an experience can tell us something of the innocence, and even the mercy & love of a lamb! Yet that innocence can only touch briefly on the innocence, mercy, and love of the One by whom that little creature was created! He took upon Himself the sacrifice that sin required.

Now, while the sacrifice of a lamb can be seen entirely as a fitting symbol of Christ’s sacrifice, it is evident also that the sacrifice of animals could never truly take away any sin at all, because a beast can never supply for the worth of a man, nor can an animal pay for the measure of guilt for a man, who was made above the beasts. God speaks of the emptiness of the sacrifices of blood without Christ:

Isaiah 1:11 “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD:… I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.”

God does not delight in death, but is willing that death come if it means bringing souls to salvation in Christ.

Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

The knowledge of God is found in the gospel, as we have already touched upon. And those sacrifices were to bring men into a knowledge of the goodness and mercy of God, but never did God desire the death of an animal, any more than He desires the guilty judgment of a sinner. Just as with Christ’s death bringing men to salvation, and also with the blood of every martyr, there is a revelation that points to salvation in Christ. Even as the blood of the marytrs, so are the blood of the beasts that caused men to look to Christ for salvation fulfilling the highest commission of all the beasts of the field. Yet if the sacrifice did not cause men to look to Christ, the question was asked, “What are the purpose of these sacrifices?” (v. 11)
Again, the Scripture tells us that God does not desire, nor require the blood of bulls or of goats, but requires a greater sacrifice than these.

Psalms 40:6-7 “Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. (7) Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of Me…”

The words of Christ are here echoed even in the days of David by the Holy Ghost, “Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me…”. Now, what book is this speaking of? It is speaking of the very book that foretold of Christ’s coming in the law of sacrifices and offerings.
When God opens our ears, we may see everything He gives to us as illuminated by faith, because “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” The things which we hear by the Word of God are to lead us to the gospel of Christ. And it is only in that gospel, that the true worth of a soul can be determined. Christ Himself had to take on man’s flesh and die in man’s stead. This alone could satisfy the claims of God’s broken law: “Thou shalt surely die…”, and show that God would withhold nothing, not even His only Son, the Son by whom all things were made, the One greatly beloved of His Father.

In this act, by showing that God that God would withhold nothing for the salvation of the human race, and having accomplishing this, Satan’s charges against God would ultimately be found false.

THE COST

Isaiah 53:10 “Yet it pleased the LORD [the Father] to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.”

Consider that it pleased the Father to bruise the One who He adores, for His soul to be the offering for sin to bring “his seed” into life eternal. How many could consider the cost of such a sacrifice, and what was necessary for Him to be an sinless, innocent, pure sacrifice?

1 Peter 2:21-22 “…Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: (22) Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:”

Among men, only Christ “did no sin”, and by His perfect sacrifice, we may be cleansed from all of our sins. His innocence as a man was necessary to be the Lamb of God. As previou- sly mentioned, the value of man cannot be satisfied by beasts, because he is a man. Likewise, the value of a man can truly only be made known by the One willing to pay the price. Now, we’ve seen extensively that God gave His onlybegotten Son in love for our souls:

1 Peter 1:18-20 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things…(19) But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: (20) Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you…”

And the Bible tells us that God the Father was never a withholder, nor Christ from withholding His own life, but foreordained this sacrifice in the case that mankind should fall. Thus in heaven, there was a predetermination to redeem man with the precious blood of Christ.

2 Timothy 1:9-10 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (10) But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

Psalms 72:12-14 “For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. (13) He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy. (14) He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight.”

Truly a wonderful thought! That we are precious in His sight! Even in our lowly, mortal estate! That being said, how seldom is it contemplated what suffering as the Son of God Christ had to have to qualify as that Innocent Lamb to take away our sins? If ever we wanted to understand and magnify the depths of the value of our souls to God, we should consider the measure of the sufferings of Christ necessary to be that innocent victim: not a quick, momentary death as that of the animal sacrifices; no, the sacrifice of His blood tells us more.

1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”

The Just One, the Innocent Victim, did indeed suffer. He withheld from man not even His own life. That life was one of condescension in becoming in the likeness of sinful flesh and being tempted: “but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) And in being tempted, that should, if truly considered aright, magnify His sacrifice in our minds well above any animal sacrifice, but Christ’s sacrifice is more to us than this. More weight may be further added to that suffering when comprehending something of the great intimacy held between the Father and His Son. Such a study is exceedingly broad, and we will doubtless study it for eternity, but for the sake of the length of this study, a few statements demonstrating that intimacy may suffice.

“I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30) Jesus said. He also says concerning His relationship with the Father, “The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old…Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;” (Proverbs 8:22, 30) The Son had never been without the Father, nor known anything but the close communion in His Father’s Presence. Speaking of this in His prayer, Christ says: “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” (John 17:5) In this statement alone, ages untold are taken in. None are able to truly understand how long ago this fellowship between God the Father and Christ the Son was, for it was so long in eternity past that to the finite mind, it is practically without beginning. For Christ, that fellowship had never been broken. The Father, in speaking of the close fellowship He has with His beloved Son, moves Zechariah with the prophecy: “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts…” (Zechariah 13:7) Having laid this foundation to have a glimpse into the intimacy between the Father and His beloved Son, we may be in the position to better understand the suffering that the Son truly had to endure to be that Lamb.

The Scripture tells us of the sacrifice: “And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering.” But this was but a symbol of the wounded head of Christ. If the Prince of peace had only to suffer the crown of thorns, that would have been enough, but it means more: for the offering for sin having the sins of the world laid upon His head was more than this. The true weight of the sacrifice for sin may be seen in the enormity of sin and what it does to man. He endured the punishment of sin; and more, He endured the pain of separation from His Father: “your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you.” But it wasn’t His iniquities that He suffered for.

Isaiah 53:5-6 “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (6) …the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Now the suffering of the Lamb of God was very real. Laid upon His soul was a separation that never was since before the foundations of the world, but must be endured to pay with His own blood the wages of sin. Sin meant death. Death meant separation. And separation meant a cost so infinite that it could not be underestimated: and none could sympathize with the magnitude of such a sacrifice. How much more when we consider that He “did no sin” and that He deserved no separation at all! But this alone could qualify Him as our substitute; as our Lamb for sin.

2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

SORROW UNTO DEATH

Christ was soon to finish the work given Him. It was the Passover when He should be that Lamb delivered up to be slain for all who would believe on Him as that perfect Sacrifice. While with the disciples, He gave both the bread and wine as a symbol of His broken body and His shed blood. They were to partake of these symbols as a demonstration that they themselves embraced His sacrifice, and that they believed that upon Him, their sins were to be laid. Yet it was at this very moment when they took the communion of the Lamb, and partook of His death, that sin was truly laid upon the head of the Lamb of God.

Mark 14:33-36 “And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; (34) And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. (35) And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. (36) And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.”

The pains of separation from God were very real, bringing sorrows upon Him that embraced the whole human race. Christ clenched the earth as His soul’s grasp upon God was being severed. Christ had promised to turn the disciples sorrow to joy when He would send the Spirit of Truth, and that it would bring fullness of joy.

Psalms 16:11 “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy…” Now, Christ did not feel joy, but sorrow, and that very promise could only be fulfilled by this very means. The very sorrow of death itself: alienation from the Wellspring of life, separation from the Presence of God, the separation felt by our first parents when they knew they were naked. “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows” (Isa. 53:4)

Matthew 27:46 “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

This was the suffering Christ had to endure, in addition to the adversity to be had as the son of man. It is true that the animal sacrifice did not even face the suffering to that measure, but how much more of the conscious Son of God: fully aware of His unbroken fellowship with God His Father, now to be severed to pay the price for man’s rebellion. It has been said that the value of something is not determined by the object itself but by the one willing to pay the price for that object, and when we see the depths of commitment to the sacrifice that God the Father and His Son were indeed willing to pay for you and for me, we may well begin to see that it was an infinite sacrifice to their relationship.

THE ALL-SUFFICIENT SACRIFICE

The things which the blood of Christ has secured for us, not an numberless amount of pages or articles could sufficiently tell. 1 Corinthians 6:20 “…ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Having been bought by that blood, we are not our own. Having known the blood that was shed at infinite cost, we may readily see that God is not a withholder of any good thing, but gave the One by whom He made all heaven.

Romans 8:32-33 “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (33) Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.”

Moreover, the death paid in full the satisfaction of the laws claims: God is not a liar, and did indeed bring the penalty, but through the Innocent Lamb, an atonement has been made. In Christ, we find the words fulfilled:

Psalms 85:10-11 “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. (11) Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.”

By the blood of Christ, we have access into a righteousness that is not of ourselves. More than this, we have a peace that surpasses the false assurances of a godless world; a peace alone secured with God by the blood of His Son.

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. And the death of Christ was clearly infinitely more a sacrifice than any worldly sacrifice could offer: Romans 5:1, 7-11 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:…For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. (8) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us…(10) For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (11) And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”

THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT

Every wounding that sin brings to God’s creation may truly reveal a knife to the throat of “the Lamb of God,” and in every sin, the cross reveals clearly what has been done to Christ, but sin needn’t be so in our experience any longer.

Romans 6:11 “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

And naturally that death to sin is by the very death of Christ. Christ’s blood is to both purge and to consecrate those who have been joined to His blood sacrifice, and it is by this alone that sins can be taken away. The question is asked by the apostle, “how can we, that are dead to sins, live any longer therein?” If we truly believe, the answer is that we cannot. In the gospel, it can truly be said “that if one died for all, then were all dead:” (2 cor. 5:14) And for those who receive the blood in this manner, they are intimately linked to His sacrifice as Isaiah was.

Matthew 26:28 “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

Anciently in Israel, the sacrifice of blood from a beast was used to demonstrate the consecration of God’s people to the very sacrifice. Notice how the blood of the sacrifice is joined to the altar, to the children of God, and to all things pertaining their relationship with God:

Exodus 24:6-8 And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. (7) And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. (8) And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.”

Now, this blood was not any different from any other creature’s blood. It could not satisfy or consecrate anyone without faith at all. Nor could those who failed of understanding the blood of Christ receive any benefit from it. Notice that the blood had to touch the things which were consecrated. That is just as it was with Isaiah when the live coal from the altar of sacrifice had touched his lips; representing Christ, and fitting him for the prophetic ministry.

Hebrews 9:22-23 “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. (23) It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.”

And what was that better sacrifice? The sacrifice of Christ by faith. That was sufficient to purge Isaiah of his iniquity then, and it is sufficient to purge our iniquity today. That is the blood of consecration; enjoining our souls to Christ. There is no difference, save the accomplished fact of Christ performing the very thing He gave Himself over to do. But that thing could be achieved in any believing soul, and IS ACHIEVED IN EVERY BELIEVING SOUL, at that very moment of belief. And it is that alone which shall equip us to be what Christ has called us to be. Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And if we are purged from dead works to serve the living God, having found mercy through the blood of the Lamb, we ought to be a living sacrifice to God.

Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

You, yourself, are to be a living sacrifice. All that you say and do is now to reveal the Lamb of God. Then all the world, in seeing this living sacrifice, “before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified”, will see the glory of Christ by your conduct. And in touching them by your life, they too might be touched with the live coal of the altar, and enter into the mercy and grace which came to you by the sacrifice of Christ.

CONCLUSION

So what then? Let this be the call for those who have not known that peace that only the blood of Christ can secure; that cleansing that He alone may bring. To set before the people the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world is the most important and vital of works. The Scripture tells us “He is despised and rejected of men”, and how true is that also today of Christ? Nevertheless, it is that message that is a trumpet call to direct the eyes of all people to that which is most needful, because by that Sacrifice alone sin could be taken away (and that point mentioned again and again, since it is the point many fail to enter into belief in, that must be pressed home to the mind). Therefore the knowledge of that Lamb is essential for all to see clearly the mighty salvation which God and Christ have afforded to all who believe; that you may see that He has placed claims upon your life and a value, because He sees what you may become by the blood of Christ, and that the Lamb of God may be “evidently set forth, crucified among you” even as it is this day to all who believe. What depths of love! How great a salvation! Will you embrace the Lamb and be a living sacrifice today?

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December 18, 2015 (No Comments) by Christian Israel

In the beginning, God had supplied all of the needs of Adam and Eve, our first parents. God created a perfect world in a perfect universe. There was no trace of sickness or death in either man, beast, or plant. Pollution didn’t fill the atmosphere, nor selfishness the heart of man. Rather, joyful songs of praise from both man and bird filled the air; every beast dwelt together in perfect peace in their glad existence. The trees would clap their hands in the gentle breezes, and both fruit and flower were pleased to give the air their therapeutic aromas. There was no scarcity of food or water, and perfect health in a wonderfully fit body accompanied all of man’s endeavors. Life was how God intended it to be. “And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31) In it, it was seen the truth: “the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11)

So what happened? Sin happened. We are told that “the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23) and that sin separates man from God, the Source of all life: “your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you.” (Isaiah 59:2) Sin turned all of man away from his God. Adam and Eve did not keep the commandments of God, but were led to see their Creator as a withholder of good things. When told by God that Adam and Eve would surely die if they ate of the fruit that God had not given to them for food, the fallen angel, through the medium of an Edenic serpent, countered the Word of God, charging God as being both a liar and a withholder of good things:

Genesis 3:4-5 “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: (5) For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

Eve had not heard a lie before, and she was led to view God with a shadow of uncertainty. Through this, the enemy gained a foothold; through this, she now regarded the thing forbidden as acceptable, and sin prevailed.

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked…” (Genesis 3:6-7)

Now, the testimony of their disobedience was clear: they knew they were naked. They knew their shame and guilt; it was without the covering of God’s Spirit, and were destitute of that Life-sustaining presence. By their own choice, they forsook the Word of God, and were left in cold desolation: only to await death. The Bible is clear regarding God’s Word: it is “impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18). Therefore, God had to make a way to save man from their fate, while not forsaking the strict justice that transgression of His word requires. Two things must be seen to strengthen man against Satan’s claims upon God’s character.

1) God’s Word must be proven just and true. Truth requires justice. 2) God must make it known to the fallen race that He would withhold no good thing to those who wholeheartedly seek for good.
It was for this purpose that the gospel was given to mankind: to bring restoration. At the fall of man, death was introduced into the world. And the very first death was that of a slain lamb.
Genesis 3:21 “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” And what was the purpose of that sacrifice? To clothe their nakedness. However, their nakedness was deeper than a physical nakedness. The slain lamb was symbolic of the death of the innocent Son of God. In the death of the animal was displayed a heart-wrenching message that God’s only begotten Son should lay down His life for man’s spiritual nakedness, and cover them in His own sacrifice. Even so, it is now:

Romans 13:14 “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”

Death, not prevalent as it is now in the world, was not witnessed before, but the One by whom all things were made, showed that He Himself would be the innocent victim of sin’s deadly assaults upon man. Every death to man, beast, and plant that has followed upon the earth, were not only a testament to the fact that sin was entered into the world, but also, in a much deeper sense, it may show something of that Innocent Victim who bore our sins at the cross. Today, however, because of sin and death becoming so commonplace, this fact has well-nigh been lost sight of. If understood in it’s true nature, every death may be a message preached; a reminder that Christ Himself has died, “evidently set forth crucified among you” (Gal. 3:1). But how could these things be?

THE TRUE SACRIFICE

The animal sacrifices observed by God’s obedient children, who by faith were looking to the True Sacrifice as the consummation of their hopes, continued for 4,000 years. It was to keep in perpetual reminder the sacrifice which Christ Himself was to bring. Day by day, the repentant sinner was to bring his offering to the altar of sacrifice, and was to “lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering.” (Lev. 4:33), to “confess that he hath sinned in that thing” (Lev. 5:5), and in making confession over the head of the animal, it demonstrated the transference of sins from the sinner to the innocent victim. However, those sacrifices never of themselves afforded anything but death. The Scripture tells us that “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins”(Hebrews 10:4). The sacrificed animals could never truly take away any sin at all. So what did they do? Those sacrifices pointed by their sacrifice to the One who alone can take away sins. That reality was true even at the time of the first slain sacrifice; that Christ alone, even at that time, could take away sins:

(John 1:29) “The next day John saw Jesus coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.”

Here was a call to behold the Lamb of God, and we see clearly who the Lamb of God is. It is none other, and can be no other, than Jesus Himself. And why repeat this point? Because it bears repeating, because so many have lost sight of Him as the One who powerfully takes away our sins. What is more than this? Here is a call to behold Him as that Lamb and take in that sacrifice. And that was the call given not only by John the Baptist, but was the call of every sacrifice that was slain, and was bound up in the message of every true prophet, for in it, the most forcible call to the gospel is given. And in the gospel, “the righteousness of God is revealed, from faith to faith” (Rom. 1:17)In fact, none can joyfully behold the light of the glory of God without having their sins taken away, for in the true glimpse of the light of that beauty of holiness, which is the righteousness of God revealed, the true state of sin is revealed, being made clearly visible by the light of His Presence. Let us consider the prophet Isaiah’s experience in vision, for it expresses this reality perfectly:

Isaiah 6:1-3 “…I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. (2) Above it stood the seraphims…(3) And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.”

How great should have been this to behold is often the remark given! What a privilege that we may marvel! Isaiah saw a vision of the throne of God, and Christ upon the throne in His glory! We have marveled at the vision, but how many souls marvel in unbelief because that experience of beholding God’s glory is not their own. What experience am I speaking of? Let us see what Isaiah’s response to the light of this glorious presence was, and we will know.

Isaiah 6:5 “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”

Isaiah beheld the glory of God, and saw his righteousness laid in the dust. The realization of His presence brought forth how unbelieving he had been in the gospel. All he could see was that he had fallen short of the glory of God; all he could see was his uncleanness and nakedness in the presence of God. Then in a most forcible gospel presentation, that we might know the power of God to take away sins, Isaiah’s eyes are directed to the altar, upon which the innocent victim, the sacrifice of Christ, is laid for the sins of the whole world:

Isaiah 6:6-7 “Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: (7) And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.”

Take a look, what do we here see? Isaiah’s experience was not only to see his sinfulness, but also to see the Lamb of God’s sacrifice in connection with his sins that his own sins are purged. Now, Isaiah’s testimony was to be the testimony of everyone that believes in the Lamb of God: “thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” Nothing is left undone by Christ; whether before His death, or after, by the promise of God, “in which it was impossible for God to lie,” (Heb. 6:18). The sacrifice of Christ which was yet to come, was as good as though it were already finished. Such is the power of the gospel to everyone that believes:

Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth… (17) For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. Now, as Isaiah was, so are we to have peace with God “by faith” if we believe.

Romans 5:1-2 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (2) By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” And by faith in what? The blood of the Lamb of God.

Romans 5:9-10 “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (10) For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

Isaiah clearly saw the Innocent Victim who bore His sins as though it were already done, and his testimony speaks of it in just this manner. This is how Isaiah speaks of the Lamb of God:

Isaiah 53:7 “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”

Notice how to Isaiah this was a finished act as well as something happening presently as the words were speaking; Christ was brought as a lamb to the slaughter. And toward Isaiah it was as though it were finished, and by this testimony today, it is as though it were even today present, and available for the sinner, that he might believe on Christ and Him crucified. However, this experience can only be by faith, that the promise of God in the gospel may be to us as good as though it were already written in history. So firmly confident was Isaiah in the God of his salvation, that he saw with prophetic vision that which would be, and with firmness he spoke without doubting that it was so, as coming from a God who fulfills His Word. For this cause, Jesus is called “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8). This is the power of the Lamb of God to take away our sins! We may always assure ourselves in the promises of God. To us, “It is finished” is not only to be expected, but it is to be our experience. When we embrace this living reality, we watch the working of our God on our behalf in every trial and conflict, in every blessing to the world; everything that comes to us will bring blessing to the world if our lives our hidden in the gospel of the Lamb’s blood. Therefore, it was necessary to lift his eyes to the Lamb of God which takes away His sins, just as it is necessary for us: there is no difference.

“When they look on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10, RSV). Whom are we to see pierced? The Son of God on the cross—His hands and feet pierced with nails, His brow pierced with thorns. “When they look on him whom they have pierced …” Who will look? Those who have pierced Him. And with what result? “They shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child.” To mankind, it is only in the light of the glory shining from the cross that sin can be seen for how truly horrific it is; there is no other way in which a man can mourn for sin.

THE INNOCENT LAMB

Now, consider the innocence of the lamb as a fitting symbol of Christ: “There was a man that had worked for a meat packing firm for many years. He had cut the throats of several different kinds of animals and had heard their death cries. He had heard cattle bellow. He had heard chickens squawk. He had heard pigs squeal. But he had never killed a sheep. One day, a farmer brought a lamb to be slaughtered. Like it was business as usual, the man took his sharp knife and cut the lamb’s throat. But the lamb didn’t bellow like the cattle, or squeal like the pigs, or squawk like the chickens. The little lamb just stood silently before his executioner. With the life-blood flowing from its throat, the little lamb tottered toward its killer, licked the blood from his hands, and began to stumble from side to side. Then the little lamb slumped and slipped into death. The man was so moved by the little lamb’s death that he could never kill another animal.” Surely such an experience can tell us something of the innocence, and even the mercy & love of a lamb! Yet that innocence can only touch briefly on the innocence, mercy, and love of the One by whom that little creature was created! He took upon Himself the sacrifice that sin required.

Now, while the sacrifice of a lamb can be seen entirely as a fitting symbol of Christ’s sacrifice, it is evident also that the sacrifice of animals could never truly take away any sin at all, because a beast can never supply for the worth of a man, nor can an animal pay for the measure of guilt for a man, who was made above the beasts. God speaks of the emptiness of the sacrifices of blood without Christ:

Isaiah 1:11 “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD:… I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.”

God does not delight in death, but is willing that death come if it means bringing souls to salvation in Christ.

Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

The knowledge of God is found in the gospel, as we have already touched upon. And those sacrifices were to bring men into a knowledge of the goodness and mercy of God, but never did God desire the death of an animal, any more than He desires the guilty judgment of a sinner. Just as with Christ’s death bringing men to salvation, and also with the blood of every martyr, there is a revelation that points to salvation in Christ. Even as the blood of the marytrs, so are the blood of the beasts that caused men to look to Christ for salvation fulfilling the highest commission of all the beasts of the field. Yet if the sacrifice did not cause men to look to Christ, the question was asked, “What are the purpose of these sacrifices?” (v. 11)
Again, the Scripture tells us that God does not desire, nor require the blood of bulls or of goats, but requires a greater sacrifice than these.

Psalms 40:6-7 “Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. (7) Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of Me…”

The words of Christ are here echoed even in the days of David by the Holy Ghost, “Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me…”. Now, what book is this speaking of? It is speaking of the very book that foretold of Christ’s coming in the law of sacrifices and offerings.
When God opens our ears, we may see everything He gives to us as illuminated by faith, because “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” The things which we hear by the Word of God are to lead us to the gospel of Christ. And it is only in that gospel, that the true worth of a soul can be determined. Christ Himself had to take on man’s flesh and die in man’s stead. This alone could satisfy the claims of God’s broken law: “Thou shalt surely die…”, and show that God would withhold nothing, not even His only Son, the Son by whom all things were made, the One greatly beloved of His Father.

In this act, by showing that God that God would withhold nothing for the salvation of the human race, and having accomplishing this, Satan’s charges against God would ultimately be found false.

THE COST

Isaiah 53:10 “Yet it pleased the LORD [the Father] to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.”

Consider that it pleased the Father to bruise the One who He adores, for His soul to be the offering for sin to bring “his seed” into life eternal. How many could consider the cost of such a sacrifice, and what was necessary for Him to be an sinless, innocent, pure sacrifice?

1 Peter 2:21-22 “…Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: (22) Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:”

Among men, only Christ “did no sin”, and by His perfect sacrifice, we may be cleansed from all of our sins. His innocence as a man was necessary to be the Lamb of God. As previou- sly mentioned, the value of man cannot be satisfied by beasts, because he is a man. Likewise, the value of a man can truly only be made known by the One willing to pay the price. Now, we’ve seen extensively that God gave His onlybegotten Son in love for our souls:

1 Peter 1:18-20 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things…(19) But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: (20) Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you…”

And the Bible tells us that God the Father was never a withholder, nor Christ from withholding His own life, but foreordained this sacrifice in the case that mankind should fall. Thus in heaven, there was a predetermination to redeem man with the precious blood of Christ.

2 Timothy 1:9-10 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (10) But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

Psalms 72:12-14 “For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. (13) He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy. (14) He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight.”

Truly a wonderful thought! That we are precious in His sight! Even in our lowly, mortal estate! That being said, how seldom is it contemplated what suffering as the Son of God Christ had to have to qualify as that Innocent Lamb to take away our sins? If ever we wanted to understand and magnify the depths of the value of our souls to God, we should consider the measure of the sufferings of Christ necessary to be that innocent victim: not a quick, momentary death as that of the animal sacrifices; no, the sacrifice of His blood tells us more.

1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”

The Just One, the Innocent Victim, did indeed suffer. He withheld from man not even His own life. That life was one of condescension in becoming in the likeness of sinful flesh and being tempted: “but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) And in being tempted, that should, if truly considered aright, magnify His sacrifice in our minds well above any animal sacrifice, but Christ’s sacrifice is more to us than this. More weight may be further added to that suffering when comprehending something of the great intimacy held between the Father and His Son. Such a study is exceedingly broad, and we will doubtless study it for eternity, but for the sake of the length of this study, a few statements demonstrating that intimacy may suffice.

“I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30) Jesus said. He also says concerning His relationship with the Father, “The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old…Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;” (Proverbs 8:22, 30) The Son had never been without the Father, nor known anything but the close communion in His Father’s Presence. Speaking of this in His prayer, Christ says: “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” (John 17:5) In this statement alone, ages untold are taken in. None are able to truly understand how long ago this fellowship between God the Father and Christ the Son was, for it was so long in eternity past that to the finite mind, it is practically without beginning. For Christ, that fellowship had never been broken. The Father, in speaking of the close fellowship He has with His beloved Son, moves Zechariah with the prophecy: “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts…” (Zechariah 13:7) Having laid this foundation to have a glimpse into the intimacy between the Father and His beloved Son, we may be in the position to better understand the suffering that the Son truly had to endure to be that Lamb.

The Scripture tells us of the sacrifice: “And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering.” But this was but a symbol of the wounded head of Christ. If the Prince of peace had only to suffer the crown of thorns, that would have been enough, but it means more: for the offering for sin having the sins of the world laid upon His head was more than this. The true weight of the sacrifice for sin may be seen in the enormity of sin and what it does to man. He endured the punishment of sin; and more, He endured the pain of separation from His Father: “your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you.” But it wasn’t His iniquities that He suffered for.

Isaiah 53:5-6 “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (6) …the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Now the suffering of the Lamb of God was very real. Laid upon His soul was a separation that never was since before the foundations of the world, but must be endured to pay with His own blood the wages of sin. Sin meant death. Death meant separation. And separation meant a cost so infinite that it could not be underestimated: and none could sympathize with the magnitude of such a sacrifice. How much more when we consider that He “did no sin” and that He deserved no separation at all! But this alone could qualify Him as our substitute; as our Lamb for sin.

2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

SORROW UNTO DEATH

Christ was soon to finish the work given Him. It was the Passover when He should be that Lamb delivered up to be slain for all who would believe on Him as that perfect Sacrifice. While with the disciples, He gave both the bread and wine as a symbol of His broken body and His shed blood. They were to partake of these symbols as a demonstration that they themselves embraced His sacrifice, and that they believed that upon Him, their sins were to be laid. Yet it was at this very moment when they took the communion of the Lamb, and partook of His death, that sin was truly laid upon the head of the Lamb of God.

Mark 14:33-36 “And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; (34) And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. (35) And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. (36) And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.”

The pains of separation from God were very real, bringing sorrows upon Him that embraced the whole human race. Christ clenched the earth as His soul’s grasp upon God was being severed. Christ had promised to turn the disciples sorrow to joy when He would send the Spirit of Truth, and that it would bring fullness of joy.

Psalms 16:11 “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy…” Now, Christ did not feel joy, but sorrow, and that very promise could only be fulfilled by this very means. The very sorrow of death itself: alienation from the Wellspring of life, separation from the Presence of God, the separation felt by our first parents when they knew they were naked. “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows” (Isa. 53:4)

Matthew 27:46 “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

This was the suffering Christ had to endure, in addition to the adversity to be had as the son of man. It is true that the animal sacrifice did not even face the suffering to that measure, but how much more of the conscious Son of God: fully aware of His unbroken fellowship with God His Father, now to be severed to pay the price for man’s rebellion. It has been said that the value of something is not determined by the object itself but by the one willing to pay the price for that object, and when we see the depths of commitment to the sacrifice that God the Father and His Son were indeed willing to pay for you and for me, we may well begin to see that it was an infinite sacrifice to their relationship.

THE ALL-SUFFICIENT SACRIFICE

The things which the blood of Christ has secured for us, not an numberless amount of pages or articles could sufficiently tell. 1 Corinthians 6:20 “…ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Having been bought by that blood, we are not our own. Having known the blood that was shed at infinite cost, we may readily see that God is not a withholder of any good thing, but gave the One by whom He made all heaven.

Romans 8:32-33 “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (33) Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.”

Moreover, the death paid in full the satisfaction of the laws claims: God is not a liar, and did indeed bring the penalty, but through the Innocent Lamb, an atonement has been made. In Christ, we find the words fulfilled:

Psalms 85:10-11 “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. (11) Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.”

By the blood of Christ, we have access into a righteousness that is not of ourselves. More than this, we have a peace that surpasses the false assurances of a godless world; a peace alone secured with God by the blood of His Son.

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. And the death of Christ was clearly infinitely more a sacrifice than any worldly sacrifice could offer: Romans 5:1, 7-11 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:…For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. (8) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us…(10) For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (11) And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”

THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT

Every wounding that sin brings to God’s creation may truly reveal a knife to the throat of “the Lamb of God,” and in every sin, the cross reveals clearly what has been done to Christ, but sin needn’t be so in our experience any longer.

Romans 6:11 “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

And naturally that death to sin is by the very death of Christ. Christ’s blood is to both purge and to consecrate those who have been joined to His blood sacrifice, and it is by this alone that sins can be taken away. The question is asked by the apostle, “how can we, that are dead to sins, live any longer therein?” If we truly believe, the answer is that we cannot. In the gospel, it can truly be said “that if one died for all, then were all dead:” (2 cor. 5:14) And for those who receive the blood in this manner, they are intimately linked to His sacrifice as Isaiah was.

Matthew 26:28 “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

Anciently in Israel, the sacrifice of blood from a beast was used to demonstrate the consecration of God’s people to the very sacrifice. Notice how the blood of the sacrifice is joined to the altar, to the children of God, and to all things pertaining their relationship with God:

Exodus 24:6-8 And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. (7) And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. (8) And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.”

Now, this blood was not any different from any other creature’s blood. It could not satisfy or consecrate anyone without faith at all. Nor could those who failed of understanding the blood of Christ receive any benefit from it. Notice that the blood had to touch the things which were consecrated. That is just as it was with Isaiah when the live coal from the altar of sacrifice had touched his lips; representing Christ, and fitting him for the prophetic ministry.

Hebrews 9:22-23 “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. (23) It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.”

And what was that better sacrifice? The sacrifice of Christ by faith. That was sufficient to purge Isaiah of his iniquity then, and it is sufficient to purge our iniquity today. That is the blood of consecration; enjoining our souls to Christ. There is no difference, save the accomplished fact of Christ performing the very thing He gave Himself over to do. But that thing could be achieved in any believing soul, and IS ACHIEVED IN EVERY BELIEVING SOUL, at that very moment of belief. And it is that alone which shall equip us to be what Christ has called us to be. Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And if we are purged from dead works to serve the living God, having found mercy through the blood of the Lamb, we ought to be a living sacrifice to God.

Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

You, yourself, are to be a living sacrifice. All that you say and do is now to reveal the Lamb of God. Then all the world, in seeing this living sacrifice, “before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified”, will see the glory of Christ by your conduct. And in touching them by your life, they too might be touched with the live coal of the altar, and enter into the mercy and grace which came to you by the sacrifice of Christ.

CONCLUSION

So what then? Let this be the call for those who have not known that peace that only the blood of Christ can secure; that cleansing that He alone may bring. To set before the people the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world is the most important and vital of works. The Scripture tells us “He is despised and rejected of men”, and how true is that also today of Christ? Nevertheless, it is that message that is a trumpet call to direct the eyes of all people to that which is most needful, because by that Sacrifice alone sin could be taken away (and that point mentioned again and again, since it is the point many fail to enter into belief in, that must be pressed home to the mind). Therefore the knowledge of that Lamb is essential for all to see clearly the mighty salvation which God and Christ have afforded to all who believe; that you may see that He has placed claims upon your life and a value, because He sees what you may become by the blood of Christ, and that the Lamb of God may be “evidently set forth, crucified among you” even as it is this day to all who believe. What depths of love! How great a salvation! Will you embrace the Lamb and be a living sacrifice today?

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