Introduction and The Foundation in Genesis
Introduction: In the British Navy there is a scarlet thread running through every line of cordage, and though a rope is cut into inch pieces, it can be recognized as belonging to the Government. There is also a scarlet thread running all through the Bible — the whole book points to Christ and His shed blood. If you read your Bible carefully, you will see the scarlet thread running right through every page. The “trail of blood” begins in Genesis, and runs on to Revelation. God’s was written to tell the story of the scarlet thread. Take it out, and the book would not be worth carrying home.
First and foremost is the Divine Plan of Redemption. In the Scriptures the Plan of Redemption is central and fundamental. In Genesis we have recorded the Creation and Fall of man to show that he has the capacity for, and is in need of, redemption. Next we find the promise of the Redeemer. Then follows a system of sacrifices and offerings that represent pictorially the nature of redemption and the condition under which salvation is realized. At the commencement of the New Testament we have the four Gospels which set forth the basis of Redemption, namely, the Incarnation, Life, Death, Resurrection and Ascension of the Redeemer; Jesus, The Son of God. Next comes the Book of the Acts and the Epistles that illustrate again and again the Power of Redemption, showing that it is adequate to work its great results in the salvation of both Jew and Gentile. Finally, in the Revelation, we are shown the ultimate triumphs of redemption, the Goal of Salvation — the redeemed dwelling with God in perfect union and communion.
This scarlet thread is a thread of blood. Blood is mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible, throughout both the Old and New Testaments. The nature of man’s life is found in the blood; the price for sin is blood; atonement for sin comes only through the blood of the Messiah; and the blood reaches from the depths of hell to the courts of heaven.
Let’s begin to follow the weaving of the “scarlet thread” through the Scriptures…..
The Foundation In Genesis: Read Genesis 3:1-21.
An important lesson in Bible Study is called “the law of first mention”. As a general rule, the FIRST time that God introduces a concept in His Word, it will be shown in its’ deepest meaning, and every mention of that concept after that will serve to clarify (or provide examples) of that concept. Although the actual mention of the shedding of blood in this portion is brief (and the word “blood” isn’t even directly mentioned), this portion lays the foundation for every other mention of blood and sacrifice in the whole of Scripture.
THE PROBLEM: WHAT IS SIN?
The disobedience of God’s Word and/or will.
THE CONSEQUENCE: WHAT HAPPENED IMMEDIATELY?
Adam and Eve experienced guilt, shame, and fear for the first time. Adam begins to lie to God, and tries to shift the blame to Eve and to God Himself. By hiding, they were separated from God. They lost the SHEKINAH glory that had covered them, and were exposed (naked). One Bible Commentator (William Law, “Christian Regeneration”, page 5) puts it this way:
“This is plainly taught us in the holy scripture, where it is said of our first parents in paradise, before the fall, that “they were naked, and were not ashamed.” And again, after the fall it is said, “their eyes were opened,” and “they saw they were naked,” and through shame sought for a covering. It is not said, they saw their nakedness in paradise, but that though they were naked, that is, had such bodies as afterwards appeared to be naked, yet they were not ashamed, and the reason of their not being ashamed, was because that nakedness was not then visible, could not then show itself, but was concealed and covered from them by their paradisaical glory; but as soon as by sin, they died to the paradisaical life and glory, then they saw their nakedness, which sight filled them with shame and confusion.”
The word translated as “naked” (Hebrew “EYROM, Strong’s #5903) in this portion not only means “bare” or “unclothed”, but also is derived from a word that has nothing to do with clothing. The “root word” (Hebrew “ARAM”, Strong’s #6191) means to be cunning, to deal in a subtle manner, both in a derogatory sense. When Adam and Eve became “naked”, they not only lost their Shekinah glory and innocence, but they lost their “openness” and truthfulness. They tried to remedy the situation themselves by making aprons of leaves, but these were not sufficient.
THE SOLUTION: WHAT DID GOD DO?
God made them “coats” or “aprons” of skin to cover their nakedness. The word translated as “covered them” is “IBONAH” (Strong’s #3843), which literally means “to make white”. Thus we see that God Himself made the first sacrifice by killing an innocent animal to hide the nakedness of fallen humanity, and to “make them white” by the shedding of the blood. When we realize that the Person of the Trinity who was “walking in the garden” with Adam and Eve, and who would have been the one to kill the animal, skin it, and make the “coats” of skin, had to be Jesus Himself, we see the depth of this “first mention”. The consequence of sin is always death and the shedding of blood; either directly, or of a substitute. Can you imagine what Adam and Eve must have thought as they watched the God who had walked in the garden with them take an innocent animal, perhaps even one with which they were familiar, and killed it, skinned it, and fashioned robes, or clothes, for them? The sight of the blood upon the ground would surely speak to them of the consequences of sin.
THE PROMISE: WHAT DID GOD SAY?
Notice that the “seed of the woman” will crush the head of the serpent (Satan). Although it will not happen immediately, final victory over sin will be found in the sacrifice of the Messiah.
The Blood Cries Out, Is Prohibited To Man, And Establishes A Covenant
Read Genesis 4:1-12
Cain’s offering was given from an impure heart, since he gave only “an offering” when Abel gave of “the firstlings of the flock, and the fat”. When he was rebuked by God for this, his response was to kill his brother. Notice verse 10, which states that the blood “cries out” from the ground to God. The shedding of innocent blood is a sin that cries out to God, because the life is in the blood. God alone is the giver of human life, and anyone who destroys that life has sinned against God (see Psalm 51:1-4). What does this say about the fact that our sin placed Jesus on the Cross? What about our modern culture that has killed literally MILLIONS of innocent babies through abortion?
Read Genesis 9:1-7
God establishes the importance of human blood in his commands to Noah. Any animal that sheds human blood is to be killed, and any murderer is to be killed. Both of these commands are based on the fact that human beings are made in the image of God, and that “shedding the blood” (killing a person) destroys that image. The eating of meat with blood is prohibited, as is the use of blood for food in any way. These commands are also the basis for the first human government, in that society is charged with the execution of murderers. Homicide (which in a sense is always fratricide (that is, the killing of your brother, just as in the story of Cain and Abel), v. 5) demands a punishment that matches the crime. The justification for capital punishment, here established, is the nobility of human life, which is made in the image of God. It is not instituted primarily as a deterrent for crime, but as a strong reminder of the uniqueness of man. Notice that animals are acceptable as food, and can be killed. No matter what the radical enviromental movement and the evolutionists would tell you, man is different; not just an evolved animal. In addition to the concept of murder, the concept of suicide is dealt with in this portion. Man must not take away his own life: Your blood of your lives will I require, v. 5. Our lives are not so our own, but they are God’s and we must live until HE PLEASES to take us home. If we hasten our own deaths, we are accountable to God for it.
Notice that the killing of mere men brings death, but the killing of the Divine Man (Christ) brought life.
Read Genesis 15:1-20
For the first time, God uses blood to establish a covenant. The sacrifices that Abraham is commanded to kill are reminiscent of the Mosaic sacrifices that ranged from the wealthiest (a heifer) to the poorest (a pigeon).
The “deep sleep” (tardemah, Heb.) is the same word used to describe the state of Adam when God took a part of his side to make Eve (2:21). The significance of Abram’s sleep is that he did not participate in the covenant ceremony. The focus of the covenant, therefore, was upon the promises of God. Though a human covenant usually assumes a reciprocal relation between two free parties, this covenant made by God with a man is one in which the man was not placed on an equal plane with God, who in fact must condescend in grace to come to the man. Man was merely a recipient of the gift of God, and his sole qualification was a willingness to receive God’s gift of mercy.
The fire that passed between the pieces of the sacrificed animals is the same that appeared to the Jews in the Exodus (see Exodus 13:21-22), and is the presence of God Himself in the Spirit. That this “fire” consumed the pieces testifies of God’s acceptance of the sacrifices Abraham had made, as seen in other times when this occurred: Gideon’s (Judges 6:21), Manoah’s (Judges 13:19, 20), and Solomon’s (2nd Chronicles 7:1). It teaches us (1.) That God’s covenants with man are made by sacrifice (Psalm 50:5), by Christ, the great sacrifice. (2.) God’s acceptance of sacrifice is a token for good and an earnest (or “downpayment”) of further favors (see Judges 13:23).
Abraham’s Son, And The First Passover
Read Genesis 22:1-19
God tested Abraham in the command to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. God does not tempt (or test) anyone with evil (James 1:13); but in certain instances, He does test, try, or prove us (James 1:2; 1st Peter 1:6–7). God in His omniscience had always known the heart of Abraham, but here He gave Abraham an opportunity to demonstrate his faith, so that ABRAHAM would know.. Abraham, advancing up the slope, where Solomon’s temple later stood, felt something of the agony of the Heavenly Father sacrificing His only Son, Jesus. At the summit of Moriah, the type changes, and Isaac is a type of all lost and condemned men, for whom a substitute ram, representative of Christ, was sacrificed.
“The-Lord-Will-Provide” is a play on the verb translated “provided.” The verb means basically “see,” as the English word “provide” is from the Latin, meaning “see beforehand.” God sees our need before it arises and makes provision for it. Had not Abraham been sustained by the full consciousness of acting in obedience to God’s will, the effort would have been too great for human endurance; and had not Isaac (then upwards of twenty years of age) displayed equal faith in submitting, this great trial could not have been completed.
Isaac was Abraham’s unique son; and when the New Testament refers to Isaac (Hebrews 11:17), it calls him his only begotten (monogenes). It is clear that the expression “only begotten” refers to status. Thus, when Christ is referred to as “the only begotten” it is a reference to his status as the unique Son of the Father; it does not signify that he had a beginning.
Thus, this portion of the “scarlet thread” shows us that the sacrifice is representative of the “Son”, and that the sacrifice must be appropriated by FAITH. Also, the promise of ressurection is seen here as well.
Read Exodus 12:1-13
First God told Moses and Aaron about the time of the Passover. This feast was to mark a new age in the history of Israel (the first month, the first month of your year). Though the events in this chapter occurred in the seventh month according to the civil year (which began in September-October) this is the first month in Israel’s religious calendar.
The tenth plague was the death of either the firstborn (of both man and beast, symbolic of man and all creation) or a substitutionary lamb. Each individual was to partake of the lamb, but the feast was for families, and the entire nation acted simultaneously to observe it. The blood of the spotless sacrifice (1st Peter 1:19) was put on the top and at the two sides of the door. Thus they were symbolizing the cross itself in this act. This was done by faith (Hebrews 11:28). Externally, it was the actual blood that saved them from the death angel. Internally, this substitution was appropriated through obedient, humble, submissive faith.
“thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet”, as prepared for a journey. The first was done by the skirts of the loose outer cloth being drawn up and fastened in the girdle, so as to leave the leg and knee free for motion. As to the other, the Orientals (both Middle-Eastern and Far Eastern) never wear shoes indoors, and the ancient Egyptians, as appears from the monuments, did not usually wear either shoes or sandals. The Passover was the beginning of a journey. For us, salvation is not an ending, a time for stopping and being content with where we are; but it is a beginning, a time to follow the Lord for the rest of our lives, obeying Him in all things, and trusting Him to lead us.
There is a progression of doctrine regarding the sacrificing of a lamb.
(1) In Genesis the lamb was slain for the individual (Genesis 4:4).
(2) In Exodus it was slain for the family (house), (Exodus 12:3–4).
(3) In Leviticus the lamb was slain for the nation (Leviticus 16).
(4) In the New Testament the Lamb of God was slain for the sin of the world (John 1:29).
They had to kill it and take of the blood to apply it to the door as God had specified (on the side and top doorposts). Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). Christ has shed His precious blood for our redemption, but it is ineffective until each sinner makes the application personally to his own soul by believing Jesus died, was buried, and rose again for him. Likewise, the Israelite could not be saved from the death angel simply by killing the lamb. The blood had to be properly applied.
“When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” The applied blood was the evidence of an obedient and prepared household. It fulfilled the divine demand for blood atonement and prefigured the blood of Christ shed for our sins. Just as the blood of the PASSOVER saved the Israelites FROM something, so it is for us; see John 3:17-18.
Lesson 4: The Mosaic Sacrifices
It is important to notice that God ordained 5 Levitical sacrifices, because 5 is the symbolic number of grace, and the sacrificial system was always an object of God’s GRACE, since it was God’s choice to allow substitutionary atonement in the first place. Most “New Testament” Christians don’t realize that GRACE is the topic of BOTH the Old and New Testaments. 4 of the 5 sacrifices involved the shedding of blood, while the 5th (the MEAL or MINCHA offering was made with flour or grain). We will look only at the “blood-sacrifices” in this lesson. We should note that a “DAILY” offering of a lamb at morning and at evening had been commanded in addition to these “blood-sacrifices” (Exodus 29:38-42), so the actual total of sacrifices of blood is still 5 (showing GRACE).
The Law of the Burnt Offering (Olah):
The law of the burnt offering is found in Leviticus 1. They were for the statutory individual and national offering upon the “horned” altar before the sanctuary.
(1) Ritual for the Offerer (Leviticus 1:3-17). This may have been from the herd or flock or fowls, brought to the tent of meeting; hands were laid (heavily) upon its head designating it as the offerer’s substitute, it was killed, flayed and cut in pieces. If of the flock, it was to be killed on the north side of the altar; if a fowl, the priest must kill it.
(2) Ritual for the Priest (Leviticus 1:3-17). If a bullock or of the flock, the priest was to sprinkle the blood round about the altar, put on the fire, lay the wood and pieces of the carcass, wash the inwards, legs, etc., and burn it all as a sweet savor to God. If a fowl, he must wring the neck, drain out the blood on the side of the altar, cast the crop, filth, etc., among the ashes, rend the wings without dividing the bird and burn the carcass on the altar.
Christ seen in this offering: We see Christ in both “sides” of this sacrifice; both God’s “side” and the sinners “side”. For the sinner, this sacrifice deals with sin through the death of the substitute, whom the sinner must DIRECTLY IDENTIFY WITH (by placing his hands on it and praying over it). In the same manner, we cannot be saved unless we DIRECTLY IDENTIFY with Christ as our Savior, thus applying His death to our life. From God’s “side”, we see that Christ is the “best of the flock”, whole, and without blemish; as was necessary for this sacrifice. Also, He is the WHOLE burnt offering, given totally to God, without reservation.
The Law of the Peace Offering:
The peace offerings indicated right relations with God, expressing good-fellowship, gratitude and obligation. The common altars were fitted for
their use (Exodus 20:24), as feasts had been thus celebrated from time
immemorial. At the feast before God on the Mount, peace offerings provided the food (Exodus 24:5); also before the golden bull (Exodus 32:6). The wave offerings and heave offerings were portions of these.
(1) Ritual for the Offerer (Leviticus 3:1-17). The offering might be a bullock, a lamb, or a goat, either male or female, latitude being allowed in this case. The ritual was the same as in the case of the burnt offering (see above).
(2) Ritual for the Priest (Leviticus 3:1-17). Blood must be sprinkled on the altar round about, the caul, the liver and the kidneys must be taken away and the fat parts burned on the altar; the fat tail of the lamb must also be burned. These portions were offerings of food by fire to the Deity. The ritual for a goat was the same as for a bullock.
(3) General Laws for the Priest (Leviticus 6:12 (Hebrew 5); 7:1).
The fat was to be burned on the altar of burnt offering. If it was a thanks offering (zebhach ha-todhah), it must have unleavened cakes with oil, cakes mingled with oil and fine flour soaked. Cakes of leavened bread might be offered, and one cake was to be a heave offering to the priest. The flesh was to be eaten that day; none was to be left till morning
(Leviticus 22:30). If it was a votive (remembrance) offering (zebhach nedher) or a freewill offering (zebhach nedhabhah), it might be eaten on the first and second days, but not on the third day; it should then be an abomination.
Christ seen in this sacrifice: This was the only sacrifice where the sinner and the priest would eat part of it together, initiating the common bond of hospitality (which was crucially important in Middle Eastern thinking). This sacrifice was the Old Testament equivalent of COMMUNION. When we come to the Lord’s Table to share in Communion, we are “feasting” (symbolically) on what God has provided, and we acknowledge that we are at peace with God through Jesus Christ. See Luke 2:14, Colossians 1:20, Ephesians 2:14.
The Law of the Sin Offering:
The sin offering was a sacrifice of a special kind, first mentioned at the consecration of Aaron and his sons. (Leviticus 4:1-35; 24-30, etc.).
(1) The Occasion and Meaning:
Specifically to atone for unwitting sins, sins of error (sheghaghah), mistakes or rash acts, unknown at the time, but afterward made known. There were “levels” of these for several classes of offenders: the anointed priest (Leviticus 4:3-12), the whole congregation (Leviticus 4:13-21), a ruler (Leviticus 4:22-26), one of the common people (Leviticus 4:27-35), forswearing (5:1), touching an unclean thing (Leviticus 5:2) or the uncleanness of man (Leviticus 5:3), or rashly swearing in ignorance (Leviticus 5:4). For conscious and willful violations of the Law, no atonement was possible, with some exceptions, for which provision was made in the guilt offerings.
(2) Ritual for the Offerer (Leviticus 4:1-5,13, etc.):
The anointed priest must offer a bullock at the tent of meeting, lay his hands upon it and slay it before Yahweh. The congregation was also required to bring a young bullock before the tent of meeting, the elders were to lay hands upon it and slay it before Yahweh. The ruler must bring a he-goat and do the same. One of the common people might bring a she-goat or lamb and present it in the same manner. If too poor for these, two turtledoves or young pigeons, one for a sin offering and one for burnt offering, would suffice. If too poor for these, the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour without oil or frankincense would suffice.
(3) Ritual for the Priest (Leviticus 4:1-5,13, etc.):
He must bring the bullock’s blood to the tent of meeting, dip his finger into it and sprinkle blood 7 times before the veil of the sanctuary, and put some on the horns of the altar of incense, but most of the blood must be poured out at the base of the altar. The fat must be burned upon the altar, all the rest of the carcass must be carried to a clean place without the camp and burned. In the case of the whole congregation, the ritual is the same. In the case of a ruler, the blood is to be put upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, not the altar of incense. In the case of one of the common people, the ritual is similar to that of the ruler. In both the latter cases the carcass belonged to the priest. If a bird, the priest must wring off its head, sprinkle some blood on the side of the altar and pour the rest at the base. Nothing is said of the disposal of the carcass. If of fine flour, the priest must take out a handful and burn it upon the altar, keeping the remainder for himself. The use of fine flour for an expiatory sacrifice is evidently exceptional and intended to be so. Though life was not given, yet necessity of life — that which represented life — was offered.
(4) General Laws for the Priest (Leviticus 6:24-30):
The sin offering was to be slain in the same place as the burnt offering. It was most holy, and the priest alone might eat what was left of the ram, pigeon or flour, in the holy place. Whatever touched it was to be holy, any garment sprinkled with the blood must be washed in a holy place, earthen vessels used must be broken, and brazen vessels thoroughly scoured and rinsed.
Christ seen in this sacrifice: Jesus is indeed our SIN OFFERING, making atonement for us in His death. See Romans 8:3, 2nd Corinthians 5:21.
The Guilt Offering:
The guilt offering (the King James Version “trespass offering”) (Leviticus 5:14 through 6:7) was a special kind of sin offering, always of a private character and accompanied by a fine. It expressed expiation and restitution. The classes of sin requiring a guilt offering with reparation in money are:
(1) a trespass in the holy things done unwittingly;
(2) anything which the Law forbade depriving God or the priest of their
(3) dealing falsely, with a neighbor in a deposit, or pledge, or robbery, or oppression;
(4) swearing falsely regarding anything lost;
(5) seduction of a betrothed bondmaid (Leviticus 19:20-22). The
first two of these are unwitting sins, the others cannot be.
The Ritual (Leviticus 5:14 through 6:7).
A ram proportionate in value to the offense and worth at least two shekels is required. The ritual is probably the same as that of the sin offering, though no mention is made of the laying on of hands, and the blood is not brought into the sanctuary, but sprinkled about the base of the altar, the fat and inside parts being burned, and the flesh eaten by the priests in a holy place.
Christ seen in this sacrifice: See Isaiah 53:8, 2nd Corinthians 5:19, Colossians 2:13-14. We have ALL sinned and come short of the glory of God, and are GUILTY of treason (against our Creator), filthiness (spiritually), and sin. Only in Christ can our guilt (trespass) be cleansed.
SUMMARY: The Mosaic sacrifices given in Leviticus show the life, death, and ministry of Christ in its’ various facets. The entire story is one of God showing grace to mankind, making provision for our sin to be cleansed, and providing a way for sinners to have fellowship with the Holy and Righteous God. Christ is the True Sacrifice, that living Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
Lesson 5: The Judges Of Israel, The Dedication Of The Temple, God Empowers The Prophet, The Declaration Of God’s Final Judgement Upon The Nations
The time of the Judges of Israel was a time when God showed His continued mercy to His People, even though they repeatedly disobeyed Him and followed other gods. God would allow the Jews to be oppressed until they would remember Him and cry out to Him. He would then send a Spirit-led Judge who would bring the people back to freedom. The “Scarlet Thread” in the history of the Judges is not a story of religious sacrifices, but rather of warfare, with God’s Judges leading His people to victory.
1st Kings 8:54-66
The Scarlet Thread continues in the Book of Kings, where Solomon makes sacrifice for the dedication of the Temple. By commanding that a permanent dwelling place be constructed, God shows His intention to “dwell among” His People on a permanent basis. This will be fulfilled at the end of the Millenium, when God’s eternal dwelling will be with Man (Revelation 21-22).
1st Kings 18:20-40
God overpowers the priests of the false god, Baal, and shows the true power of His prophet, Elijah. God shows that He DOES continue to speak to His People, in spite of their continued desire to worship idols. He sends annointed prophets, and answers true worship with His fire and power. God IS, and will continue to be, victorious over the idols of Satan. God’s Spirit-empowered people continue to bring His word, and continue to see that God accepts their offerings in worship.
The Lord foretells of the “Day of the Lord”, when His judgement will be poured out upon the nations of the earth. The Scarlet Thread is not only GOOD NEWS for the Redeemed, it is BAD NEWS for the wicked. God is the righteous judge, and He will not only reward the righteous, but He will also judge and destroy those who live in evil.
Lesson 6: The Lord In Judgment and Salvation, True Worship and False, The King, Coming With Salvation, The Lord’s Supper is Instituted
The Lord In Judgment and Salvation (Isaiah 63:1-6)
In one of the most visual images of the Old Testament, we see The Lord Himself treading the winepress of judgement upon the peoples of the earth, but He is also identified in verse 1 as the “mighty to save”. In the midst of the judgement, His own arm worked salvation for the redeemed. Notice that the “day of judgement” and the “year of the redeemed” occurs at the same time. Thus the “winepress of blood” is GOOD news for the redeemed, and BAD news for the un-redeemed.
True Worship and False (Isaiah 66:1-4)
In this section we see that God’s acceptance of sacrifices is based on the attitude and heart of the offerer.
The Coming King, Coming With Salvation (Zecheriah 9:9-17)
In this Messianic prophecy, we see the True King coming to His people in humility, bringing peace. He will defend them in battle in a miraculous way (which we may see in the very near future, depending on how Iraq acts in this new war). The reason that He will do this for His people (in spite of their failure to always obey Him) is because “of the blood of your covenant”. The covenant of blood is considered binding by God, and He will fulfill its’ “contractual obligations” on His part.
The Lord’s Supper is Instituted (Matthew 26:26-29)
Jesus draws on the picture of the Passover ceremony to announce that a NEW COVENANT is to be instituted in HIS blood. It is a continuation of the OLD covenant in that it brings life, and saves from the judgement of God upon the unholy; but it is NEW in that it is not based on ANIMAL blood that could only produce “covering” of sin (temporarily stopping it), but is rather based on the blood of the sinless Son of God, which will CLEANSE away the sin totally.
Lesson 7: Brought Near By The Blood, Holy In His Sight, The Perfect Sacrifice
The Apostle Paul deals with the expansion of the covenant to include those who were not included under the original covenant. Now, even those who have not been included by being a part of “the commonwealth of Israel”, and who have had no hope of any relationship with God, are brought near to God in Jesus Christ. A person no longer has to enter God’s Family through the rituals of Judaism, but can be washed and adopted through Jesus alone. The enmity between Jew and Gentile is resolved by them both being made into one NEW man, “Christian”.
Paul reminds the church at Colossae that Jesus is our true “Peace Offering”. We, sinful traitors who have rebelled against our Creator, are reconciled to God Jesus. Not only are we reconciled, but we are changed in character and position from “sinner” to “holy, blameless, and above reproach”. Not only is fallen humanity reconciled, but all of creation, which has been tainted by sin, is reconciled to a holy God.
In this section, the true fulfillment and meaning of the entire Old Testament sacrificial system is given. The entire Priesthood was a preparation, a “dress rehearsal” for the True High Priest. The system of animal sacrifices was a prelude to the Perfect Sacrifice. The earthly Tabernacle was a symbol and model of the True Tabernacle, the Throne of God in heaven. The Old Testament sacrifices could make a temporary covering for sin, but Jesus shed blood is the perfect sacrifice that can actually REMOVE sin completely. The entire system of “washings”, sacrifices, regulations of cleanliness, and so on (that had to be repeated often) find their ultimate fulfillment in the one, single act of atonement of Jesus Christ, The Son of God, giving Himself willingly to die on the Cross. This is the focal point to which the entire Old Testament points.
Lesson 8: The Final Threads
In the book of Genesis, Abel’s sacrifice was accounted as worthy, and was seen as righteous. However, even his worthy sacrifice could atone for only him. However, Jesus’ sacrifice provides atonement for ALL who repent, and who believe (trust) Him. His sacrifice makes us members of the “church of the firstborn”. The broadness of God’s grace is the reason for the severity of His judgement, in that He has given us the life of His own Son to provide fallen humanity with salvation, and it is an absolute rejection of God in the most insulting terms to reject His grace.
1st Peter 1:3-20
The greatness of our inheritance that has been bought by the blood is so far beyond any level of our trials on earth that it is not even worthy of comparison. The majesty of God’s gift of His Son is such that all of the Old Testament prophets, and even the angels themselves, sought to understand it, and couldn’t. As a result of our obtaining this grace, we should live lives that show that we understand that we have been given the greatest gift of all.
1st John 5:1-14
One of the three witnesses in heaven on our behalf is the Blood of Jesus. The exclusivity of the Gospel is an important point: He who has the Son has life, He who DOESN’T have the Son DOES NOT HAVE LIFE. No matter what people may say regarding how THEY plan to get to heaven, if it is not in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, IT WON’T HAPPEN. Also, God’s covenant is such that you can know with absolute assurance that you DO or DO NOT have life. We don’t have to wonder, worry, or fret.
The fulfillment of history is found in the fact that Jesus alone is worthy to open the scroll of world events leading to the redemption of all creation; and He is worthy because He shed His blood as the sacrifice for sin to redeem all of creation. Notice that those who have been redeemed have been made both PRIESTS (to serve and minister) and KINGS (to rule and reign).
We find the end of the “Scarlet Thread” in this portion of Scripture. Jesus, who shed the first blood in Genesis for Adam and Eve to cover the sin that they were led into by Satan, now comes to shed the final blood to end the rebellion in creation that was spawned by Satan. Jesus is the victor in the conflict, and the plan of redemption is brought to a close by the eradication of death and hell, sin and Satan. He who was judged a criminal, and crucified, now renders judgement on the universe itself. He is truly “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”