Statement of Faith Current Teaching Teaching Index
The Perfect Life of Christ
Part Two

May 2017

In order to have a deeper and fuller understanding of who Christ is and what He did, we must begin with the Old Testament, which from the very beginning contains examples and prophecies concerning the coming of Christ as a “sin atonement” (Genesis 3:15, 21; 4:4-5; 22:2-13; Exodus 12; Leviticus 6:8; Numbers 28; 29; Isaiah 53:10 plus many more). In fact, the whole sacrificial system established by God in the Old Testament starting in Genesis 3 set the stage for the coming of Jesus Christ, who is the perfect sacrifice that God would provide as atonement for the sins of His people (Romans 8:3; Hebrews 10).  Now let us take a closer look at these and other examples of the need for a blood sacrifice for sin and how Christ is that blood sacrifice established by God from before time began. 

Genesis 3 is the first sin sacrifice in the Bible.  This sacrifice was the first death found in the Bible.  The death was necessary for Adam and Eve’s covering which covered the external evidence of their sin and was made from animal skins.  Therefore it was the first Blood sacrifice for sin in the Bible.  We know that Adam and Eve fell to the deceptiveness of the serpent who is known as the devil or Satan; the father of all lies (John 8:44).  We also know that Adam and Eve, once they realized what they had done, took fig leaves to cover their newly realized nakedness.  God knowing what had happened after giving them a chance to confess and repent, which did not happen, cursed each of them including the initiator of their sin (Satan).  After cursing them His boundless mercy was demonstrated by giving mankind hope for forgiveness and salvation through the first messianic prophecy found in Scripture (Genesis 3:15).  Then in an action often overlooked He replaced their fig leaves with coats of animal skins.

These coats of animal skin were of tremendous and boundless significance. The beasts whose skins they were must be slain; slain no doubt before their eyes to show them what death is. It is also very likely that they were slain for sacrifice, in order to typify the great sacrifice which in the latter end of the world should be offered once for all. Thus the first thing that died was an animal as a sacrifice and a figure of Christ future death.  This sacrificial type re-occurs throughout all the Old Testament in one fashion or another, each time it occurred it is pointing to that day when Jesus, God’s only Son, the perfect one time sacrifice for sin, would die on a hill called Golgotha.

We can easily suppose this because this slaying came directly after God’s promise of hope and salvation of a human male child destroying the works of death now established by Satan’s deception (Genesis 3:15).  This sacrificial death cannot be removed from this content for it would tremendously lessen the significance of God’s ultimate and perfect future sacrifice.

It is very likely that the skins out of which their clothing was made were taken off animals whose blood had been poured out as a sin-offering to God; for as we find Cain and Abel offering sacrifices to God, we may fairly presume that God had given them instructions regarding His purpose in covering them with animal skins instead of their fig leaves, for it is extremely unlikely that a sacrifice of any kind to forgive sin could ever occur in the mind of man without an express revelation from God. Therefore we can draw these two conclusions. Adam and Eve needed this clothing as soon as they fell, so the skins were taken off victims offered under the direction of God Himself, and in faith of Him who, in the fullness of time, was to make an atonement by His death (Galatians 4:4-5).

The manner in which this death was brought about was in such a way that Satan and death should be inseparably associated one with another for all time, and also to demonstrate that death would have no victory (1st Corinthians 15:54-57).  This death being the first that took place in the world was a type of that death which would ultimately conquer Satan, destroy his empire, reconcile man to God, save mankind from the wages of sin, and prepare him for heaven.

There are two more Old Testament portraits of Christ being the Sacrificial Lamb of God that we will examine to show that the Old Testament sin sacrifice was a type of the atoning sin sacrifice of Christ.  The “Passover Lamb” whose blood was placed on the door posts and lintel; and the “Sin Sacrifice” of the Levitical

Sacrificial System. Through these sacrifices and many others both animal and vegetable and the Apostle Paul’s words, it is evident that the Old Testament sacrifices are types pointing to the ultimate sacrifice and atonement that was accomplished through the death of Christ (Hebrews 9:9-12).  “Before the creation of the world, He who knows the end from the beginning had made provision for man’s redemption.”[i]

These sacrifices served a very specific purpose.   This purpose was not just to reestablish the broken communion between God and man, though that was their ultimate purpose; but also to demonstrate that sin brings death and the “sacrifice” itself represented the principle that, without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin (Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9: 22). 

All of the Old Testament sacrifices point forward to and are a type of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  Let us look closer at the Passover Lamb sacrificed just before the Israelites left Egypt. God instructed Moses to inform the Israelites that they were to take a Lamb, a male of the first year. This lamb was to be without spot or blemish for that is what God required in order to make a sacrifice to the Lord for deliverance from bondages, the forgiveness of sin and for a worship or devotion offering.

http://www.biblecentre.org/images/topics/rkc_5_offerings.jpgIn Leviticus 1-7 we see five significant types of offerings required by God.  They are the Burnt offering, Tribute or Meal offering, the Peace offering, Sin offering, Trespass offering and Guilt offering. Refer to the chart.[ii]  

Later on in this section we will briefly discuss the significance of these five offerings and how they point to Christ. Right now, let us look at Exodus 12 which gives the entire story regarding the establishment of this Passover sacrifice and what it accomplished.  Passover was the time of the year when every man of the nation of Israel was to take a lamb without spot or blemish and sacrifice it for himself and his family.  This lamb was called the Passover lamb.  This Passover lamb was a shadow of Christ as the perfect sacrificial Lamb without spot or blemish who would die for the sins for all mankind (John 1:29).  He was to take this Passover lamb and keep it from the tenth day of the month until the fourteenth day, at which time the lamb would be sacrificed.  The lamb’s blood was to be placed over the door and on each door post making a sign of a cross.   (Refer to the picture below). 

Unbeknownst to them the cross was the future tool used for crucifixion, the very tool used to kill our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Using a cross for this horrible purpose would not become a reality in man’s mind for approximately another eight centuries when the Seleucids, Carthaginians, and Romans used it from about the 6th century BC to the 4th century AD. 

All who partook in this Passover sacrifice and fulfilled all its instructions would be passed over by God when He, due to His wrath against Egypt sent an angel of death to killed the first born male of every Egyptian family and the first born of their livestock as well (Exodus 12:29).  This action was the final act that led to the immediate release of God’s children from their four hundred and thirty years of bondage in Egypt.

In the New Testament, Christ’s death put an end not only to the Old Testament sacrificial system for He is the perfect Lamb without spot and without blemish, but our lifelong bondage to evil as well.  John the Baptist knew that Jesus would be the sacrifice that would atone for the sins of the world for He says in John 1:29 “… Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” and again in verse 36 “…Look the Lamb of God!” The Bible is clear that Jesus was not “created” to be the sacrifice but rather He was the sacrifice for man’s sin and the instrument of our salvation before the foundation of the world.  “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).  This can be seen in the Apostle Paul’s writing when he demonstrated to the Jews from their own history that Christ was with them even during the time of the desert wanderings. “They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that spiritual rock was Christ” (Romans 10:3-4).

Now before we conclude this section let us take a quick look at the five offerings mentioned above starting with the Burnt Offering and the conclusive statement of scripture found in Hebrews chapter nine.

The Burnt Offering (Leviticus 1) – Was to be a male without spot or blemish, the animal type was according to one’s wealth and it was to be entirely burnt except for the skin which would be given to the Priests (Leviticus 7:8).  Once the animal was brought to the priests the individual offering the sacrifice was to place his hands on the head of the offering which was symbolic of the transference of sin and God would accept the atonement.  Then the bull was killed its blood sprinkled on the altar and completely burnt.  In this sacrifice we have the highest aspect of the work of Christ where He is seen offering Himself up entirely to God to do His will even unto death. The whole offering was required and if done properly and with a pure heart it went up to God as a sweet savor. It pictures Christ who gave His whole being as “a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor” (Ephesians 5:2). Christ is not seen here as bearing our sins, as much as fully sacrificing His will to accomplish His Father's will.  This selflessness glorified Him while manifesting the holiness and majesty of His throne. This truth is especially clear and prominent in John's Gospel and in Psalm 40.

The Tribute or Meal Offering (Leviticus 2) – This was a voluntary offering made as often as one wanted.  Its purpose was for general thankfulness for God’s provision.  It consisted of fine flour, or if the flour was baked it was to be unleavened bread or wafers, frankincense and oil.  A portion of it was to be burnt as a sweet savor to the Lord and the rest eaten by the priest.  This offering typifies Christ as the perfect and sinless Man and presents to us His wonderful Person and His spotless life which was forever a voluntary offering made to God for a sweet savor. There was no shedding of blood in this offering so it speaks of the perfections of Christ's Person and life rather than of His death. The fine flour pictures His sinless humanity; the oil pictures the grace and power of the Holy Spirit which characterized His life, while the frankincense is representative of the sweetness and delicate scent of His Person and life.

The Peace Offering (Leviticus 3, 22:18-30) – Which is also referred to as a “Thank offering” a “Vow offering” or a “Freewill offering” was to be either a male of female from the flock according to wealth and also had no spots or blemishes.  The one making the offering was to lay his hand on the head of the offering, and kill it at the door of the tabernacle of meeting; and Aaron's sons, the priests, shall sprinkle the blood all around on the altar.  “The fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails, the two kidneys and the fat that is on them by the flanks, and the fatty lobe attached to the liver above the kidneys, shall be removed” and be burnt as “the food of the offering made by fire unto the Lord” (Leviticus 3:2-3, 11). This was God's part. The breast was given to Aaron and his sons and the right shoulder to the offering priest. This was man's part. Thus God and man both fed on the same offering which speaks of communion and fellowship and typifies the communion which the believer in Christ enjoys with God on the ground of the work of Christ at the cross and His blood shed there for our sins. We are at peace with God through the work of the cross.  We can feed upon Christ in fellowship with the Father. This can be clearly seen in the Gospel of Luke and in Psalm 85. 

The Sin Offering (Leviticus 4) – The purpose of this offering is plainly seen in its title.  This offering consisted of three levels of offerings.  The highest level was if the anointed priest or congregation sins and it becomes known.  In this case a bull was required.  The next level was when a tribal leader or ruler sins and it becomes known.  A male goat was required.  The third level was when any individual sinned, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, was offered.  This offering was to be applied to situations where purification was needed.  This offering was a non-sweet savor offering.  The offering was to be handled much like the burnt offering where the individual offering the sacrifice was to place their hands on the head of the animal, and then the priest would take some of the bull's blood and bring it to the tabernacle of meeting. The priest then dipped his finger in the blood and sprinkles some of the blood seven times before the LORD, in front of the veil of the sanctuary.  Then the priest would put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the LORD, which is in the tabernacle of meeting; and then pour the remaining blood of the bull at the base of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.  None of this offering was to eaten.  The special feature of this offering is in the whole bullock being burnt upon the ground outside the camp of Israel after the blood and fat were put upon the altar for God. This offering was for sin and pictures Christ who was made sin for us (2nd Corinthians 5:21) and endured the judgment and wrath of God against sin in our stead, as our substitute. The holiness of God and the awfulness of sin are brought out in the bullock being entirely burnt up outside the camp. It pictures Christ, forsaken of God, as our Sin-bearer, who was taken outside God’s city of peace, Jerusalem and hung on a cross until He was dead.  This theme is made vividly clear to us in both Psalm 22 and in Mark's Gospel.

The Trespass or Guilt Offering – This offering was for transgressions committed accidently or through ignorance, where afterwards a man voluntarily confessed himself guilty.  The sin could be against the government and authority of God, the congregation, or a brother.  For example refer to Leviticus 5:1-13 which include silence (verse 1), uncleanness (verses 2-3) and swearing (verse  4). The Trespass or Guilt offering covered five distinct cases.

  1.  Cheated the Lord without knowing – Leviticus 5:15

  2. Lying to a neighbor – Leviticus 6:2  

  3. Fornication or adultery – Leviticus 19:2  

  4. Leprosy – Leviticus 14:12

  5. Breaking of the Nazirite Vow – Numbers 6:12

In the first three cases the offering was a ram.  In the case of the last two, the offering was a he-lamb. The Word of God considers every wrong done to another, as a wrong done against the Lord as well (Psalm 51:4), and as a result, it needed a trespass-offering.  The trespass offering cleanses the conscience and sends the sinner back to make restitution (Leviticus 5:5-6).  It typifies Christ making restitution for the injury caused by our wrongdoing. We bring our sin; Christ is the offering and the atonement for sin. (cf. 1st Corinthians 15:3). Christ is our guilt offering, who made restitution on our behalf to God. The idea of restitution, or restoration, of the rights of those who had been violated, or disturbed is the main thrust of this offering.  We can see the point of the Trespass Offering clearly in the story of Zacchaeus’ meeting with Jesus in Luke 19:1~ (cf. Isaiah 53:8; 2nd Corinthians 5:19; Colossians 2:13, 14).  We see this point again in the fact that a trespass-offering was prescribed in the case of a healed leper (Leviticus 14:12) and in the case of a Nazirite, whose vow had been interrupted by sudden defilement with the dead (Numbers 6:10-12).  Leprosy was symbolically regarded as a wrong done to the congregation as a whole, while the interruption of the vow was a wrong directed towards the Lord.  Both these defilements needed to be cleansed by the Trespass offering. 

This offering presents Christ who died for our sins and trespasses on Calvary’s cross, in which He restored to us that which He was not guilty of taking (Psalms 69:4). He has not only answered to God for our sins and paid our debt by His shed blood, but has added the fifth part, as it were, bringing more glory to God and more blessings to man than He had before sin entered the world. This is the first view the sinner gets of the Cross of Christ.   Psalm 69 and Matthew's Gospel present this aspect of the offering of Christ.[iii]

In order to put a finishing touch to this section of our study let us look at what the writer of Hebrews has to say about the sinless life of Christ, the Old Testament types and the New Testament reality.  Does the writer of Hebrews believe that Jesus Christ was our sinless sacrifice who came to take away the sins of the world?  Does he believe that the Old Testament Sacrificial system is complete in Christ and in fact was a foreshadowing of the work Christ came to complete?  You decide!  Read Hebrews 9:1-28 NKJV.


[i] Knowing the Doctrines of the Bible, Myer Pearlman, Gospel Publishing House, 1937, p.186

[ii] Biblecenter.org, R K Campbell

[iii] Biblecenter.org, R K Campbell

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