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.
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
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
We also know that Adam and Eve, once they realized what
they had done, took fig leaves to cover their newly realized
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
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
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
In 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
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
“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
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
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
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
4). The Trespass or Guilt offering covered five distinct
Cheated the Lord without knowing –
Lying to a neighbor –
Fornication or adultery –
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
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
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
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
Hebrews 9:1-28 NKJV.
Knowing the Doctrines of the Bible, Myer Pearlman, Gospel
Publishing House, 1937, p.186
Biblecenter.org, R K Campbell
Biblecenter.org, R K Campbell
If you desire any more information
or instruction on your new life in Christ or further teachings that
will aid you in your spiritual growth please contact us.