In the previous post we have seen that the Bible offers a specific plan of salvation for the inevitable consequence of the failure of man, namely death.
It may seem hopeless that no man can be perfect. But it is completely wrong to think that there may no human being be able to follow God’s will. Besides such a mindset would create God a that would impose rules on man that He knew that they should not be able to fulfil.
Can the endless cycle of birth, life, sin, death than be interrupted if we continue to relapse in sin?
The biblical solution
The way the Bible shows us here, is that someone has come who was perfect enough to do the will of God, but who nevertheless died. The Bible tells us that his death is sufficient, under certain conditions, to give the failing human being his eternal life. These conditions are described as’ faith in him “. On the meaning of that phrase we shall come back. Now we want to focus first on the work of the Saviour, that is Jesus Christ.
In the Old Testament we read that God had given a law to his people. Who would hold that law would be perfect and live. But, as said, no one succeeded. Yet there were some ‘lesser’ violation provisions in the Law to ‘atone‘. For such violation sacrifices had to be made. That meant the slaughter of a sacrificial animal. The symbolism is clear: the offender actually has forfeited his life; to save him there should be a different life to replace his life. And the offender must also in a symbolic act as it were transfer his fault to the sacrifice:
“And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the burnt-offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.” (Leviticus 1:4 ASV)
This laying of hands or ‘imposing’ upon the head of the burnt offering, actually means a depression or ‘pressing down’ of the head of the animal, as if one transfers the full burden of his sins to the animal. The verb ‘impose’ is the same as ‘heavy sleep’ in Psalm 88:
“Thou hast put mine acquaintance far from me; Thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.” (Psalms 88:8 ASV)
The offender himself had to kill the sacrificial animal, by which he indicated that he had actually slain himself by his offense. As a symbol of the fact that the offerer was reconciled with God, the flesh of the sacrifice in most cases was eaten in a sacrificial meal, which was in fact a kind of peace meal. Note, however, that this view of the meaning of a sacrifice is very far removed from the primitive conception of pagan people who saw sacrifice as a feeding of their gods, who only in this way could get their food. The God of the Bible says just:
“12 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee; For the world is mine, and the fulness thereof. 13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, Or drink the blood of goats?” (Psalms 50:12-13 ASV)
“And Samuel said, Hath Jehovah as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of Jehovah? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22 ASV)
“For I desire goodness, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings.” (Hosea 6:6 ASV)
Dutch original / Nederlands origineel: Verlossing #2 De Bijbelse oplossing
- Something from nothing
- Coming to the creation of human beings in the image of God
- Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 3
- Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4
- God’s wrath and sanctification
- Necessity of a revelation of creation 4 Getting understanding by Word of God 2
- Necessity of a revelation of creation 6 Getting understanding by Word of God 4
- Necessity of a revelation of creation 11 Believing and obeying the gospel of the Kingdom of God
- How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
- For the Will of Him who is greater than Jesus
- In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
- Atonement And Fellowship 6/8
- Wishing to do the will of God
- A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
- A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
- A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
- Missional hermeneutics 5/5
- Let us become nothing, and Christ everything