I have been composing this post in my head for some time now. It is about the perfection of Jesus Christ. The very sinlessness of the Lord, Creator and Sustainer of heaven and earth. Who existed always, but at the appointed time, left heaven to be born of a godly young woman and to live a humble life on earth destined for sacrifice. You see, Jesus Christ’s death on the cross was the ultimate act of atonement. Reconciliation. Forgiveness. Redemption. For His chosen people, Israel. After all, Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of the prophecies told of old.
Long ago, Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit set out to make a people their own. It began with Abraham. God called Abraham out of Mesopotamia to a land he had never been but that God would give him and his descendants (Genesis 12:1). With and through Abraham, we have a father of many nations, as promised by God (Genesis 17:4). In fact, we as Judeo-Christians lay claim to Abraham as father through his son, Isaac, and his grandson, Jacob. And of course, through Jacob’s son (Abraham’s great grandson), Judah, whose distinguished lineage led to our very own Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
A bit after the historical record of Abraham, we meet Moses. Through Moses, the laws were given by God on Mount Sinai; these laws are commonly known as the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17). But Moses also gave his people a detailed set of laws that governed the Israelites’ conduct and worship. We call these laws the Mosaic law. It is within these laws (both the Ten Commandment and the Mosaic laws) that we come to understand that we have sinned and need forgiveness. And a savior. An ultimate sacrifice. A sacrifice after which no other sacrifice would ever again be required. A sacrifice that would ultimately be executed through Jesus Christ’s death on a cross.
From the time of Moses and his brother, Aaron (the family of Moses and Aaron descended from the tribe of Levi, which was the tribe designated by God to be Israel’s priests), specific sacrificial rituals and offerings were prescribed for different reasons. Among these reasons, there were offerings. Sacrifices. Among them, burnt offerings and sin offerings. It would seem that the point of the burnt offerings was that concerning consecration. To consecrate something according to Dictionary.com is to declare it sacred. When the Israelites offered their perfect animals as burnt offerings to God on the altar, the offerings themselves then became God’s holy, acceptable, and pleasing sacrifice (Leviticus 8:14-15). Moreover, during the sin offerings, only the blood was used for atonement. Which brings me to Jesus Christ.
Notice my use of the word “perfect” in the previous paragraph, referencing Israel’s holy, acceptable, and pleasing sacrifices. Jesus, the Son of Man and the Son of God together in one person, was described as perfect in the Bible. Sinless. The animal to be presented for sacrificial offering in the Old Testament was to be without blemish, inside and out. In fact, the priest would cut the animal and inspect its organs to ensure its health, its cleanliness, its holiness, and its acceptability. Jesus Christ was described as the ultimate lamb that was slain (Revelation 5:12). The Jews (and indeed all of humanity) were in need of a savior because of the sin that transpired in the Garden of Eden that separated humanity (all of us) from God. The ONLY acceptable sacrifice to once and for all restore us and redeem us to the God of the universe was a perfect and holy one: The Very Son of God.
1 Peter 2:22 asserts that Jesus was the One “Who committed no sin nor was any deceit found in His mouth.” 1 John 3:5 explains of Jesus, “You know that He appeared in order to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin.” The author of Hebrews offers powerful words (Hebrews 4:15): “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” Even the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate, is quoted in John 19:4 as having said that he found no guilt in Jesus. And in I Peter 1:18-19, we read that we are “not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold,...but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”
You see, the only person who COULD have qualified as our ultimate sacrifice WAS Jesus Christ. Because He HAD to be perfect. No other person could fill the enormous role of final offering because no other person in the history of the world had ever been perfect or could ever be perfect.
Spotless. Unblemished. Perfect. Jesus Christ. The Son of God. He Who was perfect as both God and man. Spirit and flesh. Father and Son. The Son of man and the Son of God all in one perfect person. Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world, suffered and died so that we could one day be reconciled with the Father. The very God who created everyone from Adam to Abraham, from Moses and even straight down to his own mother, came as Jesus Christ and died for all of us, thus FULFILLING in the one act of love and grace the ENTIRE Mosaic law. The final lamb that was slain. For Israel. For you. For me. For all.
Jesus Christ wants you as His own. He already demonstrated great grace and love for you on the cross. Call upon His name, and He will hear you. Ask for His forgiveness, and he will grant your petition. Make a decision to follow Him, and He will lead you. Please make that important decision, then listen to this song. It’s called “Clean” by Natalie Grant. Copy the link below into your browser, and listen to the restorative lyrics.
He’s washed us clean. With His blood.
He was and is and ever will be...The Only. And Perfect. Sacrifice.
March 16, 2017