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Sacrificial Laws... Part 1

1. Types and Shadows

Broadly speaking, divine laws concerning sacrifices fall into two categories.

Vegetable Offerings

These offerings consisted of white flour, or of unleavened bread, wafers, cakes, or of roasted grain, always with salt, and, with olive oil except in the sin offerings. (Leviticus 2:1, 4, 13, 14; 5:11)

Animal Sacrifices

Animal sacrifices of cattle, sheep and goats of both sexes. The animal was to be without blemish. Sacrifices were of three kinds:

  • The Sin or Trespass Offering: A male or female goat, a female lamb, a dove or pigeon was used. The blood was symbolically displayed in various ways (sprinkled before YaHuWaH, smeared on the horns of the altar and poured out at the altar of burnt offering. (Leviticus chapters 4, 6 and 14) The flesh of those sin offerings of which the blood was taken into the sanctuary, was burnt outside the camp, whereas the flesh of other sin offerings and of trespass belonged to the priests. (Leviticus 6:26,30; 7:6; Exodus 29:14) No part of these sin offerings was eaten by the offerer, as in the peace offerings.
  • The Burnt Offering: A male lamb, ram, he goat or bullock were required. The blood was sprinkled round the altar and the whole animal was burnt on the altar. This was an expression of total commitment to the Most High.
  • The Peace Offering: Three types of peace offerings are found in the law. The Thank offering: given as a token of thanks. The Votive Offering: given in fulfillment of a vow. The Peace offering: given to confirm a peace treaty

2. The Penalty for Sin

The penalty for sin is death, to be paid either by the sinner or by a substitute. The foundations of the entire universe would crumble to dust if YaHuWaH Almighty were to set aside the penalty for transgression. It must be paid - by someone! I am delighted to report this morning that the Most High has provided a substitute for man. That substitute is His only begotten Son YAHUSHUA, Jesus the Messiah. He is the divine substitute. He is the one who paid the price for man's sin. The whole sacrificial system was instituted to illustrate these two awesome facts:

            a) that the wages of sin is death; and
            b) that if a repentant sinner wanted forgiveness
                he/she was to bring a substitute to die in his/her place.

In ancient Israel this process was carried out in the very presence of the sinner. It was a bloody, brutal and expensive burden. It was meant to be: because the two lessons the Almighty wanted to teach His people - and through them all mankind - were, I repeat:

  • That sin is devastating, devouring and deadly. It always ends in death!
  • And that in His infinite mercy YaHuWaH has made a way of escape. He has provided a substitute for the sinner: someone who would die in the sinner's stead. Praise His holy name!

Every commandment in the sacrificial law demonstrates, amongst other things, those two vital facts.

  1. That the wages of sin is death.
  2. That without shedding of blood there is no remission.

3. The Lamb of YaHuWaH

To recap, then, we have learned that under the first covenant, sacrifice for sin consisted in offering literal farm animals. (lambs, rams, goats and bulls. etc.) Countless thousands of cattle were slaughtered in this way by ancient Israel. It was a gruesome drama with enormous impact; a sickening, sobering reminder of what a terrible thing sin is. It was enacted again and again for centuries to demonstrate the vital lesson that the wages of sin is death. However, the slaughter of farm animals was not designed to continue forever. Elohim had a more effective sacrifice in mind. The object lesson of farm animals dying for the sins of man was a temporary arrangement. It would last only till the reality came. And that reality is YaHuWaH 's only begotten Son - YAHUSHUA the Messiah of Israel. He was the divine sacrifice. Pointing to YAHUSHUA, John the Baptist said these words:

John 1:29 Behold the Lamb of YaHuWaH, who takes away the sin of the world.

4. What is YAHUSHUA Doing Today?

The story of the Savior's death on Calvary is well known; it has been preached millions of times through the ages by true ministers of the Gospel. But what is YAHUSHUA doing today and are animal sacrifices still required?

YAHUSHUA the Messiah Our High Priest

He Offers No Other Sacrifice Other Than His Own Blood

Many ancient religions demanded a continual stream of animal sacrifices as atonement for sin and impurity. Most of them borrowed the original idea from the pre-flood patriarchs (Abel, Enoch, Methuselah and Noah) who were directly instructed by YaHuWaH Himself. But only the Bible reveals that each animal sacrifice prefigured the Messiah of Israel. The Bible also teaches that YAHUSHUA the Messiah not only offered Himself - once and for all - for mankind's sin, but that He is, at this very moment, officiating on behalf of sinners in the presence of His Father, YaHuWaH the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Animal Scarifices Cannot Perfect the Conscience: Only the Savior Can Do That

However effective animal sacrifices were in teaching spiritual truths, they were unable to purge the sinner's conscience or remove his sin. They were merely dramatic object lessons, types and shadows of things to come: and they ended when the reality (YAHUSHUA the Messiah) died for the sins of the world.

Messiah's Scarifice Is Not To Be Repeated

5. Present day Sacrifices

The kind of sacrifices the Eternal wants in this age are symbolized by the praise, incense and meat offerings.

Praise, Thanksgiving, Good Communications

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

6. What About You?

Spiritual information, essential as it may be, is of no value whatsoever if it is not personally applied. And so I invite you to join with me in quietly answering these questions: What has all this information got to do with me? Is it important? Does it really matter? Will I suffer loss if I just ignore it all? Who cares anyway?

My Answers Are:

  • It matters a great deal, to all of us. Because if we reject the Almighty's offer of mercy, we will have to pay the death penalty ourselves. We will die: I will die. You will die an eternal death: a death from which you will never awake!
  • But, if we accept the Almighty's offer of mercy, if we repent of our sins and throw in our lot with Him, then we will live - forever!

Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith Adonai YaHuWaH, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

My prayer is that all of us; and all who read or preach this Sermon Note - will accept the Almighty's offer and live! Amen.