A BETTER SACRIFICE
IT WAS THEREFORE NECESSARY THAT THE PATTERNS OF THINGS IN THE HEAVENS SHOULD BE PURIFIED WITH THESE; BUT THE HEAVENLY THINGS THEMSELVES WITH BETTER SACRIFICES THAN THESE.
The temporary nature of the law of Moses, yea even of the old testament itself is nowhere more clearly demonstrated than in the offering up of the blood of JESUS for sin, once and for all. The sacrifices which were ordained in the Mosaic law were but patterns of heavenly things and not the very substance of them. The offerings of bulls and goats were indeed a satisfaction of the law under which they were ordained, in the same fashion as the high priest’s entrance into the holy of holies in the tabernacle and later the temple were a fulfillment of the requirements of that law.
Yet it was impossible that any man could ever be made just in the sight of GOD by these sacrifices or these ministrations of the Aaronic prieshood because these were but patterns (i.e.; types and foreshadows) of that most perfect SACRIFICE and PRIEST. Aaron could not continue as a High Priest because of his mortality, yet CHRIST because HE has neither beginning of days nor end of life, could and did make a heavenly satisfaction of sin for everyone for which HE was appointed a SUBSTITUTE. HE was both the OFFERING and the OFFERER.
As the eternal SON of GOD, HE has the authority to enter into the presence of the FATHER, being a PRIEST forever after the order of Melchizedek. As a sinless MAN, yea a FIRSTBORN LAMB without spot or blemish, HE was the perfect sacrifice, needing not to sacrifice for HIS own sins. “For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, (i.e; in the chronology of men, since HE was the LAMB slain from before the foundation of the world) maketh the Son, who is consecrated forevermore.” (Heb 7:26-
The Mosaic law, while glorious in its own right and purpose, has no power at all to deal with sin itself. For as Paul says, “it was weak through the flesh” (Rom 8:3) Any coded law to which man is subjected must of necessity condemn him, because men are sinners, lawbreakers, and those who by nature despise the commandments of GOD. They are not made to be sinners by the law, but it is through the law that their sin is made manifest.
The descendants of Jacob were a blessed people because unto them were committed the oracles (i.e.; prophecies and truth) of GOD. Unto them was made manifest the law of Moses and the remission of sin by blood. The Gentiles on the other hand were left in ignorance of these things. Yet they were still condemned sinners because they despised the law written in their hearts with the same passion that the Jews despised the Mosaic law written on tablets of stone. (see Rom. chap.2) The Jews were sinners under the law and the Gentiles were sinners without that law. There is no law given which could give life, nor is it possible that an outward adherence to any law could ever cause a man to be justified before GOD. “For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.” (Heb 7:18-
The only thing that the Mosaic law could do is reveal sin and manifest the just condemnation of all who are made the subjects of it. Because of that the sacrifices which were made by Aaronic priests, while satisfying the letter of the Mosaic law, had no power over sin itself. In fact the offerings which were made for sin every year only served to remind men of sin and could in no wise give the guilty conscience peace. “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshipers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” (Heb 10:1-
In order for a man to be made free from sin it is necessary that sin itself must be dealt a death blow. It is not enough that a religious ritual be fulfilled in the activity of earthly priests even though they operate in strict accordance with the Law spoken from heaven. No, the axe must be laid to the root and the guilt of the sinner must be removed both in the heavenly record and in the sinner’s conscience. This is reconciliation. (see II Cor.5:18-
The LORD JESUS CHRIST has satisfied the law in the behalf of HIS elect sons and has removed its power to condemn them. “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Col 2:13-
On the one hand the sons of GOD have never stood in need of “justification” since they were loved and approved in CHRIST before they were ever made subjects of the law of sin and death. But it pleased the LORD, in order to demonstrate the riches of HIS grace, to put them under that law for a season. “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (Rom 8:20-
On the other hand, having fallen in Adam, they have demonstrated their own rebellion against HIS LORDSHIP, yet because they are HIS sons, it pleased the LORD to deliver them from the law’s condemnation. “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” (Rom 5:6-
CHRIST JESUS the LORD, is that BETTER SACRIFICE. HE is both JUST according to the Law which HE gave to men and the JUSTIFIER of all of those to whom HE is pleased to give the gift of faith. HE has satisfied the law in their behalf, being made sin for them and HE has made them righteous according to the same law by imputing to them HIS perfect righteousness. They have no more accusers. (see Rom. 8:29-
But HE is also a BETTER SACRIFICE because HE has taken away the guilt of sin in the conscience of those whom HE has given grace to see HIM as the only SAVIOR of sinners, that ONE who is to them a PERFECT SACRIFICE, beside whom they desire no other. As HE is pleased to reveal CHRIST in the gospel to their heart and mind they are made to rejoice in HIS absolute sufficiency and cleaving unto HIM they forsake all others. “CHRIST is ALL.” (Col. 3:11)