Friday, May 09, 2014

Christ Death and the Law

Christ Death and the Law

About 6 months ago the topic of the death of Christ was covered in the lesson.  IT was viewed from the perspective of the Sanctuary.  However, to better understand it we needed to borrow from Paul's writings.  Specifically, we needed to borrow from the Book of Romans.  This commentary was first published on Friday, November 15, 2013

Christ, Our Sacrifice

There are two aspects of sacrifice that shine out in lesson (the one from November 15, 2013): the death and the blood.  The sanctuary had three compartments. In each of them something happened that pointed to Christ as a sacrifice.  Let enumerate them,

1.       Outer court – Passover (from an article in Wikipedia - )

a.       The killing took place in the court of the Temple at Jerusalem, and might be performed by a layman, although the blood had to be caught by a priest, and rows of priests with gold or silver cups in their hands stood in line from the Temple court to the altar, where the blood was sprinkled.

b.      These cups were rounded on the bottom, so that they could not be set down; for in that case the blood might coagulate.

c.       The priest who caught the blood as it dropped from the victim then handed the cup to the priest next to him, receiving from him an empty one, and the full cup was passed along the line until it reached the last priest, who sprinkled its contents on the altar. The lamb was then hung upon special hooks or sticks and skinned; but if the eve of the Passover fell on a Sabbath, the skin was removed down to the breast only.

d.      The abdomen was then cut open, and the fatty portions intended for the altar were taken out, placed in a vessel, salted, and offered by the priest on the altar, while the remaining entrails likewise were taken out and cleansed.

e.      The family would take their lamb home to roast it and eat it according to God's ordinance.

2.       Outer court and Holy Place -  Daily sacrifice

a.       IN this sacrifice the blood was taken in the Holy Place to be sprinkled there.

3.       Outer court and Most Holy Place – day of atonement

a.       In this sacrifice the blood is taken into the Most Holy Place.

In summation, in each event an animal was killed and blood was shed, and sprinkled in certain part of the sanctuary.   Let us look first as the killing of the animal.

I.                    The Death

In all of these sacrifices Christ is prefigured.  They were a representation of what Christ would accomplish at the Cross.  He is the lamb that was slain from the beginning to take away the sin of the World*.  How did He take Sin away?

"He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed" (1 Peter 2:24, NASB).


This verse is a reference to Isaiah 53.  Here are some excerpts,

Isa 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows…

Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Isa 53:6 … and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Isa 53:7 … he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, …

Isa 53:8 … he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken…

Isa 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, …

Isa 53:11 … by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.


"Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. 'With His stripes we are healed.'"—The Desire of Ages, p. 25. 


It was an exchange: the priceless for the worthless trade.   He died, so we would live.  Ellen White says,

"Nothing less than the death of Christ could make His love efficacious for us. It is only because of His death that we can look with joy to His second coming. His sacrifice is the center of our hope. Upon this we must fix our faith."—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 660.

Simply, in order for humanity to be saved Jesus had to die.  There was no other way.  Paul says,

Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Christ's death reconciles to God.  Paul says in Rom 5:10, "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, …" We are reconciled to live with him.  Let us read Romans 6: 3 – 5,

Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:


Notice the language: baptize into Jesus, buried with Him, planted together…We were in Him, when he died and resurrected.  And, now we are in Heavenly places in Him (Ephesians 2: 6).

II.                  The Blood

 Genesis 9: 4, Leviticus 17: 11, and Deuteronomy 12: 23 says that the life is on the blood.  Thereore any reference to blood signifies life.  When Jesus says in Mar 14:24 "… This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many," it is His life he is pouring.  We read in Hebrews 9,


Heb 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemptionfor us.

Heb 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Heb 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.


Understanding then that the blood is a reference to the life of Jesus which accomplishes our redemption, let us read the following quote from Ellen White,

The law requires righteousness,--a righteous life, a perfect character; and this man has not to give. He cannot meet the claims of God's holy law. But Christ, coming to the earth as man, lived a holy life, and developed a perfect character. These He offers as a free gift to all who will receive them. His life stands for the life of men. Thus they have remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. More than this, Christ imbues men with the attributes of God. He builds up the human character after the similitude of the divine character, a goodly fabric of spiritual strength and beauty. Thus the very righteousness of the law is fulfilled in the believer in Christ. God can "be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Romans 3:26. {DA 762.2}

Let us then allow for His blood to cleanses us, to purge our Sin away, to transform our minds and hearts after the similitude of Christ.


Raul Diaz