(Read Part 1)
“The blood of bulls and goats” (Heb. 9:13; 10:4) was shed on a million occasions in the Old Testament for man the sinner. Now, what we must remember is, that the blood shed by the innocent animals in the Old Testament not only became a covering for sin before the days of the earthly ministry of Christ, but also, it became a foreshadowing of what God would do as we move through history.
Just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. (Gal. 3:6-9)
That same faith which Abraham expressed, and manifested in deed when he listened to God and trusted in the Divine provision of the lamb, would spring forth through the seed of Abraham and become a blessing to the whole world. In the Old Testament, the saints offered blood sacrifice in faith, looking forward to the atonement that would come through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Today, we can accept that atonement by believing the message that Jesus, as the spotless “Lamb of God” (John 1:29, 36), died for the sins of men.
The Lamb That Was Slain
So, we have established the proposition that atonement—being able to be at one with God—is by the blood of Christ. The sacrifices of the Old Testament foreshadowed what Jesus would do for us on the cross, which was the wonderful fact that the blood of the Lamb was shed for us.
Do you realize what Christ did when He died on the cross? When He was on that cross, God reached out into every dark heart, and every lost life, and every despairing spirit, and every sinful soul. God gathered that awful package of human sin, and He placed it upon His Son.
The Bible says:
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Cor. 5:21)
Because of the death of Christ on Calvary’s cross, the shedding of blood by the Son of God, you and I, representative of that death, are cleansed from sin and given what the Bible calls “the righteousness of God” (cf. Rom. 1:17)—imputed righteousness. Just think of it. By virtue of our faith in what Jesus did for us on the cross, we are totally clean and pure and accepted before God, and trusting in His blood to take us all the way to heaven. Salvation, therefore, is not of human works.
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. (Tit. 3:5)
That is the promise of the Word of God. And that mercy was expressed by the finished work of Christ on the cross. So, it is the work of Christ, “the Lamb who was slain” (Rev. 5:12), that makes it possible for us to be saved.
For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. (Heb. 10:4)
But they foreshadowed the application of the blood of Christ on the needy, desperately sinful souls of wicked men, so that it is the blood of Jesus Christ that covered sins in the Old Testament. But the blood of Jesus Christ takes away sin entirely and completely.
It is faith in what He did for us on the cross, not faith in our own good works, or promising to be better in the days to come, that produces the gift of God, which is everlasting life.
Dr. Dave Breese (1926-2002) was an internationally known speaker, teacher and author. He founded the ministry of Christian Destiny in 1963, and through it proclaimed the gospel on weekly radio and television programs and in numerous books and booklets. In 1987, he also became the president and Bible teacher on The King Is Coming telecast, a role that he filled until his death in 2002. Other organizations that Dr. Breese served during his distinguished ministry career included Youth For Christ, Awana, Back to the Bible, National Religious Broadcasters and National Association of Evangelicals. A frequent conference speaker and a master at explaining the relevance of Bible prophecy, he was also known for his wisdom and wit. It is a great honor to include him as part of the inaugural class of Revived Classics authors for Dispensational Publishing House.
This article originally appeared in the April 2011 issue of Destiny Bulletin.
Copyright © 2011 Christian Destiny, Inc. All rights reserved.
The article is reprinted here by permission of Christian Destiny.
For more information regarding Christian Destiny, go to www.ChristianDestiny.org.
Other material copyright © 2017 Dispensational Publishing House, Inc.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.