Jesus, the perfect sin sacrifice
The wages of sin is death, which is why the world was in need of a saviour. When sin entered the world through Adam, the curse of death swept through all of creation, bringing with it bondage, decay and a desperate longing to be set free from the power of the grave. The Bible says all of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard, being unable to save ourselves. That’s why being cleansed from sin required a sacrifice and not just any sacrifice but a perfect one.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"
When John the Baptist publicly professed Jesus as the Lamb of God, he prophesied Jesus’ fulfillment as the ultimate sacrificial lamb, Whose death on the cross was the perfect atoning sacrifice for sin, offered once and for all for all of humanity. Publicly washed and proven to be without flaw or blemish, Jesus met all the requirements for the Passover lamb that led to the deliverance of the Israelites from the bondage of slavery and God’s judgement of death over Egypt. When the angel of death was sent to kill the firstborn of every household in Egypt, it was the blood of the Passover lamb smeared on the doorposts of the home that caused the angel to pass over the household and spare them from death. Today, because of the cleansing blood of the Lamb, we too have been spared from the plague of death.
Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross over 2,000 years ago forever ended the need for animal sacrifice as an atonement for sin. Before Jesus’ death, the law for the sin offering required that once every year, a bull and a male goat would be sacrificed on behalf of the sins of the nation of Israel, while a second goat would bear all the confessed sins of the people and be sent away into the wilderness. As was the system in the Old Testament, the high priest would offer up the bull and goat on the altar, then enter into the tabernacle and offer up a cloud of incense and sprinkle the blood of the animals seven times on the mercy seat, where God sat enthroned in the Holy of Holies. But this yearly atonement for sin was ultimately unable to save the Israelites. That's why in perfect fulfillment of the sin offering, Jesus was killed as the substitute for sin and His blood was purposely shed seven times:
1) He sweated blood in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:44)
2) His face was beaten and His beard was pulled out (Isaiah 50:6)
3) His back was flogged with whips that tore His flesh open (John 19:1)
4) The crown of thorns pierced His head (Matthew 27:29)
5) His hands were nailed to the cross (John 20:27)
6) His feet were nailed to the cross (Psalm 22:16)
7) His side was pierced with a spear and water and blood flowed out (John 19:34)
Jesus would shed sweat droplets of blood so we would be healed of our own anguish of soul. His beard would be ripped from His face so that we may look upon Him and see Him face-to-face. His striped, scourged back would be for our bodies to be healed and made whole. The crown of thorns placed on Jesus’ head would be so that we could have His mind and know His thoughts. His nail-pierced hands would bring authority and acceptance to the works of our hands and His nail-pierced feet would give us the power to walk with Him through life and trample upon the works of the enemy. His pierced side that confirmed His death would be the reassurance that while our physical bodies will eventually die, we have been born again and raised to new life in Him.
Rather than leaving us to die in our sins, God the Father in His love and mercy sent His Son Jesus, Who had no sin to willingly become sin for us so that we may be declared righteous before God. While our sins were like scarlet, the power of the blood of the Lamb has made us clean. When we believe in Jesus, we can be assured that even though we may continue to sin, we can confess our sins to Him. He is faithful to forgive and chooses to remember our sins no more. Today, we can rejoice that we have been forgiven and set free from the wages of sin because of our saviour, Jesus Christ. Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain!