Starting as a child all the way into adulthood I never quite got why Christ needed to die to save me. It took some real interest and desire to see before the Holy Spirit opened my eyes
To understand the significance of Christ’s death we need to move beyond looking at things from a physical perspective to a spiritual perspective. If one would read and study the 4 gospels it becomes abundantly clear that one of Christ’s goals was to have his followers see things spiritually. The Bible teaches “God is a spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).
Let’s consider for a moment the old testament. From a physical perspective the Israelites followed the old testament ten commandment of “thou shalt not kill ( ratsach is the Hebrew word for kill which means murder in cold blood or slay; Deuteronomy 5:17. In the new testament we see Christ addressing the spiritual aspect of this commandment by teaching us to nip anger and evil intentions in the bud before it leads to murder (Matthew 5:21).
Furthermore, God provided “physical prosperity” for old testament Israel for the obedience and physical suffering as a result of disobedience: “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success” (Joshua 1:8). Moving into the New Testament we can see 2 Corinthians 9:8: “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed“.
The old testament indicates that the shedding of blood atones for sin as we find in Leviticus 17:11. While this is a physical action, the results are spiritual. With that being said, the blood of bulls and goats used in sacrifices for sins was never capable of actually removing sins (Hebrews 10:4). Instead Christ’s body was necessary as we find in verse 5. The reason that blood and goats could not remove sin although the creatures were innocent is because these creatures have less value than man. Only a perfect and pure being who was either equal or greater than man could atone for sin.
So Christ’s blood fulfilled the spiritual law as stated above requiring that blood is the only means through which man can find atonement for sin. Thanks to God for Christ who was both equal and greater than mankind; the only one capable of meeting this divine requirement!
Points to Remember
- The blood of animals cannot remove sins
- God’s spiritual law requires that blood can atone
- Christ’s blood is spiritually superior to that of bulls and goats and is able to heal man of his sinful condition
- Old testament sacrifices rolled sin forward until the perfect human sacrifice (Christ) came to earth