The book of Genesis tells us that Adam and Eve sinned when they disobeyed God (Genesis 3). In God’s government, the penalty of sin is death (Romans 6:23). But instead of Adam and Eve dying, Jesus offered to die in their place (Genesis 3:15) for the Bible tells us that there can be no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22).
God instituted, then, the ordinance of sacrifices where an innocent lamb was offered as a symbol that Jesus, the Lamb of God, would one day come as the ultimate sacrifice for sin. The prophecies about the Messiah predicted that He would be killed, led as a lamb to the slaughter (Isaiah 53:7).
Believers before Christ’s death looked to the symbolism of the sacrifices pointing to the coming of the Messiah as the ultimate sacrifice. And by faith they were forgiven of their sins. Jesus said of Abraham that he “rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56). And Paul elaborated that Abraham had the faith in the coming of the Messiah and that it was accounted for him as righteousness (Romans 4:3).
When Jesus came, John the Baptist said of Him: “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Jesus paid the penalty for humanity’s sin so that we could have a second chance. There is no greater love than this that someone may die for the ones whom he loves (John 15:13).
Now, Jesus serves as our advocate in heaven (1 John 2:1). When we sin and ask for forgiveness in His name, He covers our sins by His blood (Hebrews 4:14-16) and transforms us by His grace. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.
In His service,