The Perfect Sacrifice

A few weeks ago, in this post, I hit on how Jesus is the Perfect High Priest. Today I want to talk about the fact that Jesus is also the perfect sacrifice.

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From the dictionary:

a·tone·ment  (-tnmnt)

n.

1. Amends or reparation made for an injury or wrong; expiation.
2.

a. Reconciliation or an instance of reconciliation between God and humans.
b. Atonement Christianity The reconciliation of God and humans brought about by the redemptive life and death of Jesus.
3. Obsolete Reconciliation; concord.
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Under the Mosaic covanent, (aka ‘the law’) the people of God were constantly making or offering sacrifices to God. There were all kinds of sacrifices that were made for all kinds of different things, but more often than not they involved killing animals of some sort. In short, this is because God accepted the blood of those animals as atonement for the sins of the people. See this is because when the people of God sinned, first and foremost they sinned against God. They broke God’s law. They broke God’s covenant. And when they did that they became unclean and unacceptable to God. The blood of the animals atoned for their sins. And made the people clean and acceptable to God. And gave them access to God until they became unclean again.
But the people were always sinning.
And so they were always sacrificing and spilling the blood of more and more animals.
They always had to because those sacrifices were incomplete. They were imperfect. The blood of goats and bulls could never really clean consciences; souls.
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But Hebrews 9 says this:

[11] But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) [12] he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. [13] For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, [14] how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

The Bible teaches that Jesus died on the cross. And when he did that he shed his blood to make atonement for our sins; much in the same way that the blood of goats of bulls made atonement for sins under the old covenant. The blood of Christ cleans us. It reconciles us to God. It makes us acceptable to him. And allows us to have access to him.

But read Hebrews 9 again (see above). The difference between Jesus’ sacrifice and all the others is that Jesus’ sacrifice was so pure, so perfect that it only had to be done once. It was sufficient in the eyes of God to atone for all of our sins for all time.

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The New Testament DOES refer to sacrifices that we are to make as believers; things like sacrifices of praise and offering ourselves as “living sacrifices”, but those things are done in response to the sacrifice of Christ. Those things do not make atonement for sin. They aren’t what make us acceptable to God and aren’t what give us any kind of relationship with God. Only the perfect blood of Christ does that.
Religion tells us that we have to earn the right to be with God. We have to be good enough or we have to offer something to God that will make us acceptable to him. But the Bible teaches that there is absolutely nothing we can bring to God that will accomplish that. No amount of right living or moral behavior. No amount of great worship or Bible study. No amount of serving the poor or feeding the hungry.
Exactly one thing makes atonement for our sins for all time: the perfect blood of Christ shed through his perfect sacrifice.
So its done. No more atoning sacrifices. Christ’s sacrifice has made it possible for us to be completely clean in the eyes of God. There is nothing more to do.
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