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The Gospel in the Old Testament, part 2

September 15, 2014

Grace to you all! So far we have seen how the Old Testament points forward to Christ in the wars, the prophets, and the kings. This week is part 2 of how the Old Testament shows the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Old Testament is full of references to the sacrificial system and priests. These holy priests spoke on behalf of the people to God. They offered animal sacrifices to atone or cover over the sins of the people against God. Because man had sinned, he had forfeited his life. “The payment for sin is death.” (Romans 6:23)

So how can man have life again? Leviticus 17:11 tells us “’For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.’ The blood was the life of the creature. A sacrifice was necessary because one life had to be traded for another life if the guilty one was to live. Blood had to be spilt. There had to be a substitute for the sinner before a holy God! What we find in the Lord Jesus, He is both the sacrifice and the priest in one! “For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that Jesus would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, Jesus would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages Jesus has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” (Hebrews 9:24-26)

The Old Testament repeatedly emphasized that a sacrifice had to be made for man’s sin and a priest had to mediate or ‘stand in as a go between’ for man to God. Christ is the definitive priest. “5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5)

The priests prayed for the people on the basis of the atoning sacrifice. Christ does this for us in a much greater way! Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.” (Hebrews 2:17-18) Jesus Christ: our High Priest and Sacrifice for sins in one!

Next week the Gospel in the New Testament. Looking for a church home? Come visit South Whitwell Baptist, 133 South Oak Street, Whitwell. Service Time: 10:45 AM   Visit our web page:

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