Hebrews 9:11-22 – The Christ, the Unblemished Sacrifice

The writer of Hebrews has argued throughout the book that various elements of the Old Covenant were shadows or hints at the reality fully realized in Jesus Christ. Perhaps the most important of these comparisons is the assertion in chapter 9 that the Day of Atonement foreshadowed the work of Christ. Only some of the aspects of the Day of Atonement are important for the comparison, others are not mentioned. Entry into the Holy of Holies to make atonement is featured, but some of the other rituals are omitted.

Passover LambThe Tabernacle Jesus entered was not the earthly one, but rather the real heavenly one. This may not mean that someplace in heaven is a “perfect” tabernacle, physically similar to the tabernacle of the Old Testament.  The tabernacle servers as a metaphor for the separateness of God in heaven. God is within the holy of holies and only those who are without sin may approach his altar. This does not mean Jesus had more work to do after his death on the cross in order to complete salvation. The cross is the provision of blood in the holy place and is completely sufficient for salvation. The writer of Hebrews nowhere implies Jesus had to perform some ritual in heaven to complete the atonement.

Jesus can be the perfect sacrifice because he is “unblemished.” This is a deliberate allusion to the Old Testament law which required a worshiper to bring a lamb from the flock which was “unblemished” or “without defect.” The animal to be sacrificed was to be the best member of the flock, not a sick, unhealthy animal that was not of any value. The sacrifices were never really perfect since there was not truly perfect lamb or goat. It was only in the person of Jesus that there was a possibility of perfection because he was the God-Man, perfectly unified and perfectly fulfilling all of the law.

As the perfect Sacrifice, Christ can provide a ransom for sin committed under the first covenant (9:15).  Christ is the mediator of the New Covenant, the one that administers the new salvation.  The High Priest was the mediator of the Old Covenant, administering salvation to the people.

The concept of a “ransom” is introduced here for the first time in Hebrews. “Ransom” has a different meaning in modern English that perhaps was intended by the Greek word.  A ransom is a price paid to a criminal to get them to release a person they have kidnaped.  There might be other connotations of ransom, but we tend to think forest of a bad guy getting paid off, and somehow true justice is not served.

The Greek here does not have that connotation at all.  This is the concept of buying a slave out of bondage, “to release or set free, with the implied analogy to the process of freeing a slave. This is the concept of redemption in the New Testament, God buying us out of the slave market of sin and giving us a new master, himself.  It is wrong to think of the death of Jesus as a payment to Satan in order to “ransom” us back to God.

In Hebrews, the ransom for sin is the shedding of blood (9:16-22). The often quoted verse “without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins” is based on a common principle in the Old Testament of God requires the shedding of blood, a death, for sin.  This is not because God is some maniac in heaven that demands death and enjoys killing.  The only penalty for sin is death.  One single sin does spoil the whole soul, and the sinner must die.

The “shedding of blood” is actually the mercy of God, allowing a substitute in our place.  Even in the garden, Adam and Eve were covered with animal skins after the first sin.  There was a shedding of blood to cover their sins.  This principle runs through scripture, leading up to the cross, which was a “once for all” shedding of blood.

32 thoughts on “Hebrews 9:11-22 – The Christ, the Unblemished Sacrifice

  1. The deeper meaning of Jesus’ death as the final and perfect sacrifice connects all the dots from the Old Testament to the day Jesus will come back to earth. Jobes points out that Hebrews sees the completion or fulfillment of God’s redemptive plan to have been accomplished by Jesus Christ, bringing God’s plan to its perfection. The day that Adam and Eve sinned and obtained the knowledge of good and evil, God immediately began to restore them to him by setting up his redemptive plan. Jobes explains how God’s expelling of Adam and Eve from the garden was really a gracious act, so that they would not eat from the tree of Life and live forever in sin. The penalty of sin is death because it means eternal separation from God.This is why the first covenant law required animals to die in place of God’s children to atone for their eternal separation from God in death. But when Jesus declared in John 19:30, “It is finished,” he was referring to his act as the perfect and holy sacrifice, which was the atonement for all of humanities sins, that now makes it possible to have eternal life with God after death.

    • One thought that I have that makes Christ’s sacrifice stand out more than just a perfect sacrifice is the fact that Christ did not have to do it necessarily for the same reason as the other sacrifices that were done. Sacrifices done in the Old Testament were to cover the sins that were committed. The sacrifices were out of obedience to cover sins while Christ did not need this cleansing, but rather His sacrifice was to cover others’ sins because of His love for them. God sent Christ as the sacrifice because He knows Christ is the only one who can be a perfect sacrifice, and Christ is worth sacrificing because He loves His creation as stated in John 3:16. As mentioned in John 15:13 there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for another. This is significant because in 1 Peter 4:8, it is mentioned that love covers multitude of sins. Christ’s sacrifice was not on the day of Atonement, but it served the same purpose because it was out of love and so perfect it would cover all sins in a way the day of Atonement could never.

  2. I had never realized the parallels between the old and new covenants and the more I see how Jesus is the perfect fulfillment, the more I am astounded. In the old testament, people needed atonement from their sins which could only be brought about by a sacrifice. Jesus, because He was without sin, was able to be the perfect sacrifice that no longer has to be repeated. It is an everlasting sacrifice, and we no longer have to do anything to appease God. Hebrews 9:18 says that the first covenant was with blood and that was the only way for the second one as well. I like your point that it doesn’t mean that God is bloodthirsty and that He enjoys it but Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death. This does not just mean that we cease to live, but because of sin, the only way to defeat sin is a sacrifice, innocent and pleasing to God. Jesus was perfect in every way, and therefore was the only one who could be the perfect sacrifice. Jobes talks about the need for Jesus to be perfect and without sin, as well as to live forever, and so the sacrifice never has to be repeated.

  3. In doing more research on the background of Hebrews I would have to agree with Adam here in the sense that I never realized there were so many parallels with the Old and New Covenants for our sins and as I learn only a human could suffice for human sins the more I am excited to learn more about this section. Hebrews has always been a tough section of the Bible to decipher and understand but it is important that we as Christians get a strong hold on this topic. In doing further research, Jobes says in Letters to the Church that the Incarnation of the Son was necessary for Jesus’ Priesthood as no animal sacrifice could suffice for human sins (Letters to the Church, 96). It was important to have the Son crucified in this way so that we would do nothing more to appease God and continue to kill off animals. I would agree with your point that Jesus doesn’t like to crucify people for their sins but for something so massive to take place the only way to take care of such sin is death as seen in Romans 6:23. In order for the human race to quit making sacrifices every time a sin had been committed was to offer a human sacrifice. In doing my research, the only perfect and sinless sacrifice would have been in the time of the Incarnation of the Son as the Son Jesus Christ. It was his job to end sins and start to restore the human race back to perfection as it were before humankind was created so that the sins and the sacrifice would never have to be repeated.

  4. While reading this I realized just how much allusion to the old testament there is when we think of Jesus as a sacrifice. It is also interesting that the author of Hebrews uses ransom as an adjective or word to describe Jesus’ death on the cross. I always only think of Jesus as a sacrifice for sin and never think to the allusions of the Old Testament that state that talk of a spotless lamb without fault or blemish. Although in the back of my mind I know that is what they mean I never think of that when reading through the Bible sometimes. It is also interesting to think about how Jesus wasn’t a way to be bought back from Satan but rather truly was the last sacrifice that was needed to complete the bringing of the New Covenant. As well as bringing us back into relationship with God. I just never think about how much the Old Testament truly does allude to the sacrifice that Jesus truly is in the New Testament and what it means for us in our sin.

    • When Karen Jobes speaks of God dealing with His people under the Old Covenant, she discusses the duties of the high priest. Representing the people before God meant to present an atoning sacrifice for the sins of the people. “This representation brought people symbolically into the presence of God and involved elaborate rituals” (Jobes 95). With the book of Hebrews telling that the law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming (10:1), I especially enjoyed studying the Day of Atonement and the many ways it foreshadows the work of Christ as atonement for our sins.

      Hebrews 9:7 reminds us that only the high priest was allowed to enter the inner room of the tabernacle. This happened only once a year, and only with blood to cover the sins of the people and the priest himself. When we look at Christ’s work in the establishment of the New Covenant, we see that He is the only one who can enter into God’s holy presence, that this only needed to happen once, and that Christ’s blood was sufficient to cover the sins of all people.
      Leviticus 16:4 explains the rituals the high priest would go through on the Day of Atonement. He was to put on specific garments in preparation for making sacrifices. Similarly, it was necessary for Jesus to put on flesh and become a man so that He could make atonement for our sins. The high priest was the mediator of the old covenant, but Jesus administers salvation under the New Covenant.

  5. The final analogy you made about Adam and Eve was an admirable connection and I am impressed (good job). After reading about how Jesus had to die on the cross to save our sins, two questions are brought up again in my mind. 1.) Why did God think it was necessary for Jesus to be sacrificed for us to be saved and 2.) Does God get what he wants? I was faced with that second question earlier today and it still roams my mind. Jesus was God’s perfect son and he let him die for us. God put a tree in the middle of the garden that we could eat from whenever we want even though God knew the consequences that would stem from that. I think that we too often see God as unfair and our own lives being bad somehow, but maybe God is the one who is being hurt in the end. We are so engulfed in sin that we cannot see the extent of which Christ has paid so that we may live for God (1 Corinthians 5:15). So did God really need Jesus’ perfect blood? If God lived to be happy, Jesus would have lived and we would all be loving Him. However, God wanted us to have the choice of whether or not we would follow him and the only way He could do that was to give up his own desires.

  6. There are so many correlations between the Old and New Testament that point back to Christ and his death. We see in Isaiah 61:1 that the messiah came to bring good news to the poor and to also proclaim freedom for the captives and release the prisoners from darkness The blood that Christ shed for us serves as a ransom for our sin which was alluded all throughout the Old Testament. Animal sacrifice was a common thing for the people of Israel to do as the death of the animal was the ransom for their sin. However Hebrews 11:15 reads “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant” (NIV). God has promised to bless those who followed the Old Covenant (Deuteronomy 30:15–18) and now after Christ’s death, we see a new covenant formed as the ransom for sin has now been paid! It’s important to understand that Jesus’s death is a mercy towards us sinners.

    • I agree that it is important to understand this with the view point that Jesus’ death is a mercy towards us sinners. This can also be related in a sense to the paper we’re writing in class now. If you go back a chapter in Hebrews and read Hebrews 10:5-7 NIV, it says that, “Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: ‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased.’ Then I said, ‘Here I am-it is written about me in the scroll-I have come to do your will, O God.” To me, this is another way of describing a ransom and Jesus realizing that in order to put God’s plan into motion, it was Jesus himself that was going to have to be the ransom. Would you agree Troy?

  7. I guess this is the first time it has clicked in my head that before Christ died, all of the animal blood sacrifices were incapable of being perfect. I knew obviously that they weren’t enough on their own, but it never connected that even the best lamb in a flock wasn’t good enough. Because of Jesus’ holiness and perfection, He fills the void, and like you said: “administers the new covenant.”
    I also love the mention of the fact the ransom Jesus provided for us was not a payment unto Satan as if God owed something to Satan. Rather, the ransom paid was an act of genuine love, mercy, and grace.

  8. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice. These sacrifices that kept occurring were not going to be able to forgive all of humanity, and Jesus was ultimately the sacrifice that needed to be made. This was an ultimate act of mercy on every front, and I personally wonder what our world would look like if there still were sacrifices just like there was in the OT. Jesus’s act of mercy and sacrifice changed the course of history forever, and did more than just free us of our sins.

  9. I agree the comment made by Sean above. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice. It can be seen in Hebrews 9:15 like P. Long states above. However, it can be seen in Jobes as well. “Hebrews presents Jesus as the mediator of a new and better covenant that supersedes the old. God’s” (Jobes 121). I also like how Sean commented on what if sacrifices were still going on like the OT? What would that look like? Yet, we know that Jesus did the ultimate act of kindness. A perfect man and a perfect God. Gave his only Son so that we can be free of sin. The beauty is the promise of eternal life. If we confess Jesus as our Lord and Savior and know and believe he walked in flesh we will be saved.

  10. It is interesting to look back at everything that Israel had to do in the Old Covenant in order to cover their sins, compared to the New Covenant when Christ died on the cross. The high priest would have to make the sacrifice for himself and the people. Jesus was not only the High Priest but He was also the sacrifice; pure without sin. When Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world, there was no need for another animal sacrifice to be made. His was enough since He never sinned, His blood was enough to pay for the sins of those who believe and trust in His sacrifice.

  11. I think the word that would better describe what Jesus is NOT or what ransom did not intend to mean is a bribe. Jesus was not a bribe. He was not simply an acceptable payment that God would deem “enough” to set these people free of their death sentence. But, rather, Jesus was the only ransom and the payment needed to pay the price for all of humanities sin. He was literally the only answer, and the payment God was “looking for”. It was the only thing that could satisfy and defeat death. It’s like their was an incurable disease in the world and the only antidote that could ever cure the disease was Christ on the cross. Its not that God was looking for death, or wanted death to be the penalty for sin, it just is! that’s just a fact of how things are, death is the penalty for sin because the opposite of God is sin, and the opposite life is death and God is life.

  12. This blog post makes me realize just how clever God truly is. Throughout the whole entire Old Testament God was alluding to the cross that would save all of us. From the very beginning with Adam and Eve’s first sin. I knew that they were clothed, but I never took the time to think about what that actually meant. There was a “bloodshed” so that they could have clothes all because of their sin. Then, obviously, as stated the Old Covenant sacrifices also alluded to the cross. God had planned His story from the very beginning. He was even sending hints the entire time. How great is our God? Clever.

    Also, in thinking about the idea that one single sin spoils the entire soul, I am in awe of Jesus Christ willpower. In order for him to be the perfect sacrifice he had to be without sin completely. In my humanity, I will never understand how he never fell to temptation. I will just always be thankful that he didn’t. I would not want to be under the Old Covenant laws, or even more so bound by sin.
    -McKenzie McCord-

  13. It is truly astonishing to analyze and grasp all of the metaphors that are within the death of Christ on the cross. To understand that simply Jesus shedding His blood was a visual of God’s mercy shown toward His children. Jesus suffered the death that believers deserve so that they can live spiritually forever. Jobes in the book “Letters to the Church” points out that we are saved from a spiritual death, not a bodily death (Jobes, 2011). For instance, in Genesis, after Adam and Eve ate from the tree of good and evil they sentenced humanity to earthly death, but people in the Bible like, Lazarus, who were dead and came back to life (by the power of Jesus) still had to experience an earthly death. Lazarus did not live on earth forever because He was raised to life again, the presence of sin in the world made it impossible for him to live forever in his earthly being (Jobes, 2011). It is people like Lazarus, among other believers of the past, who guide present day believers in the “great cloud of witnesses” and assure that faith in Jesus Christ is worth the struggle and pain on earth (Hebrews 12:1). The pain and struggle that believers endure on earth is nothing in comparison to Christ’s struggle and pain when He died on the cross so that believers may have spiritual eternal life with God.

  14. Whenever I think of the story of Cain and Able, I think of the poor sacrifice Cain attempted to give God. Even though it was the best of what he had, it was not what God had commanded of him. Then I think of Able’s sacrifice, a spotless lamb that God accepted. I compare this story to the story of the cross and how the author of Hebrews describes Jesus (9:14). We are too much like Cain. We come to God with our “best” but without the sacrifice of Jesus, our sacrifice or our good deeds don’t mean anything to Him. Just like the lamb Able offered, Jesus was spotless and without blemish, he was and is our mediator (v. 14 – 15). We have no need to come to him anymore with our Cain offerings because Jesus has paid the price for us forever. Jesus became our ransom. s we look at scriptures, we can see the importance of the blood sacrifice, before Jesus was born. I like that it’s stated in the post that there is a difference between what we know of ransom and how the word ransom was meant in the time of the author. Death does not “kidnap” us, but it does have a power over us. We are slaves to our sin and then to death but because of Jesus’ payment on the cross, we no longer have to pay our own ransom, God has paid it for us.

  15. I know the first shedding of blood in the Bible is when God killed the animals to cover the flesh of Adam and Eve because they were ashamed. I believe that to be when animal sacrifices were started to cover up sin. That is what Cain and Abel were doing before cain killed Abel. From the beginning we see a need for someone or something to come and take away this sin we all have. This is where hebrews comes in beautifully. It explains why Jesus died and why him being raised from the dead was such a big deal. He rose to be our high priest in heaven. he was the perfect sacrifice because no one else could be that sacrifice. it is amazing that when Jesus shed his blood that it was not just physical. But that he went spiritually to atone for everyones sins. the fact that as believers we do not have to endure that is a true blessing. Because we all deserved a spiritual death but we serve a loving and merciful God. that is truly a blessing.

  16. The importance of Christ being perfect is a very cool subject for me and hearing the different perspectives on it in the textbook and by reading what others think about it has been very valuable in forming my own thoughts. The fact that Christ was perfect made it possible for Him to be the perfect sacrifice and is the reason as to why the new covenant is superior to the old. No longer do people have to continuously offer sacrifices to atone for their sins, Christ’s sacrifice once and for all offers us forgiveness. We are able to receive the eternal inheritance through Christ and He has set free those captive by their sin in the first covenant (Hebrews 9:15).
    This passage (Hebrews 9:11-22) also sheds light on the question of why Christ had to die. Not only is it because He is the only one capable of being a perfect sacrifice but as verse 22 says, “the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed in blood.” Without Christ’s blood our sins could not and cannot be cleansed and we would not be able to receive the forgiveness that comes through that cleansing. I like how you mentioned the reason for blood being the only thing acceptable for cleansing. The consequence of sin is death and death is associated with the shedding of blood. This is why in the old testament sacrifices involved an animal. God allowed that animal to take the place of the sinner, even though it was the sinner deserving of death. This is exactly what Christ did for us. Christ took our place. He did not deserve death but was willing to die so that we may be free from sin.

  17. Under the New Covenant, Jesus is the unblemished sacrifice. Unblemished means without fault. Jesus is the perfect sacrifice. Under the Old Covenant, lambs were sacrificed. These lambs had to be perfect. They could not have any broken bones or blemishes. Yet as Professor Long points out, there was never any perfect lambs to be sacrificed. Jesus is the perfect sacrifice. He is sinless, blameless, and without fault. As the perfect sacrifice, Jesus is the one who mediates between Christians and God. It is also in this passage that Jesus is called a ransom. Today, ransom is paying for the release of someone. Yet back when Hebrews was written, ransom was the payment for buying a slave’s freedom. In the same way, unbelievers are considered to be slaves to sin. Death is the penalty for sin. Yet Jesus’ sacrifice paid for Christians’ freedom from sin. Christians are free from the bondage of sin.

  18. As a child in Sunday School, the idea that people had to bring an animal sacrifice to “get their sins forgiven” was always a little strange to me. I understood, in a child’s basic capacity, that Jesus’ blood was what had saved us from our sins but did not really understand why sacrifices were necessary BEFORE Jesus came. Of course as I grew, I understood more, but this blog post did shed some new light on this matter. Jobes (2011) talks of how under the Old Covenant, animal sacrifices “taught that people could escape the consequence of sin” because the animal had died in their place (p. 119). Was it a surprise then, when the author of Hebrews reveals that Jesus has become the ransom for their sin once and for all? I appreciated how Jobes (2011) reminds us that the author of Hebrews fully understood that the “entire sacrificial system to have been an illustration pointing to the ultimate sacrifice of Christ” (p. 109). I imagine at least some of his original readers to be a little like how I was as a child, unable to grasp the concept of animal sacrifice. Especially when you consider, as you stated, that the shedding of blood goes back to the very first sin with Adam and Eve, it must have been such a foreign concept to many (if not all) of his listeners. I may sound like the most skeptical person out there, but when I try to imagine myself being one of these early Jewish Christians, I wonder if I would have fully grasped what the author was saying? To me this shows the sovereignty of God in that he would choose a person so detailed and eloquent to explain this new covenant to these new believers. Because he had such an understanding of the sacrificial system, the author was able to give a detailed explanation of how much greater Jesus’ willing sacrifice was to the old (Heb. 9:13-14) and was the final “once for all” (Long) sacrifice needed for atonement.
    Jobes, K.H. (2011). Letters to the Church. Zondervan.

  19. It always interesting to me that as far back as Genesis we can see the foreshadowing of Jesus coming down to conquer death and reunite God and his people into a redemptive and personal relationship. As Professor Long clearly stated, the author of Hebrews saw the proof of a the old covenant, the Old Testament, bringing the reality of Jesus to life before anyone knew the meaning. We see this in Genesis 3 when Moses writes about one who will crush the serpents head. Is it also possible that the first blood sacrifice, the sacrifice of a lamb in Genesis could also be for the purpose of foreshadowing? Adam and Eve sacrifice the blood of a lamb because they sin by eating the fruit and came to know many things, including the weight of their sin. And later on in both the gospels and Hebrews Jesus is personified as a lamb led to the slaughter, his blood the sacrifice that atoned for our sins once and for all. It seems juxtapositional that God would commit to a perfect plan, which was his creation and intimate relationship with man in the garden, and then so quickly put the plan of Jesus as a sacrifice into motion. Was Jesus the plan all along, did God know that man would eat from the tree of knowledge and need a set exit from their downfall? Surely, he let man perish with no atoning sacrifice and very little hope, for a long time? Although, I am reminded that for centuries, God gave His people hope through prophecy given to the Israelites by men of God such as Daniel, David, Jeremiah, and Isaiah. I suppose this is why it is written in the word that we should not concern ourselves (humankind) with matters too great for us (ESV Study Bible). As my final remark, I would have to say that examining the word and God’s plan in this way makes me even more thankful that we have an atoning sacrifice? The time and perplexity given to trying to figure out God’s reasoning for myself makes me anxious enough. Let alone the anxiety I would have felt if I was trying to live perfectly and to make a sacrifice for each sin I had committed. Thank you, Jesus for your grace, for your sacrifice, and freedom from legalism!

  20. The fact that you needed to give the explanation for the meaning of the word “ransom” shows how skewed Jesus’ act of redemption can become. Like you said, the common connotation of the word makes it seem like justice was not truly served or that Satan held the power over us and God had to make a deal to get us back. But that is not the case at all. At the beginning, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and therefore sinned. And as you (P. Long) said, “the only penalty for sin is death” and so God killed some animals and then covered Adam and Eve with the animal skins. But even though he shed blood for Adam and Eve, their sins were not taken away. As you (P. Long) said, this principle runs through Scripture. The author of Hebrews understood that the shedding of animal’s blood was only good enough to cover those sins, “every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins” (Heb. 10:11, ESV). Thankfully, Christ was our unblemished sacrifice for us, but why was he able to undo what Adam did? I think Romans 5:18 gives the clearest explanation for what truly happened with Adam and then with Christ: “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.” (ESV). But, as Hebrews warns and Jobes mentions, this act does not mean that Christians can be passive in their faith: “all who would be reconciled to God in Christ must be personally involved in deciding to obey” (p. 123). In properly defining ransom, we can see that Christ’s sacrifice was true justice. And in understanding that this sacrifice was just the beginning of our walks in faith, we can see that we still need to decide to obey daily.

  21. It is so important that Jesus was unblemished and perfect because he was fully tempted as we are and yet did not sin. Christ is now the perfect sacrifice for all the sins of the world, but he was fully human and had to resist temptations. Christ is the representative of the new covenant that takes away the need for sacrifices, he was the final sacrifice and shows that when he dies and the new covenant begins, he is then able to sit down and take his place at the right hand of the Father. It is interesting that the final atonement for sin is similar to the previous, it includes the shedding of blood, just now it is the Sons precious blood. And that this shedding of blood is God’s grace to us, rather than our blood being spilt Christ spilled his so that we could live, repent and be welcomed into the house of God. It is so amazing to think that God sent his Son for our sins, for my sins and that He has the final word in the atonement and chose to sacrifice himself for us.

  22. The book of Hebrews brings to attention the comparison of the old covenant with Jesus’ sacrifice as the new covenant. The Day of Atonement is what is used to highlight this comparison. According to Leviticus 16:29 the Day of Atonement is also known as the sabbath of the sabbaths. This is considered to be the Holy day that falls on the tenth day of the seventh month. Even though a few of the aspects of the Day of Atonement can link together the old covenant and the new covenant, Jesus’ death as the ultimate sacrifice is what the true link between the covenants is. An example how these can be seen as connected is how Jesus enters the real tabernacle in heaven rather than the earthy one. However, it is important to recognize this tabernacle as a metaphor rather than a real physical place in heaven. Like stated in the blog post above, Jesus is considered to be unblemished which is the reason he can be the ultimate and perfect sacrifice. According to 1 Peter 2:22, Jesus was with no sin. The connection to the old covenant that Jesus, being perfect, has is that in the old covenant the healthiest member of the flock was the one to be sacrificed. However, the sacrifice was never seen as perfect because the only perfect living being is Jesus Christ. The shedding of Jesus’ blood cannot be seen as a sacrifice given to satan because God is the one who provides forgiveness.

  23. I find it very interesting how many examples of covering up sin with blood there are throughout scripture. I have never thought on the fact that deep that the act of blood and death completely throughout scripture correlate to Romans 6:23 that talks about how the price for sin is death. This article pointed out to me that even as early as Adam and Eve killing in order to cover themselves with clothes is some of the earliest examples of death as the penalty of sin. However, I have thought about the correlation between the unblemished sacrifices in the Old Testament in correlation with Christ. This still wraps up the idea that Christ was the perfect sacrifice as well as brought God’s plan to perfection. The Old Covenant animal sacrifices needed to be made as a substitute for the people’s sins. The unblemished lamb was as a sacrifice to take the place of the sins because it was something that the people needed rather than sacrificing a sick or deformed animal. Death is always needed in sacrifice for sin. Continually sin in every aspect of life leads to death. When God told Adam and Eve that if they ate the fruit, they would surely die He did not mean immediately he would strike them down, he was speaking an eternal death. Physical death itself is not a punishment, eternal death is the punishment for sin (345). This is why Christ came as the unblemished/undeformed sacrifice for all people. To take away the need of an animal sacrifice and to be the final piece to Gods story.

  24. Jobes notes that Christ entering the Holy of Holies to be in the presence of the Lord comes at the time of his ascension from the Mount of Olives (109). Christ concludes his perfect life, death, and resurrection by finally entering into the Holy Place on our behalf, so that he may take his place at the right hand of God. As the post mentioned, blood is required for the atonement of sins. Because God is the only eternal being, and all acts of sin are acts performed against him, the punishment must be fitting for the crime: it must be eternal. Therefore, sin requires not the blood specifically, but it requires the sinner to receive the only eternal punishment that exists: death and destruction. However, Hebrews makes it clear that Christ did not deserve this eternal punishment, because he was sinless. The author goes to great lengths to explain that – though Jesus was tempted just as much as any mortal man – he resisted so that he could remain perfect and holy (Hebrews 4:15). Because of this, he was able to be the spotless lamb required to pay the ransom of mankind; not in the sense that it was owed Satan, as the post mentions, but because Christ paid our debt so that the wrath of God would not fall on us.

    On this topic, I was thinking about Jesus being tempted by Satan on top of the temple. I figured that – if he had thrown himself off – he could have jumpstarted his atonement for our sins through his death, and then also have been given all the nations by Satan (if he held up his end of the bargain) so that many more could be saved. However, I then realized that this could not work, since it would have meant that Christ fell to the temptation of Satan and therefore would not have been sinless and could not have atoned properly for our sins. After that, I thought I was pretty stupid for thinking of it in the first place. But, it still interested me.

  25. I find it very interesting the point made by Long in this blog post that “the ‘shedding of blood’ is actually the mercy of God”. In Matthew 26:42 we find Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, praying for God to take the cup from Him because He knew the pain and torture He would have to endure. Yet, in a strange way to the human way of thinking, this was the best and only way for redemption or for ransom for our eternal and spiritual lives. As Long said, the word ransom actually refers to our redemption. Jesus was our perfect sacrifice, or perfect lamb, to suffer what we could not for ourselves or the world. Hebrews 9:12,14 powerfully sums it up by saying, “He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption…how much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”. Truly, we are redeemed because of Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice on the cross so we can then owe everything to Him, the Great Redeemer.

  26. Diving deep into the theology of just what Christ’s sacrifice meant is truly fascinating to me. The fact there is truly much to study and understand about concepts such as atonement and sacrifice, truly astonishes me. I think we can miss out on so many times when discussing this branch of theology is to gloss over the fact that because of blood of Christ, and His sacrifice, we no longer need to go through such a tedious, time-consuming, and frankly bloody ritual. Imagine sacrificing a lamb every time you sinned; if it was me, I’d be sacrificing a lot of sheep. It honestly makes me rather emotional to consider the beautiful complexity into just what all of this means. There are so many layers and nuances. And Christ truly is the unblemished sacrifice. And it makes total sense as to why- He is perfect- without fault. The perfect and Holy sacrifice, to atone for all the sins of man- it is beautifully poetic, and ultimately eternity-shifting because of it. Familiarizing ourselves with this concept of ransom provides us with such a rich and profound analogy. We had a penalty of death and separation from God to pay, but Christ took that penalty- instead of darkness, we now have hope. And that is something to celebrate. I truly think I could write a book on this subject.

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