Summary: The Ultimate Sacrifice, “The Lamb Of God”
The Substitute Leviticus 1:1-9
There are many people when they read are hear about the millions of animal sacrifices that were offered to God, don’t understand that they were a type, or were pointing to, the ultimate Sacrifice, “The Lamb Of God” that was to be slain on the altar of the cross for mankind’s sins.
Many people begin to read about the Old Testament sacrificial system and think something like: “Why all the blood? Why all this slaughtering of animals? It seems so gruesome and disgusting. Why did God require all of that? What was the purpose?”
Listen as I read today’s text found in Leviticus 1:1-9
1And the LORD called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle** of the congregation, saying,
2”Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock.
3If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD.
4And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.
5And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
6And he shall flay the burnt offering, and cut it into his pieces.
7And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire:
8And the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire, which is upon the altar:
9But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.”
The Old Testament sacrificial system was pointing to some very important truths. The first is that:
The sacrificial system was pointing to God’s plan to save his people. To help us understand lets go back to the time of Adam & Eve.
Adam and Eve enjoyed a perfect paradise. Their relationship with God was close & real.
God would walk and talk with them. There was no barrier between them. But something happened to spoil that relationship. God had said to them in, Genesis 2:15-17 15And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
16And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
God was not keeping something good from them; he simply did not want them to know what evil was like through personal experience. He was sparing them from evil, for he knew it would bring suffering and death into the world. As a consequence of disobeying this important command, God told them they would die if they disobeyed. But every day that passed made the fruit of the tree look better and better. Add to that the satanic suggestion that God did not really love them because he was keeping something from them.
Satan promised that if they ate from the tree that they would have special knowledge and power, and better still, they would become like God. So they ate from the tree and their world did become drastically different, but not for the better.
The world around them changed. Their bodies looked different. They felt shame. They were afraid of God — something that had never occurred to them before.
But one thing did not happen — they did not die. the process of death had begun in them, but they did not die immediately.
Why was that? Did God make a mistake?
The secret to answering that question can be found in what God did next.
Because they felt shame, Adam and Eve had covered themselves with fig leaves. But God gave them another kind of covering. The Bible says in Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
Was God just wanting to give them better clothing, or was something else happening here?
God told them they would die when they sinned against him and they did not. If they did not die, something had to die in their place. There was a substitute. God took the life of two animals in their place, and then he covered them with the skins of those animals. They deserved to die, but another life had taken their place.