The message of the Cross is the heart of Christianity. In fact, it is THE message and the cornerstone of the Christian faith. We should never grow tired of learning about what happened there and all of its implications. It never gets old and we must never move on from it! For the past few years, I have made it a goal to read at least one book each year that discusses this topic. I have just started reading a new one that I would like to share with those who read this blog. It is called “The Great Exchange: My Sin for His Righteousness” by Jerry bridges and Bob Bevington. I will be sharing quotes from it when I am done, but today I wanted to share this extended quoted about how the Old Testament sacrificial system served as a pre-cursor for Christ’s ultimate sacrifice for our sins.“Atonement by animal sacrifice was the method by which sinning Jewish believers, estranged from God and excluded from covenant standing, were forgiven and restored to relationship with the inflexibly holy and yet merciful God. The penalty for sin was separation and death; if a sin occurred, so must a separation and a death. No amount of remorse, regret, or improved behavior could remove the guilt. The offender was required to die without the possibility of restored fellowship to God – unless the God-ordained animal substitute was offered (separated) and killed (sacrificed) in the place of the dinner. The act of substitutionary death was the main point of the old covenant atonement for sin. In viewing the sacrificial process, defiled Israelites were reminded of what they would have endured if the sacrifice had not intervened.
It is important for us to note that this God-given system of animal sacrifices united three essential concepts… Read the rest of this entry