Christ, Our Sacrifice
In a previous lesson the sanctuary and its sacrifices was the focus of study. There are two aspects of sacrifice that shined out in the lesson: the death and the blood. The sanctuary had three compartments. In each of them something happened that pointed to Christ as a sacrifice. In each event an animal was killed and blood was shed, and sprinkled in certain part of the sanctuary. In all of these sacrifices Christ is prefigured. They were a representation of what Christ would accomplish at the Cross. He is the lamb that was slain from the beginning to take away the sin of the World. How did He take Sin away?
"He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed" (1 Peter 2:24, NASB).
This verse is a reference to Isaiah 53. Here are some excerpts,
Isa 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows…
Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Isa 53:6 … and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isa 53:7 … he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, …
Isa 53:8 … he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken…
Isa 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, …
Isa 53:11 … by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
Ellen White says,
"Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. 'With His stripes we are healed.'"—The Desire of Ages, p. 25.
It was an exchange: the priceless for the worthless trade. He died, so we would live. Ellen White says,
"Nothing less than the death of Christ could make His love efficacious for us. It is only because of His death that we can look with joy to His second coming. His sacrifice is the center of our hope. Upon this we must fix our faith."—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 660.
Simply, in order for humanity to be saved Jesus had to die. There was no other way. Paul says,
Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
Christ's death reconciles to God. Paul says in Rom 5:10, "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, …" We are reconciled to live with him. Let us read Romans,
Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Notice the language: baptize into Jesus, buried with Him, planted together…We were in Him, when he died and resurrected. And, now we are in Heavenly places in Him (Ephesians 2: 6).