Volume. XXVI, No. 49
Sunday, 03 June 2012


Christ, Our Burnt Offering - Part 1


 The death of Christ is seen in the New Testament as the fulfilment of all that was foreshadowed by the Old Testament sacrificial system. One key thought of New Testament writers is that the sacrifice made by Christ on the cross is the final perfect sacrifice for the atonement of sin and the salvation of men. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ was typified in the various sacrifices of the Old Testament recorded particularly in the book of Leviticus which is the central theme of the book of Hebrews.

 Of all the sacrifices, the most important was the burnt offering described in the book of Leviticus. Regardless of what the ancient Israelite understood of the symbolism of the burnt offering in terms of its future fulfilment in Christ, Christ was the ultimate fulfilment, the antitype of the burnt offering—Christ is our burnt offering! John the Baptist indicated this at the very outset of our Lord’s ministry, when he greeted Him with the words, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) What then is the significance of recognising Christ as the ultimate fulfilment of the Old Testament burnt offering? We shall consider these implications based on * Leviticus 1:3-9.

 Christ, the Burnt Offering

 Firstly, the offering of the burnt offering is a picture of Christ being offered as the ultimate burnt sacrifice. Leviticus 1:3 says, “If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd…”. The burnt offering has four distinctive aspects to it: 1) It is a sweet savor to God. He enjoys this offering. It is not given because of sin but because of devotion; 2) It is offered for acceptance in the stead of the offerer. The animal represents the offerer; 3) A life is given; 4) It is completely burned up. This is why the Scripture says it has to be “consumed by the fire of God.” Symbolically, this is a sacrifice upon which God poured out his wrath, before the sinner could find acceptance with him — and that sacrifice is Christ, our LORD!

 Christ, the Second Adam

 Secondly, the fact that the sacrifice must be a male, signifies Christ being the second Adam. Leviticus 1:3b says, “…Let [the offerer] him offer a male…” The fact that the sacrifice had to be a male portrayed Christ, as the God-Man (ie. a male), by whom righteousness has been brought in and by whom sin has been put away. In the book of Romans 5:12, we read that the first Adam represented all mankind in the fall: he fell and so did the entire human race, but the second Adam passed the test by fulfilling all righteousness. Not only that, he paid the ransom for our sins. He also represents all those who look to Him in faith (Romans 5:19-21).

Christ, the Perfect Lamb of God

 Thirdly, the sacrifice must also be “…without blemish…” (Leviticus 1:3c). The sacrifice was to be without blemish which means the animal was to be ideally perfect. This speaks of the perfections of Christ.  The Scripture says that "… in him [Christ] is no sin" (1 John 3:5); "who did no sin …" (1 Peter 2:22); "… who knew no sin …" (2 Corinthians 5:21); “who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners …" (Hebrews 7:26). He is the beloved Son of whom the Father could say, "… I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17). Henceforth, Christ is able to make a perfect atonement for sin because He offered Himself up on the altar which was the perfect sacrifice, for He was perfect!

 Christ, the Perfect Atonement

 Fourthly, Leviticus 1:5a says,And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD.” As discussed in the previous point, since Christ is perfect, the atonement He made is naturally perfect. So, the offering of sacrifice also prefigures that Christ would make a perfect atonement for sin once for all. This verse pictures Christ\'s death by shedding His blood before the LORD. It is true that Christ lived a perfectly sinless life for us. However, a holy, blameless life is not enough to make atonement for sin. His perfect righteousness was imputed upon His elect. The penalty for the sin of His people must also be paid. Therefore, blood must be shed and Christ must die on our behalf. Why blood? Because of the blood being considered the life, the effusion of it was the essential part of the sacrifice, not the meat; and the sprinkling of the blood on the altar signified that the application of the atonement made the person and services of the offerer or the sinner acceptable to God, “for without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22).

 What then was the purpose of the Old Testament saints sacrificing all those sacrificial animals? Didn’t it take away their sin? No. The animal sacrifices did not take away their sin; it was their faith that counted them righteous! Hebrews 10:4 says, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” If we read down to chapter 11 of Hebrews, we would find the beautiful passage that is known as: “The hall of faith”. The name perhaps understates the importance of this passage, as if these people were “special” in themselves. There is nothing intrinsically special in these people, but it is “their faith” that should be highlighted. For they looked “forward” to the coming of the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus Christ! This is why the author of Hebrews says, “And these all (ie. the names aforementioned), having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise.” (Hebrews 11:39) What is the promise? It is the promise that God would provide an ultimate burnt offering, His only begotten Son – the promised Messiah!

 Christ, Our Great High Priest

 Fifthly, the offering of burnt sacrifice also signifies that Christ is our great high priest. Leviticus 1:5b says, “…And the priests, Aaron\'s sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar…”. Notice that the sprinkling of the blood of the animal sacrifice on the altar was to be done by the priests “and every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins” (Hebrews 10:11). The offerings could only cover the sin, but they could never take away sins. The offerings were just a reminder that men were sinners and that the sin question had not yet been settled. In contrast, when Christ came, He had physically sprinkled His own blood on * Calvary’s cross whereby He made atonement for sin  and “our great high priest is passed into the heavens” (Hebrews 4:14) where he sat down on the right hand of God. Why did Christ sit down? Was He tired? No. Did He sit down because He did not want to do anything? No. Jesus sat down because His work was finished once for all (Hebrews 10:10) having made one sacrifice for sins for ever (Hebrews 10:12) and making reconciliation for the sins of the people (Hebrews 2:17).

 ..... To be continued next Lord’s Day.

 

Pastor Weng


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster: Team Leader: Bro Phil Surman. Next Lord’s Day: Volunteer.

*26th Anniversary Greetings received from Bro David Chua (PJ, Malaysia)

*Hope Bookstore: Open 12:30 - 1:45pm

*All are encouraged to attend Adult Sunday School or History & Theology of Calvinism Classes.

*2012 Easter Family Bible Camp CDs & DVDs - now ready for collection. Please collect them from Dn Colin Gan in extended Sanctuary. Exact payment is appreciated.

 Praise & Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Rev Patrick & Mrs Anne Tan (Melb); Bros Raymond Ang (Adl) & Raphael Ng (Goolwa/Adl); Sisters Michelle Lee, Christabelle Selvanayagam (Adl), Peng Ha Yeo (Bris) & Sharon Ying (USA); Mrs Mary Zhang (China); & others who have arrived at their destinations.

2. Ministry of Rev Patrick & Mrs Anne Tan at Hope BPC.

3. Church Activities - last week.

4. Healing - those who suffered from illness last week.

5. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.

6. Visitors & new worshippers.

Prayer Items

1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Bros Colin Creaser & Elton Law; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Margaret Hooper, Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Myung Ki, Irena Kurek-Braden (NSW), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Lehia Paauwe (Per), Margaret Pearson & Susan Varadi; Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphael’s father); Mr Mang Soo Ong (Sis Gillian Ong’s father); Mr Wong (Dn Wai Kin Wong’s father); Mrs Maggie D’Mello (Dn Edwin’s mother in Mumbai) & Mrs. Chuilin Yap (Malacca); & others in affliction.

2. Special prayer: Bro Len Pearson (severe shortness of breath).

3. Sis Kathleen Creaser’s post-eye surgery - healing.

4. Sis Nary Li’s pregnancy - normal foetal development.

5. Cambodia Missions -  Khmer pastors & families.

6. Ministry in New Life BPC (London): Ps & Sis Ki.

7. Laos Missions - Bro Surish Dharmalingam & Ministry

8. Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry.

9. God’s Comfort - those afflicted and grieving.

10. iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry - Pr HS Lim & Ministry (Melbourne, Vic).

11. IBPFM (USA) - Rev Keith Coleman & Board members.

12. Ps & Sis Weng - Ministry in Hope BPC.

13. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.

14. House of Hope, Cebu, The Philippines - Ministry to drug addicts.

15. Journey mercies: Bros Raymond Ang (Pinnaroo), Raymond Chia & family (Adl) & Raphael Ng (Goolwa/Adl); Sisters Michelle Lee (Melb) & Peng Ha Yeo (Syd/Adl), & others who are travelling.

16. Logos International School (Phnom Penh) - Bro Peter Koo.

17. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.

18. Uni Placement: Sis Felicia Tan (S’pore).

19. Full-time Job - Sisters Michelle Lee & Corinne Teng.

20. Believers under persecution - Islamic & Communist countries.

 

 

 

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