The Final Sacrifice of Christ: Chapter 9, #4

So far, we have shown that the author of Hebrews is comparing the sacrifice of Christ to that of the high priest on the Day of Atonement. By stating the comparison that Jesus’ blood sacrifice was better than bulls and goats, he potentially raises the question, “why a blood sacrifice?” The author gives three reasons for the necessity of a blood sacrifice, which I will address in reverse order.

The primary reason for the necessity of a blood sacrifice is that it is required by God’s ordering of the universe. On one hand, this may appear to be avoiding the question. Yet, the Bible is replete with examples of blood sacrifices. Noah brings extra clean animals on board the ark for the express purpose of sacrificing them after the flood. Abel brought a lamb for a sacrifice, and God commended him. Some would also argue that in order to make clothes for Adam and Eve, animals were not merely sheared, but that they were sacrificed. This is the way God ordered things.

Secondarily, covenants, like the one made on Mt. Sinai and the new covenant, require death. The author treats these covenants like the last will and testament of someone who is about to die. The inheritance cannot be passed on from a person to his heirs until he dies. The author argues, then, that the blessings promised in the covenants required the death of the one who made the promise.

Finally, the sacrifice of Christ is the basis of salvation for believers of all ages. The forgiveness granted is part of the “eternal inheritance.” Its effect is far deeper than the sacrifices found under the Law, for it allows men like Abraham, Noah, Abel, and Adam to receive forgiveness of sins, as well as those born in the future during the time of Christ’s earthly reign.

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