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sacrificeAs early as Genesis 3:15 it is seen that someone must die in order to ultimately defeat sin. “And I shall place hatred between you and between the woman, and between your seed and between her seed. He will crush your head, and you will bite his heel.”

The theme of sacrifice is continued in Genesis 3:21 for in order for God to cover Adam and Eve with animal skins, obviously animals had been killed to now provide this covering. “And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife shirts of skin, and He dressed them.”

Genesis 4:3-5, Abel’s blood sacrifice was acceptable to God, while Cain’s offering was not. It seems that Cain demonstrated disbelief in not bringing a blood sacrifice. “Now it came to pass at the end of days, that Cain brought of the fruit of the soil an offering to the Lord.  And Abel he too brought of the firstborn of his flocks and of their fattest, and the Lord turned to Abel and to his offering. But to Cain and to his offering He did not turn…”

During the time of Noah, sacrifices were still important. Genesis 8:20 “And Noah built an altar to the Lord, and he took of all the clean animals and of all the clean fowl and brought up burnt offerings on the altar.”

 In subjecting Abraham to the ultimate test of his faith, God requested him to sacrifice his son Isaac, a passage that prefigures the sacrifice of Jesus. Genesis 22.

When God redeemed Israel from Egypt, a lamb was slain and it’s blood was applied to the doorposts of the houses. Exodus 12.

God required animal sacrifices to provide temporary forgiveness of sins. God even set up certain procedures, almost all involving shed blood from the animal to “cover” the sin, remove the sin in God’s eyes.(Leviticus 4, Leviticus 16, Numbers 15:1-31). Thus when one broke a law but then offered the proper sacrifice he was keeping the overall Law.

There were certain sins one could commit that could not be forgiven. There was no sacrifice given to atone for them and no recourse for the offender except to die and enter hell. Some of these were homosexuality (Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13), murder (Numbers 35:30), adultery (Leviticus 20:10), cursing or smiting one’s parents (Exodus 21:15), kidnapping (Exodus 21:16), bestiality (Exodus 22:19), breaking the Sabbath (Exodus 31:14), blasphemy (Leviticus 24:16). Basically all crimes punishable by death were unforgivable.

However, these animal sacrifices evolved from being offered anywhere to being tied into a particular temple and altar in which to offer the sacrifice ( Deuteronomy 12). When the temple altar was destroyed, these animal sacrifices ceased.

Later it became more clearly evident that a person would have to be sacrificed for sin (Isaiah 53, Daniel 9:24-26).

God promised Abraham that all the families of the earth would be blessed by Abraham (Genesis 12:3). Since all people on earth are sinners, all people deserve God’s curse, not God’s blessing.

So, only those who have been saved from their sins can be blessed of God. Thus the promise of blessing for the families of the earth must include salvation for the families of the earth and this salvation would come through the seed of Abraham. The Messiah must be of the line of Abraham.

The same promise was renewed to Isaac (Genesis 21:12) and Jacob (Genesis 28:14) and thus the Messiah must also be a descendant of Isaac and Jacob. Since the Jews may be defined as those who have descended from Jacob, we can say that the Savior must be a Jew. He must be a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

In Genesis 49:10 we learn that the kingly line (the line possessing “the scepter”) must come out of the tribe of Judah. Since the Messiah will be God’s anointed King (Psalm 2), the Messiah must come from the line of Judah.

In Isaiah 11:1 we learn that the Messiah, God’s great King, must come from Jesse, hence from the line of David (Jesse was David’s father). The covenant God made with David (ll Samuel chapter 7) confirms that this great King must come from the line of King David.

His birth: Micah 5:2, Isaiah 7:14 (The Hebrew term “young woman” [almah] is used in the Torah of women who were virgins [Genesis 24:43 and Exodus 2:8]. The Jewish translators of the Hebrew Scriptures into the Greek Septuagint used “parthenos” to translate the word “almah”, and the Greek term “parthenos” clearly denoted virginity.).

The context of Isaiah 7:14 involves the LORD speaking to Ahaz about a great sign or miracle. For a virgin to become pregnant and give birth to a son is a great miracle.

The Messiah had to be sinless. Isaiah 53. Despised and rejected by men, pained because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; the chastisement of our welfare was upon him, and with his wound we were healed. We all went astray like sheep, we have turned, each one on his way, and the Lord accepted his prayers for the iniquity of all of us. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he would not open his mouth; like a lamb to the slaughter he would be brought, He committed no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. He poured out his soul to death, and with transgressors he was counted; and he bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.

The Messiah had to die: Genesis 3:15, Daniel 9:24-27, Psalm 22, Zechariah 12:10, Zechariah 13:6, Isaiah 53 (One interpretation of this passage is that the suffering servant describes the nation Israel. Yes Israel as a nation has suffered greatly, however notice the repetition of the personal pronoun “he” which lends weight to the One spoken of is an individual, not a nation. More information on that can be found in this Isaiah 53 post here).

Over 300 prophecies stated in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) were fulfilled by one named Jesus. Our eternal God became man (incarnation) for our salvation; sinless, born under the Law, to fulfill the Law perfectly (Genesis 49:10). Crucified, died, resurrected, alive seated at the right hand of the Father (Psalm 110:1), fully God, fully man (Daniel 7:13-14, Isaiah 52:6-7, Isaiah 9:5 Hebrew Bible [9:6 OT]). By faith, we are able to be reconciled to God forever. Just as Abram back in Genesis 15, by faith.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” What the New Testament brings is nothing new, it is all in the Hebrew Bible.

Isaiah 53:1 “Who would have believed our report, and to whom was the arm of the Lord revealed?”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Jesus died a terrible death on a cross to pay the price for our sin, a death that was foretold in detail in the Hebrew Bible, one that was part of God’s plan from before time began, and one that God allowed for a very specific purpose.

Jesus took our place when we deserved spiritual death. However this was Jesus in His human form. Part of the prophecy regarding Him was that He would come to earth as a man however ascend to Heaven (eternal life with God) after physical death here on earth. That is where He is. (After His death, Jesus was raised from the dead Psalm 16:10, Isaiah 53:9-10,  After His resurrection, Jesus ascended to heaven and sat at the right hand of God Psalm 16:11, Psalm 68:18, Psalm 110:1).

Because the physical death, the shedding of blood here on earth, was the final atonement set up by God, the propitiation, the quenching of His wrath, there is no other way to reconnect with God in life here on earth, and in eternity. Believing in Jesus (putting your trust in Him) as your Lord and Savior, is the only hope of salvation.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

You will become a child of God by receiving Jesus. John 1:12 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”

John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me .”

Colossians 1:14 “in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

With love,

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