What sacrifice did the Lord Jesus bring?


According to Christian tradition the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus represents the complete redemption, forgiveness and reconciliation of the sin of the whole mankind. However, Israel was shortly after His sacrifice banished by God. So, Israel seems to be excluded. Also, Christians commit sins up until this very day. Are these contradictions explained in the Bible?

A sacrifice is a dedicated gift to a god. Nowadays it is interpreted as giving something very special. Something very precious, something for which very much effort is done or is given for a special event. This interpretation however comes from the trade business. Someone gives someone else something and expects something in return. In religious sense this is the pagan (sacrifice) principle. In the Biblical sense a sacrifice is something very different.

Biblical sacrifice
It has to be admitted, in the Bible a sacrifice is originally a gift to God (Gn 4:3-4). Adam started with it, since there was always a difference between God and man. However, sacrifices were not brought to beg for attention from God, as it became the norm later on in paganism, but it was only aimed at pleasing God (Gn 2:15). For God already had direct contact [1] with Adam (Gn 3:8). After Adam was fallen away from faith (Gn 3:6) sacrifices got a very negative meaning for humans. Man had come under the power satan [2], through which sacrifices got a different meaning [3]. From the fall of Adam forward man however not only had the very real reason to beg for God’s attention, since God had separated Himself from man. From then on sacrifices were also brought for redemption, dedication or compensation for the life of humans in one individual case. The redemptive sacrifice became a way of buy off the believer in order to save its life [4]. All these new ways of bringing sacrifices were not invented by man but established by God (Gn 3:21). The sacrifice supported a prayer for restoration. Ultimately it was God’s grace that gave the restoration. The sacrifices also confirmed the fact that God wanted to be known as the Owner of man. The Biblical sacrifices are fundamentally different that those in the pagan world.

Goals of Biblical sacrifices
In the Bible the sacrifices to God have different goals:
1. Honoring God (originally)
2. Asking God’s attention
3. Redemption
4. Dedication
5. Forgiveness, recompense and reconciliation

Crucifixion and Pésach
What was the goal of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus? At first sight the death of the Lord Jesus seems to have nothing to do with a sacrifice to God. Although He was condemned to death by the religious Supreme Court (Sanhedrin) of Israel (Mt 26:66), they handed the execution of that punishment over to the Roman occupiers. They chose the normal death penalty for capital crime (high treason) [5]; death through torture on a crucifix. How can it be that according to the Bible His death penalty was a sacrifice to God (Hb 9:14)?

The Lord Jesus had, as He has today, a spiritual ministry. That also becomes clear from His condemnation by the Sanhedrin (Mt 26:63-66) [6]. Added to that is the fact that His death was during the Biblical feast of Pésach (Passover) and this has to mean something. This meaning is confirmed in the Bible. It describes His death as a deeper fulfillment of the exodus of Israel from Egypt which is commemorated at Pésach (1 Cor 5:7).

Preceding the first Pésach God had commanded to Moses that the Israelites had to sacrifice a clean animal, put the blood of it at the doorposts and eat it on that same night of the Exodus in a hurry. This way God would let the judgment on Egypt pass-over on Israel. This judgment was the death of all male firstborn of man and cattle (the 10the plague; Ex 11:4-5). If the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus was the fulfillment of Pésach, then His death is to be seen as a new Pésach sacrifice (Lk 22:19-20). But despite this sacrifice God has banished Israel from His Sight in the first century CE [7]. How can that be?

Pésach for all believers from the nations
If the Pésach sacrifice of the Lord Jesus is the fulfillment of the Biblical Pésach, then it is evident that this later fulfillment has a greater meaning then the original. The original gave deliverance of the oppression of Egypt; their exodus. The fulfillment by the Lord Jesus gave the opposite for Israel; their dispersion under the nations (Eze 5:10). This is a difficult issue that needs clarification. The 12 apostles that were assigned by the Lord Jesus (Mt 10:1) represented the 12 tribes of Israel (Mt 19:28), however only the remnant of Israel. The original Pésach did redeem the whole of Israel. So, the work of the Lord Jesus is marked by ‘already, but not yet wholly’ which is in the interest of the (potential) members of the people of God (Rm 11:12, 26). However, can the Pésach sacrifice of the Lord Jesus really be meant for humanity, like it is supposed to be, since Pésach was originally only history of Israel?

Originally Israel was called for humanity (Is 49:6). The blessing of God would come upon humanity through Israel. But because humanity came under the power of satan since the sin of Adam (Gn 3:15, 22), only God was able to do that (Lk 18:26-27). This becomes clear in the Pésach story. Just like Israel was delivered by God from the power of Egypt, likewise He delivered from the power of satan. From this the deeper fulfillment of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus becomes clear: it makes Pésach into general history [8].

Pésach is also able to be that, since Israel on that moment was not a nation yet. That happened months after the exodus from Egypt [9]. So, the Pésach sacrifice originally preceded the receiving of the Covenant of God in the Sinai (Rm 3:21). Likewise, the New Covenant was only just after the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus given: on the day of Pentecost. This explains why also strangers, who were not born from Israel, also could partake in the redemption of the original Pésach (Ex 12:38). Still, it was specifically meant for Israel and Egypt was smitten for them by God. In the same way humanity remains under the power of satan and only believers, the first fruits [10], are delivered from it by taking part in the Pésach sacrifice of the Lord Jesus.

Pésach for Israel
Has the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus no specific meaning for Israel? Some suggest confirming that, but if that is thru then the Lord Jesus is not the Messiah. In Biblical sense that office is in the first place aimed at (the restoration of) Israel. Their restoration is required for the fulfillment of the work of the Lord Jesus and the wholeness of the total of God’s people.

Israel needs to be the people of God again. What is this specific meaning of His sacrifice for Israel? According to Isaiah 53:10 the guilt [11] (Hebrew ‘asjam; Lv 6:1-5) of Israel needs to reconciled. According to the Bible this will be done by the Servant (the Messiah) of God. The current banishment of Israel ‘proves’ that it is not reconciled with God. Also other prophets have given a description on how the reconciliation of Israel finally will result in the eternal New Covenant with God [12]. Only when this future sacrifice for Israel’s guilt is brought to God [13] the restoration of Israel within the people of God will be realized [14]. The Pésach sacrifice of the Lord Jesus has not redeemed that guilt [15].

Still, the Pésach sacrifice of the Lord Jesus has a deeper meaning for Israel. They also are under the power of satan, as everything since Adam has come under the power of sin, despite His Pésach sacrifice. The Covenant, that Moses mediated, is also given in that framework [16]. However, Israelites who accepted the gospel of the Lord Jesus partake already today in that what the Pésach sacrifice of the Lord Jesus realized: deliverance of the power of satan.

Forgivingness and reconciliation
It is necessary to forgive in order to reconcile a guilt that someone has towards another person. Without forgiveness of that guilt it remains active and every guilt demands compensation. However, receiving forgiveness doesn’t mean that everything always returns to what it used to be. To restore that reconciliation is needed. Reconciliation is restoration and conservation of on the bond between people.

By giving Covenants God Has shown that He wants an ongoing bond with man. Receiving God’s forgiveness is only then sufficient when the believer has accepted the bond and lives according to it. By accepting God’s Covenant after Pésach – the exodus (from paganism) – the believer is reconciled with God. Israel was reconciled with God in the Sinai Covenant and that also happened with believers from the nations that prior to Sinai never had known God. But the New Covenant can only be accepted through His Pésach sacrifice [17]. The office of High priest the Lord Jesus received after His ascension to heaven, gives forgivingness and reconciliation on a daily basis. This is also His current New Covenant office [18]. God’s fulfillment of the establishment of His blessing thus happens sequential, instead of happing all at the same time. The latter is however as many wrongly understand it.

The sacrifice of the Lord Jesus is only just the first collective sacrifice that He brought unto God. With it He fulfilled the Pésach festival deeper by letting the final condemnation of God pass-over on believers and they will be set free by accepting the New Covenant [19].

It is however not possible that by His sacrifice the Lord Jesus unconditionally forgave all the sins of the whole of humanity. Since, He has also not forgiven Israel’s guilt by His sacrifice, although they have the privilege of priority access to God’s forgiveness. Still, His Pésach sacrifice is brought for humanity and not specifically for Israel [20]. This means that a specific future sacrifice on behalf of the forgiveness and reconciliation of Israel with God shall have to be brought [21]. This is on the schedule of God. Israel will again become part of the people of God [22].

The sacrifice of the Lord Jesus was not a Temple sacrifice and thus cannot replace the Temple sacrifices, however many wrongly assume that this is the case. He has become High priest for the Temple service in heaven shortly following His Pésach sacrifice. (Hb 8:1-2) [23].

The Pésach sacrifice of the Lord Jesus represents the spiritual change through the deliverance of the believers out of the power of satan which was over mankind. That has fulfilled the necessary ‘exodus’ God gave from the pagan world [24]. Following this deliverance are the forgiveness and reconciliation, just like Israel only just later got access to forgiveness and reconciliation at mount Horeb. All kinds of dogmas have given a wrong and crooked representation of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, which ignore His future office of Messiah and also conflict with it! But a right understanding of His sacrifice can only be a blessing.

[1] Still many believe that God made a covenant with Adam.
[2] This power, which God never wanted to exist, is thus older then Adam. Satan was also created before Adam.
[3] The original way of bringing sacrifices (to honor God) moved from the foreground.
[4] In a way it replaced eating from the Tree of Life. But the sacrifice likewise gave the spiritual healing of sin, but not the healing from the physical death.
[5] The Lord Jesus was supposedly the leader of an uprising against the Romans by calling Himself the ‘King of the Jews’ (Jh 19:12).
[6] His condemnation by the Romans is a side issue which was extorted by the Jewish religious leaders.
[7] This became clear in the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (70 CE). The sacrifice of the Lord Jesus thus cannot be meant for Israel, but for another collective, another people of God. Namely, the believers of the nations next to some Israelite believers. From then on however the collective of Israel was temporarily excluded.
[8] The festival for all believers.
[9] At Mount Horeb in the Sinai desert.
[10] In the New Covenant the exclusiveness of Israel has been dropped for the benefit of the worldwide mission.
[11] Namely due to the breaking of the Covenant of God and its Torah (Is 24:5).
[12] Thus, the New Covenant that the Lord Jesus consecrated shall be renewed (fulfilled).
[13] Contrary to the Pésach sacrifice, the guilt sacrifice is a Temple sacrifice (Lv 7:1-10). This cannot be brought by pagans (Romans) and not outside the Temple terrain.
[14] It shall be a deeper fulfillment of the Day of Atonement (Jom Kippoer).
[15] This contrasts the Christian dogma that wrongly states that the Lord Jesus brought the perfect sacrifice of reconciliation of the cross.
[16] Also in that sense the New Covenant has a better framework, namely that a prerequisite of it being enforced the power of satan had to be lifted from the believer.
[17] Christianity has made the Pésach sacrifice of the Lord Jesus through the ages more and more important. Consequence: the more it represented, the more passive the believers became.
[18] That the people of God are forgiven and reconciled becomes clear from the fact that the Holy Spirit was poured out on Pentecost (the deeper fulfillment of Feast of Weeks).
[19] Just like Israel was delivered from the power of Pharaoh by the exodus to be able to accept the Covenant of God at Horeb.
[20] Although Israel belongs to humanity.
[21] Thus, the fullness of the New Covenant still has to come.
[22] It has become impossible for Israel to function as God’s people, since they have been scattered amongst the nations.
[23] His current Temple service in heaven confirms that service.
[24] Although not yet physically being placed outside it, but at first spiritually. The physical realization will only just happen in the future new Creation after the resurrection.