Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Sacrifice (3) External Cleansing

The tabernacle sacrifices covered the guilt of the people sufficiently for them to cope with God living in their midst without fear of being destroyed by his holiness. Of course, these sacrifices were only a partial solution.

The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins (Heb 10:1-3).
Unfortunately, the regular sacrifices also reminded them of their sin, which increased their guilt. The guilt problem needed a deeper solution.

The tabernacle was real, but it foreshadowed the place in the heavenly realms where Jesus sat down at the right hand of God having made the perfect sacrifice. However, the tabernacle sacrifices only provided an external cleansing, which was enough to allow the people to draw closer to God.

The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God (Heb 9:13-14).
The blood of animals provided and external cleanliness (cleanliness of the flesh). They still needed to be cleansed inside (a cleansing of the spirit). Only Jesus could do that.

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