And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice (Genesis 22:18).
God chose Israel as a nation and blessed them. However, every year, the priest had to atone for their sins; an animal had to be killed on behalf of the people. The priest will lay his hands on the animal and confess the sins of the nation upon it; this was a yearly routine. Think about that!
But over in the New Testament, the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ was God’s spiritual Lamb and He didn’t just take the sins of Israel, but the sins of the whole world (John 1:29). He was God’s perfect sacrifice that settled the problem of sin forever. Today, no one needs to kill any animal in atonement for sin.
Hebrews 7:26-27, referring to Jesus says, “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.” Also, in Hebrews 9:26, we read, “For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”
In some parts of the world, there’re certain religions where people punish themselves for their sins; they whip themselves and lacerate their skin as penance for their sins. In some instances, the people are laid on a platform with protruding nails, piercing through their flesh with blood gushing out. They believe this would atone for their sins. How sad!
O, that the world would know Jesus and all that He accomplished for humanity! Jesus ended all of such penance. The Bible says there remains no more sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 10:26). You don’t need to go through self-torture or self-recrimination because of your sins; Jesus already paid the full penalty for the sins of all men. This is the message of the Gospel! Christ Jesus paid it all!
God’s not counting or holding your sins against you, because of Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:19). Jesus already bore the punishment and consequences for all your sins. Therefore, serve Him with your life.
Isaiah 53:5-6; Hebrews 9:26-28
DAILY SCRIPTURE READING
1-year bible reading plan:
Acts 15:1-21 & Esther 1-4
2-year bible reading plan:
2 Corinthians 11:1-9 & Isaiah 19