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Chapter 3 – The Sacrificial Lamb: Year After Year

24 September, 2009

 

“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.  If it could, 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.”  Hebrews 10:1-2a

God began weaving the crimson cord of redemption for man through the shedding of blood in the Garden of Eden.  This shadow of truth is a progressive revelation leading up to the “once-for-all” complete climax of the One perfect Lamb.  
 
One of God’s gifts to man was the freedom of choice.  Eve exercised that freedom when the crafty serpent asked her,  “Did God really say ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’”   The doubt entertained in her mind became a thought, which she considered, consented to, and then acted upon.  Eve took the fruit and ate it.  Eve also gave some fruit to her husband and he ate it.

After eating the fruit they heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day.  They hid from Him among the trees.  God called to them, “Where are you.”  Adam answered, “I heard you in the garden but I was afraid, because I was naked; so I hid.”  God asked, “Who told you that you were naked?   Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”  

 

After the blame-game, the serpent is destined to crawl on his belly and eat dust all the days of his life. Eve is destined for greatly increased pains in childbearing.  Her desire is for her husband and he will rule over her. For Adam, the ground is cursed because of him.  Through painful toil, thorns and thistles, and by sweat, he will eat his own food, and yes, he will surely die – just as the Lord said.  

 
The sentencing was finished; the Lord God made garments of SKIN for Adam and Eve and clothed them.  THE FIRST BLOOD WAS SHED…TO COVER THEIR SIN!

The curse of sin has fallen on all of mankind!  Wrong choices!  This sin now breaks man’s communication with God, for He cannot look upon sin for He is Holy.

 
God banished Adam and Eve from the garden, into a fallen world. Their two sons were born; Cain who worked the soil and Abel kept flocks. Through the course of time, Cain brought fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord.  Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock.  The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering, He did not look with favor.
Genesis 4  Man began with lamb offerings to The Lord God.  This lamb offering is the shadow of good things that are coming- not the realities themselves.
 
Have you ever wondered why Cain’s offering did not find favor with God? Could it be that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin?  What can wash away my sin? – Nothing but the blood of God’s perfect, sacrificial Lamb.  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. Ephesians 1:7
 
God instructed the people concerning the building of altars, the animals to use in the Festivals, Passover, Tabernacle and Ceremonials.  The lamb is mentioned first in Genesis and the Lamb is mentioned last in Revelation where He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood and His name is the Word of God.  The continuing theme from Genesis to Revelation is the Lamb.  
 
The lamb represents innocence; doing no evil, free from sin or wrong, doing no harm, freedom from guilt, and not transgressing the law.  Just as a young child who is not yet consciously acquainted with evil has done no wrong.  The lamb must be without spot; no discoloration, as white as snow; the lamb without blemish; no bruises, cuts, or deformities.
 
1280px-Domenico_Morelli_Noahs_DankgebetAfter man was banned from the garden, the earth grew so corrupt and violent, that God was grieved He had made man. God had a righteous man that honored and walked with Him, whose name was Noah. God told Noah to build an ark for his family and the animals, birds and creatures living on the earth.  Noah obeyed God, the flood came and after a time the water receded.  Noah’s family and all the creatures came out of the ark.
 

Then Noah built an altar and sacrificed burnt offerings to the Lord.  The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in His heart:
 “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood.  And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, will NEVER cease.”  B’RESHEET (Genesis) 8:20-22
 
God spoke to another man, Abram, whose name God later changed to Abraham.  God said, “I will establish My covenant as an everlasting covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.  The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendents after you; and I will be their God.
 
Some time later God tested Abraham.  God told Abraham to take his only son, Isaac to a region of Mt. Moriah and sacrifice him as a burnt offering.  Abraham took the wood and placed it on his son and he carried the fire and the knife.  Isaac asked his father, “The fire and wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”  Abraham answered, “God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”
 
As we know, Abraham prepared the wood, bound his son and raised his knife, then the angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven saying,  “Do not lay a hand on the boy, and do not do anything to him.  Now I know that you fear God because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”  Abraham looked up and in the thicket he saw a ram and sacrificed it as the burnt offering.
 
The angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.  Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”  B’RESHEET (Genesis) 22:15-18
 
The progressive revelation continues as God founds another righteous man to carry out yet another step in bringing together His chosen people to the land of Canaan, God’s promise to Abraham.  God raised up this man, schooled in the Egyptian ways, who killed an Egyptian because he was beating a Hebrew slave, fled Egypt and lived on the backside of the desert for forty years.  This man, Moses, was called upon by God, the great “I AM”, to deliver His people from their slavery in Egypt.  The Isra’elites groaned in their slavery and cried out for help.  God heard their cry and remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  God sent Moses to bring the Isra’elites out of Egypt. 
 
Pharaoh refused to let the people go.  Then the plagues began with the plague of Blood, followed by Frogs, Gnats, Flies, Livestock, Boils, Hail, Locusts and Darkness.  The Lord said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt and he will let you go.”  So Moses said, “This is what the Lord says:”  “About midnight I will go throughout Egypt.  Every firstborn son in Egypt will die and all the firstborn of the cattle as well.” SH’MOT (Exodus) 11:4-5 
 
THE PASSOVER LAMB passover1
 

In SH’MOT (Exodus) 12, the Lord told Moses and Aaron while they were in Egypt to tell the whole community of Isra’el that on the tenth day of this month, it will be the first month of the year, and each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.  The animals chosen must be one-year-old males without defect.  On the fourteenth day of the month, all the people of the community of Isra’el must slaughter them at twilight.  Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.  This is how you are to eat it:  with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover.  On that same night, I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt; I AM the LORD.  The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the BLOOD, I WILL PASS OVER YOU.    
 
For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year.  For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Hebrews 10:1-4


As we look back throughout history, God has raised up righteous men to lead His chosen and set apart people.  God saved humanity through one person, Noah.  God raised up a special people and Nation through one man, Abraham. God gave His elect people the Promised Land, Isra’el through His prophet Moses.

 
God has laid the foundation word upon word; line upon line; building truths, precept upon precept. He is in charge of the past, present and future.  How honored, humbled and grateful should be those whom He called, to be the center of His plan for the ages!
 
Let us read some passages from Psalms 119, which could apply to a person, a people or a nation.  Open my eyes Lord, that I may see you and your complete truth.  Open my ears that I may hear and heed and understand your precepts for my life.

25 My soul cleaves to the dust; revive me according to Your word. 26 I have told of my ways, and You have answered me; Teach me Your statutes. 27 Make me understand the way of Your precepts, So I will meditate on Your wonders. 28 My soul weeps because of grief; strengthen me according to Your word. 29 Remove the false way from me, and graciously grant me Your law. 30 I have chosen the faithful way; I have placed Your ordinances before me. 31 I cling to Your testimonies; O LORD, do not put me to shame! 32 I shall run the way of Your commandments, For You will enlarge my heart. He.

 

37 Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, and revive me in Your ways. 38 Establish Your word to Your servant, As that which produces reverence for You.

 

40 Behold, I long for Your precepts; Revive me through Your righteousness. 41 May Your loving kindnesses also come to me, O LORD, Your salvation according to Your word; 42 So I will have an answer for him who reproaches me, for I trust in Your word. 43 And do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for I wait for Your ordinances. 44 So I will keep Your law continually, Forever and ever. 45 And I will walk at liberty, for I seek Your precepts. 46 I will also speak of Your testimonies before kings And shall not be ashamed. 47 I shall delight in Your commandments, Which I love. 48 And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments, Which I love; And I will meditate on Your statutes. 49 Remember the word to Your servant, In which You have made me hope. 50 This is my comfort in my affliction; that Your word has revived me.

 

65 You have dealt well with Your servant, O LORD, according to Your word. 66 Teach me good discernment and knowledge, for I believe in Your commandments. 67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word. 68 You are good and do good; Teach me Your statutes. 69 The arrogant have forged a lie against me; with all my heart I will observe Your precepts. 70 Their heart is covered with fat, but I delight in Your law. 71 It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes. 72 The law of Your mouth is better to me Than thousands of gold and silver pieces.  73 Your hands made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments. 74 May those who fear You see me and be glad, Because I wait for Your word. 75 I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are righteous, And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. 76 O may Your loving-kindness comfort me, According to Your word to Your servant. 77 May Your compassion come to me that I may live, For Your law is my delight. 78 May the arrogant be ashamed, for they subvert me with a lie; But I shall meditate on Your precepts. 79 May those who fear You turn to me, Even those who know Your testimonies. 80 May my heart be blameless in Your statutes, So that I will not be ashamed. 81 My soul languishes for Your salvation; I wait for Your word. 82 My eyes fail with longing for Your word, While I say, “When will You comfort me?”

 

89 Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven. 90 Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations; You established the earth, and it stands. 91 They stand this day according to Your ordinances, For all things are Your servants. 92 If Your law had not been my delight, Then I would have perished in my affliction. 93 I will never forget Your precepts, For by them You have revived me. 94 I am Yours, save me; For I have sought Your precepts.

 

103 How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 From Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way. 105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. 106 I have sworn and I will confirm it, that I will keep Your righteous ordinances. 107 I am exceedingly afflicted; revive me, O LORD, according to Your word.

 

114 You are my hiding place and my shield; I wait for Your word.

 

129 Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul observes them. 130 The unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. 131 I opened my mouth wide and panted, for I longed for Your commandments. 132 Turn to me and be gracious to me, After Your manner with those who love Your name. 133 Establish my footsteps in Your word, And do not let any iniquity have dominion over me. 134 Redeem me from the oppression of man, that I may keep Your precepts. 135 Make Your face shine upon Your servant, And teach me Your statutes. 136 My eyes shed streams of water, because they do not keep Your law.

 

145 I cried with all my heart; answer me, O LORD! I will observe Your statutes. 146 I cried to You; save me And I shall keep Your testimonies. 147 I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words.

 

169 Let my cry come before You, O LORD; Give me understanding according to Your word. 170 Let my supplication come before You; deliver me according to Your word. 171 Let my lips utter praise, for You teach me Your statutes. 172 Let my tongue sing of Your word, for all Your commandments are righteousness. 173 Let Your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen Your precepts. 174 I long for Your salvation, O LORD, and Your law is my delight. 175 Let my soul live that it may praise You, and let Your ordinances help me. 176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, for I do not forget Your commandments.

How many times have we turned away from God’s Word and wandered hopelessly because of unbelief?  Now more than ever, we must trust God to give each one the wisdom to know His complete truth.
 
“This is what the LORD says, he who made the earth, the LORD who formed it and established it – the LORD is His name:  ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’” Jeremiah (33:2-3)  
 
This is only one of over 7,000 promises quoted in God’s Word. Dare to believe it!
 
Let us continue forward as we see the foretelling of God’s Lamb through the prophets.  The shadows of the past will soon become reality.
 

 

“God’s Perfect Lamb” performed by Ron Hamilton 
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