The Blood of Jesus Versus the Blood of Animal Sacrifices
Most people who've had any exposure to Christianity are aware that during Old Testament times, animal sacrifices were regularly performed for the remission of sins. Now that the work of Christ as the sacrificial Lamb of God on Calgary (Golgotha) is finished, Christians focus almost exclusively on the blood of Jesus when speaking of salvation. Why? What is the difference between the blood of animal sacrifices under the Law (Old Testament/Old Covenant) and the blood of Jesus under grace (New Testament/New Covenant)?
The Flesh and the Conscience
The short answer to the question that has been raised is: the blood of Jesus is far superior to the blood of animal sacrifices in the eyes of God, so much so that sacrifice of animals ceased being acceptable to him since the completion of the atoning work of his Son on the cross. The shed blood of animals was never perfect in the eyes of the Lord because the power of their blood was limited to the cleansing only of the flesh, not of the conscience or heart/mind of the individual who had sinned. This truth is best understood by example. Let's say that someone sees a piece of jewelry that he would like to own but, not having money to purchase it, he steals it. Now, let's say that the blood of animal sacrifices atones for his sin of theft. What's missing? Again, the Bible explains that the problem with the blood of sacrificed animals was found in the fact that they only cleansed the flesh, not the conscience. It dealt with the specific sin instead of the the root of sin itself--an impure mind.
The thief can be punished and forced to restore what he took if he's caught, but as long as he has the mind of a thief, he cannot be trusted. Laws can control him, but they can't change him. The real problem is not in what he stole, but in the mindset that he has to steal things he wants. The blood of Jesus, the perfect and final sacrifice, provided by God himself, cleanses the conscience to create a new man who is free from the mind of a thief so that he needs no law to force him to stop doing what a new, clean, and pure conscience no longer desires to do. This is just one example of the work of Christ. No sin can be carried out without having first been sparked by a thought, even if it's only a quick thought. Thoughts from the enemy must be quickly rejected before they compel action. This is so serious that even thought can be sin before God (Proverbs 15:26, Matthew 5:28) who knows what's coming if the conscience (heart) isn't quickly cleansed by the superior blood of Jesus. The blood of animal sacrifices for the remission of sins is like being sorry you were caught; those who are cleansed by the blood of Christ
are truly repentant whether they are caught by man or not.
"Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not (was not your perfect will), neither hadst pleasure therein which are offered (sacrificed) by the law" (KJV Hebrews 10:9).
"Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth (cleanses/purifies) to the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead (sinful) works to serve the living God" (Hebrews 9:12-15)?
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