Friday, April 25, 2008

The Lamb That Was Slain

A startling situation has occurred. A fringe Orthodox Jewish group has sacrificed a lamb in Jerusalem. There are two huge problems with the sacrifice.

1) The temple has been destroyed (A.D. 69-70)and there is no priesthood to ritually perform the sacrifices according to the Torah. Therefore, any sacrifices made would not be legal, and therefore not atoning. This sacrifice, in particular, probably was not meant to atone, but is meant to spur other Jews toward the destruction of the building that is currently standing on the temple mount, the Dome of the Rock, and the rebuilding of a temple structure there. The rebuilding of a temple is a symbol that many (Jews and Christians) are looking forward to as a harbinger of the end of the world. This does not, however, mean that it is right to rebuild it. The temple is no longer necessary for right worship of God.

2) A greater sacrifice has already occurred. The sacrificial system that required the blood of animals to atone for human sin and show human contrition has been done away with through Jesus of Nazareth's death upon a Roman cross. His death was the ultimate sacrifice and legitimated by his resurrection. To reinstate that which God has done away with is the height of idolatry because he is to be worshipped in the way which he has revealed.

I am including a link, here, to another blog article by the same name on Justin Taylor's Between Two Worlds. He, further, links to another site that records the sacrifice itself. Let me warn you, this is a brutal and horrific sight. There is a lot of blood and it is not a quick death. The animal suffers. That's the point. The animal suffers instead of the human. Christ suffered so that we would not have to be killed for transgressing God's Law. God takes sin seriously!

Isaiah 53:3-11 "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering . . . Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities."

John 1:29 "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, 'Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'"

Revelation 5:8-12 ". . . the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. . . And they sang a new song: 'You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.' Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: 'Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!'"


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