Our Lord, by the sacrifice of Himself, has covered many things and fulfilled many purposes. Hebrews 9:22 tells us that there is no remission for sins without the shedding of blood. In this short piece let us consider some of the things accomplished by His sacrifice.
- Firstly, we have our Lord’s office as Saviour. By giving Himself He freed the entire world from sin, for everyone who will accept Him. In John 1:29 and 3:16, we find this aspect of His sacrifice and ministry. In His own statement this is clearly indicated, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” This is an individual matter, one that we must all be concerned about and make sure that we are included in this Salvation.
- Our Lord came to fulfill the Law. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” (Matt. 5:17). The Law as regards sin is laid down in Ezek. 18:4, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Our Lord fulfilled this fundamental Law. There is a deep spiritual aspect to this. Divine justice was required, outraged Deity must be appeased. Our Lord took upon Himself all the sin of the world, past, present, and future. Our Lord endured a spiritual suffering such as no human will ever be called upon to endure. Only a sinless One could fill the requirements of the Law, in our stead. His Heavenly Father turned His back upon the Suffering One, which caused our Lord to cry out in His terrible distress, “My God, My God, why host Thou forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46). Isaiah several times speaks of this spiritual aspect of the Sacrifice. “He shall see the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied.” (Isa. 53:11). Here is depicted the awful spiritual suffering that our Lord endured, in order to fill every requirement of the Law. It makes one shudder to think upon, though our finite minds cannot fully grasp the depth of the degradation and spiritual anguish that our Lord endured. His suffering was so extreme that His face was changed. “His visage was so marred …” (Isa. 52:14). Ferrar Fenton says, “And was branded with crime.” His heart ruptured with the ordeal and caused the water to flow out along with the blood when the soldiers pierced His side.
- Our Lord was the Sacrificial Lamb, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Rev. 13:8). John the Baptist recognized Him in this aspect of His ministry. “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29). Here we also see Him in His priestly office, offering the one necessary sacrifice for sin. (Heb. 10:12). In Revelation we read of the Lamb “as it had been slain” (Rev. 5:6) and in chapter 14 we have further evidence of this Lamb. The blood of this Lamb took the place of the earlier sacrifices. (Heb. 9:7-15).
- Then we have our Lord’s sacrifice in His office of Shepherd. “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.” (John 10:11). And again in verse 15, “and I lay down my life for the sheep.” In order to save the sheep, the Good Shepherd gave His own life. It is by the life-blood of the Shepherd that our sins are washed away. (Rev. 1:5). This is the National aspect, for the sheep have always been Israel. “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture! saith the LORD.” (Jer. 23:1. Also Ezek. 34:30-31, John 10:9). It is remarkable that our Lord is both the Sacrificial Lamb and also the Good Shepherd.
- Our Lord’s sacrifice makes it possible for us to stand sinless before our Heavenly Father. We can stand before Him with no sense of gilt or shame. All who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ can now come before the Father. (I John 4:17 and Heb. 10:19-20). Our Lord rent the veil separating us from God. You remember that at the moment of His death the veil of the Temple was rent, (Matt. 27:51). Thus there is now no separation between God and man, for Jesus Christ has removed this separation. (Heb. 9:7-8). Jesus Christ has become the Advocate, (I John, 2:1) turning the Judgment Seat into the Mercy Seat.
- The Redemption of Israel was also accomplished by His Sacrifice. According to Israel Law, only a near kinsman could bring about redemption of a person or redemption of lands or goods. (Lev. 26:48-49). This fact was brought out very clearly in the Book of Ruth. Our Lord was Israel’s kinsman, a blood relative upon His mother’s side and heir to the Davidic Throne. Isaiah has much to say about our Redeemer, (Isa. 41:14), Job foresaw the day of Redemption and said, “I know that my Redeemer liveth … ” (Job 19.25). In Rev. 5:9 we read further of what He accomplished by this wonderful Redemption. This is a National phase of the Sacrifice, one our nation has not recognized as yet. See Isa. 40:2, Jer. 50:20.
- Another phase is that our Lord overcame Death and Hell. (Rev. 1: 18). By His death He gained all power and authority, (Matt. 28:18). This being so, we can claim victory in His Name, victory over all our weaknesses and faults, and the Holy Spirit will assist us in this. Christ “led captivity captive” and all who follow Him are freed from sin and its curse.
- The Curse was overcome for us. It is written, “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” (Gal. 3:13). You will find this curse recorded in the Israel Law in Deut. 21:23. By taking our guilt upon Himself our sinless Lord became a curse – cursed in the eyes of God the Father, which was a further reason for His terrible spiritual suffering. To be hung upon a tree was the lowest type of death, given only to the worst type of criminal. The Sinless One suffered this ordeal in place of each one of us. We are told that a time will come when there will be no more curse, (Rev. 22:3). This will be when the Lord has cleansed Israel and the world.
- We now come to a very interesting point that Dr. Kenyon mentions in one of his books. He says that our Lord took up Adam’s challenge. If you will turn to Genesis 3:12 and read the verse very carefully, you will discover that Adam practically accused God of being responsible for his sin, by giving him the woman who caused him to sin. He said in effect that if God had not given him the woman, he would not have sinned. At the time, God passed over this statement, but about four thousand years later our Lord took up this challenge. By the sacrifice of Himself (in place of Adam and all other sinners) He accepted the blame for that particular sin. As Adam accused God of making it possible for him to sin, God the Son paid the full price of that sin. Never again can any man challenge God and accuse Him of making it possible for any man to sin. Our Lord met this impertinent challenge and gave Himself as the Atonement for it. God not only gave man the right of free choice, so that he could choose to sin, but He also gave the Blood Sacrifice to cover such sin. This is a very wonderful phase of our Lord’s sacrifice when we realize how much it covers.
As we ponder the various aspects of our Lord’s Sacrifice, both from the national and personal aspects, we realize more and more how many things were accomplished and covered by it. Probably you can add many more to this list that is given. As we consider this matter we are forced to exclaim WHAT A SAVIOUR ! We can never be grateful enough for what has been done for us. We belong to Him, for He has purchased us and paid the price.