Part 1: THE SYMBOL OF A LAMB
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. Jn 1:29
The divine Son of God was the only sacrifice of sufficient value to fully satisfy the claims of God’s perfect law. The angels were sinless, but of less value than the law of God. They were amenable to law. They were messengers to do the will of Christ, and before Him to bow. They were created beings, and probationers. Upon Christ no requirements were laid. He had power to lay down His life, and to take it again. No obligation was laid upon Him to undertake the work of atonement. It was a voluntary sacrifice that He made. His life was of sufficient value to rescue man from his fallen condition.—The Review and Herald, Dec. 17, 1872. 7ABC 473
Who was the originator of the sacrificial system?
“Christ Himself was the originator of the Jewish system of worship, in which, by types and symbols, were shadowed forth spiritual and heavenly things....Today we are living when type has met antitype in the offering of Christ for the sins of the world; we are living in the day of increased light, and yet how few are benefited with the grand and all-important truth that Christ has made an ample sacrifice for all! What justice required, Christ had rendered in the offering of Himself, and “how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?” Heb. 2:3. Those who reject the gift of life will be without excuse.” Our High Calling p.47
What was the condition of the lamb before the throne? Rev. 5:6
“The efficacy of the blood of Christ was to be presented to the people with freshness and power, that their faith might lay hold upon its merits. As the high priest sprinkled the warm blood upon the mercy seat, while the fragrant cloud of incense ascended before God, so while we confess our sins and plead the efficacy of Christ’s atoning blood, our prayers are to ascend to heaven, fragrant with the merits of our Saviour’s character. Notwithstanding our unworthiness, we are ever to bear in mind that there is One that can take away sin and save the sinner. Every sin acknowledged before God with a contrite heart, He will remove. This faith is the life of the church.” Testimonies To Ministers p.92-3
The Bible clearly shows the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf. 1 Pet 3:18
“Herein His love commends itself in the most marvelous manner to the rebellious race. What a sight for angels to behold! What a hope for man, “that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”! The just suffered for the unjust.....” Testimonies to Ministers p.246
A lamb is a symbol of purity and innocence, which fitly describes the Son of God, who came to this world to redeem fallen man.
Part 2: Without Blemish
Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: Ex 12:5
“The offerings presented to the Lord were to be without blemish. These offerings represented Christ, and from this it is evident that Jesus Himself was free from physical deformity. He was the “lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1 Peter 1:19. His physical structure was not marred by any defect; His body was strong and healthy. And throughout His lifetime He lived in conformity to nature’s laws. Physically as well as spiritually, He was an example of what God designed all humanity to be through obedience to His laws.” Desires Of Ages p.50-1
The lamb had to be without physical deformity as a symbol of no scar of sin. Heb 4:15
“The priests were to examine all animals brought as a sacrifice, and were to reject every one in which a defect was discovered. Only an offering “without blemish” could be a symbol of His perfect purity who was to offer Himself as “a lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1 Peter 1:19. The apostle Paul points to these sacrifices as an illustration of what the followers of Christ are to become. He says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1. We are to give ourselves to the service of God, and we should seek to make the offering as nearly perfect as possible. God will not be pleased with anything less than the best we can offer. Those who love Him with all the heart, will desire to give Him the best service of the life, and they will be constantly seeking to bring every power of their being into harmony with the laws that will promote their ability to do His will.” Patriarchs And Prophets p.352-3
As the sacrificial lamb was to be without blame and blemish, God requires the same of His people. What is the requirement for the church of God today? Eph 5:26-27 (Mal. 3:3)
“The conversation of the Christian should be in heaven, whence we look for the Saviour. Meditation upon heavenly things is profitable, and will ever be accompanied with the peace and comfort of the Holy Spirit. Our calling is holy, our profession exalted. God is purifying unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. He is sitting as a refiner and purifier of silver. When the dross and tin are removed, then His image will be perfectly reflected in us. Then the prayer of Christ for His disciples will be answered in us: “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” Testimonies for the church Vol.2 p.317
As the sacrificial offering was to be blameless, so must our lives be who are called by the name of God.
Part 3: The symbol of transferring sin
“And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness.” Lev. 16:21
“The most important part of the daily ministration was the service performed in behalf of individuals. The repentant sinner brought his offering to the door of the tabernacle, and placing his hand upon the victim’s head, confessed his sins, thus in figure transferring them from himself to the innocent sacrifice. By his own hand the animal was then slain, and the blood was carried by the priest into the holy place and sprinkled before the veil, behind which was the ark containing the law that the sinner had transgressed. By this ceremony the sin was, through the blood, transferred in figure to the sanctuary. In some cases the blood was not taken into the holy place; but the flesh was then to be eaten by the priest. . . . Both ceremonies alike symbolized the transfer of the sin from the penitent to the sanctuary.” The Faith I Live By p.198
Today we don’t have to offer a lamb for sacrifice, Christ made the provision for us to be forgiven. What are the two things necessary? Prov. 28:13
“The conditions of obtaining mercy from God are simple and reasonable. The Lord does not require us to do some grievous thing in order to gain forgiveness. We need not make long and wearisome pilgrimages, or perform painful penances, to commend our souls to the God of heaven or to expiate our transgression. He that “confesseth and forsaketh” his sin “shall have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13.” Acts Of The Apostles p.552
How is our sins transferred from us to Christ, today?
“Christ says, “Ask, and ye shall receive.” In these words, Christ gives us direction as to how we should pray. We are to come to our heavenly Father with the simplicity of a child, asking him for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus says again, “When ye pray, believe that ye receive the things ye ask for, and ye shall have them.” You are to come to the Father repenting and confessing your sins, emptying the soul of every sin and defilement, and it is your privilege to prove the promises of the Lord. You cannot indulge your own temper, and have your own way, and still remain the children of God. We shall have to struggle with our hereditary tendencies, that we may not yield to temptation, and become angry under provocation.” The Review and Herald, October 11, 1892
The sins of the people were transferred to the sacrifice to be borne by it. Christ is asking us to transfer our sins to him.
Part 4: Bearing Sins
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Heb. 9:28
“Our Saviour was not to be sacrificed a second time; and it is only necessary for those who seek the blessings of His grace to ask in the name of Jesus, pouring forth the heart’s desire in penitential prayer. Such prayer will bring before the Lord of hosts the wounds of Jesus, and then will flow forth afresh the life-giving blood, symbolized by the flowing of the living water for Israel.” Patriarchs And Prophets p.411]
Our sins are transferred to Jesus to be borne by him, thus he becomes the sin bearer for mankind. We should not condemn others because they are sinners, but point to Christ.
“Don’t criticize some one else; criticize yourself as severely as you please. Don’t feel that God has appointed you to bear the sins of the world. There is only one man who was appointed to bear the sins of the world. He is our Sin-bearer, there is only one sin-bearer. If He laid other sins on us, they would crush us; we can not even bear our own sins; but he can bear them, He can take them away. “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.” You just think of that. Be very anxious that He take away your sins, but don’t you begin to judge a brother or sister; you lose your chance of eternal life, you can’t afford it. “ The Southern Watchman, January 23, 1903
On the day of atonement the high priest would do something at the end of the service. Lev 16:21 What similar action will take place at the end of sin?
“In the typical service the high priest, having made the atonement for Israel, came forth and blessed the congregation. So Christ, at the close of His work as mediator, will appear, “without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:28), to bless His waiting people with eternal life. As the priest, in removing the sins from the sanctuary, confessed them upon the head of the scapegoat, so Christ will place all these sins upon Satan, the originator and instigator of sin. The scapegoat, bearing the sins of Israel, was sent away “unto a land not inhabited” (Leviticus 16:22); so Satan, bearing the guilt of all the sins which he has caused God’s people to commit, will be for a thousand years confined to the earth, which will then be desolate, without inhabitant, and he will at last suffer the full penalty of sin in the fires that shall destroy all the wicked. Thus the great plan of redemption will reach its accomplishment in the final eradication of sin and the deliverance of all who have been willing to renounce evil.” The Great Controversy p.485-6
The sins of God’s children are forgiven and borne by Christ who will place them on Satan at the end.
Part 5: Dying for sins
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. Heb. 2:9
“Death entered the world because of transgression. But Christ gave His life that man should have another trial. He did not die on the cross to abolish the law of God, but to secure for man a second probation. He did not die to make sin an immortal attribute; He died to secure the right to destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. He suffered the full penalty of a broken law for the whole world. This He did, not that men might continue in transgression, but that they might return to their loyalty and keep God’s commandments and His law as the apple of their eye.” Testimonies To Ministers p.134
What other great blessing has the death of Christ given to mankind?
“By His life and His death, Christ has achieved even more than recovery from the ruin wrought through sin. It was Satan’s purpose to bring about an eternal separation between God and man; but in Christ we become more closely united to God than if we had never fallen. In taking our nature, the Saviour has bound Himself to humanity by a tie that is never to be broken. Through the eternal ages He is linked with us. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son.” John 3:16. He gave Him not only to bear our sins, and to die as our sacrifice; He gave Him to the fallen race. To assure us of His immutable counsel of peace, God gave His only-begotten Son to become one of the human family, forever to retain His human nature.” Desires Of Ages p.25
“By the casting of the grain into the soil, Christ represents the sacrifice of Himself for our redemption. “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die,” He says, “it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” John 12:24. So the death of Christ will result in fruit for the kingdom of God. In accordance with the law of the vegetable kingdom, life will be the result of His death.” Christ Object Lessons p.86
While Christ died for sins, Christians are to do something similar, what is it that is required of us? Rom 6:1-7
“The new birth is a rare experience in this age of the world. This is the reason why there are so many perplexities in the churches. Many, so many, who assume the name of Christ are unsanctified and unholy. They have been baptized, but they were buried alive. Self did not die, and therefore they did not rise to newness of life in Christ.” (MS 148, 1897). S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol.6 p.1075.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom. 6:23
Part 6: The symbol of blood
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 1Jn1:7
“The blood of the Son of God was symbolized by the blood of the slain victim, and God would have clear and definite ideas preserved between the sacred and the common. Blood was sacred, inasmuch as through the shedding of the blood of the Son of God alone could there be atonement for sin.” (Signs Of The Times July 15, 1880).
Why was the blood of the sacrifice necessary? Heb 9:22
“The Jews saw in the sacrificial offerings the symbol of Christ whose blood was shed for the salvation of the world. All these offerings were to typify Christ and to rivet the great truth in their hearts that the blood of Jesus Christ alone cleanseth from all sin, and without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. Some wonder why God desired so many sacrifices and appointed the offering of so many bleeding victims in the Jewish economy. Every dying victim was a type of Christ, which lesson was impressed on mind and heart in the most solemn, sacred ceremony, and explained definitely by the priests. Sacrifices were explicitly planned by God Himself to teach this great and momentous truth, that through the blood of Christ alone there is forgiveness of sins.” Selected Messages Vol.1 p.106-7
The blood of Christ is a cleansing symbol, as soap is needed to clean dirt from our bodies.
How can red blood wash scarlet clothes and then make them white, is the question that a child asked his mother, where did you hear that son, replied mother. The preacher said so at church today mom. Well in that case it is not clothes that is washed, but you the person. The blood of Jesus is a symbol of cleansing or forgiveness, so if you sin, the scarlet represents sin and if we confess and is sorry for our sins, then Jesus forgives us and make us clean, which is symbolized by white.
Those who will make it through the great tribulation will do so for two reasons, what are they? Rev 7:14, 12:11
“This is our washing and ironing time—the time when we are to cleanse our robes of character in the blood of the Lamb. John says, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” . . . Shall we not let Him take them away? Shall we not let our sins go (GCB April 6, 1903, p. 89)?” S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 5 p.1131.
“.....and without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.” Christ died to remove all the sins of the world, including ours!