Saturday, June 26, 2010

Gary North: The Levitical sacrifices had to be unblemished to symbolize Christ's perfect, infinite sacrifice

“Leviticus begins with the law governing the burnt offering. ‘A male without blemish’ was required, which was also the requirement for the Passover lamb: ‘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 phrase, ‘without blemish,’ is repeated throughout Leviticus [1:10; 3:1,6; 4:23,28,32; 5:11,18; 6:6; 9:2-3; 14:10; 22:19; 23:12,18]. The blemish-free sacrificial animal symbolized God’s legal requirement of a final sacrifice that alone serves as a legal ransom payment (atonement) to God for man’s sin. This pointed to the substitutionary death of a perfect man, Jesus Christ (I Pet. 1:18-21).” (Gary North, Leviticus: An Economic Commentary, p. 50)

“Why was there a Levitical requirement of blemish-free sacrifices? Because man is made in the image of God, and his acts are supposed to reflect God’s acts. This raises the question of God’s acts. God has offered a sacrifice to Himself: a high-value, blemish-free sacrifice. To meet His own judicial standards, God forfeited in history the most valuable Lamb of His flock, His own Son. It is not what fallen may pays to God that repays God for sin (a trespass or boundary violation); it is what God pays to Himself. The blemish-free animal in the Mosaic sacrificial system symbolized (i.e., judicially represented) this perfectionist aspect of lawful atonement. Even closer symbolically than slain animals was God’s announcement to Abraham that he would have to sacrifice Isaac, a payment for which God later mandated a substitute: the ram (Gen. 22:13).” (Gary North, Leviticus: An Economic Commentary, pp. 53-54)

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