SBS Sermon Notes

SBS     Sermon Notes     Note 08/05

Sacrificial Laws ... (Part 2)

Reading: Hebrews 10

There are several categories of law in the Bible. Here are a few.

a) Moral Laws
These define how the human race is commanded to live. The Ten Commandments are moral laws. (Exodus 20) Moral laws are eternal: they will outlast this present universe. (Matthew 5:17-18)

b) Penal Laws
These involve the punishment of those who have broken a moral law. When a moral law (i.e. one of the Ten Commandments) is transgressed, a person becomes guilty of sin and is liable to punishment. If forgiveness by God and the victim (if one is involved) are not obtained, then the Almighty's Penal laws should be applied. Failure to apply the Creator's Penal laws has resulted in the chaos of our present society. Most governments have little idea how to effectively punish lawbreakers or eradicate evil. They ignore the fact that the Eternal God has given mankind a set of Penal laws in order to 'put away evil.' Some people go so far as to say that the penal laws in the Bible are barbaric! They cannot see that by failing to apply divine law the whole of society is sliding towards chaos. The Bible says in Galations 6:7

Be not deceived; God is not mocked:
for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap..'

In other words, individuals - and nations - will pay the price for rejecting divine law. It is as simple as that.

c) Dietary Laws
These laws tell us what animals, fish and birds we humans are allowed to eat. See Leviticus chapter 11 for details.

d) Laws on Marriage / Agriculture / Dress etc. etc..

These laws illustrate how forgiveness is obtained. The Most High has made provision for forgiveness; and the price of forgiveness can best be learned from the sacrificial system. In it a repentant sinner's guilt is symbolically transferred to an innocent victim (an innocent lamb, kid, ram, he goat, bull or pigeon) which dies in the sinner's stead. In the book of Leviticus Yahweh's sacrificial laws are listed. We will now consider some lessons found in these laws.

Comparatively few Christians study the sacrificial laws in the Almighty's Word the Holy Bible. They consider the subject obsolete. This is a tragedy, because even though the actual sacrifice of farm animals is no longer necessary, (having been superseded by the Saviour's sacrifice on Calvary) the Plan of Salvation can never be properly understood until one studies the sacrificial system as described in the Old Testament. Bear in mind that a sinner must either obtain mercy for his/her sin or personally pay the penalty for that sin. The penalty for sin (transgressing a moral law) is death, eternal death! The sacrificial system as described in the Old Testament is the very best object lesson mankind was given concerning death and forgiveness. In this lesson we will consider the five stages of making a sacrifice to God, of seeking to escape the death sentence. In each stage the sacrifice the Messiah (Jesus Christ) is seen in all its horrifying detail. No object lesson is better. That is why the Almighty gave the sacrificial system in the first place.

The first stage was presentation. The victim (lamb, kid, ram, goat, pigeon or bull)) was selected and thoroughly examined. It had to be perfect in every way. The Saviour was presented to God shortly after his birth in Bethlehem and again examined before his death. No fault could be found in him!

And when the days of her (Mary's) purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished,
they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
(Luke 2:22)

Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people,
I find no fault in this man.
(Luke 23:4)

Laying on of Hands
Lev.1:4 And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.

By doing this the sinner was transferring his/her sin to the innocent victim which was dying in his stead.

Isaiah 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5: But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6: All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Slaying the Victim
The gruesome act of slaying the victim was originally done by the sinner himself, but later by the officiating priest. This act aptly demonstrates our personal involvement in the death of Jesus. I killed him. You killed him. It was our sins that put him to death!

Leviticus 1: 5: And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD:…

Symbolic Application of the Blood
The priest would then sprinkle the blood round about the altar and cut the sacrifice to pieces.

Lev.1:5 And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
6: And he shall flay the burnt offering, and cut it into his pieces.

The word 'flay' means to strip off and spread out. This is what happened to the Saviour. Pause and try to imagine the crucifixion!

Burning the Sacrifice.
Lev.1:13 But he shall wash the inwards and the legs with water: and the priest shall bring it all, and burn it upon the altar: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.
14: And if the burnt sacrifice for his offering to the LORD be of fowls, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves, or of young pigeons.
15: And the priest shall bring it unto the altar, and wring off his head, and burn it on the altar; and the blood thereof shall be wrung out at the side of the altar:

Since the Saviour's death on Calvary a sinner (one who has broken the moral law) has no need to sacrifice a farm animal to obtain pardon. This fact is explained in our booklet entitled Animal Sacrifices, are they Necessary?and also in Part 1 There we learn that:

As there is no Levitical sacrificial system at this moment in time, how are we sinners to gain the Almighty's mercy, favour and blessing? The answer is: we must personally accept - by faith - the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Yeshua the Messiah). We must then - on a daily basis - come in prayer to the Mercy Seat of the Almighty God with faith in His Son. We must confess our sins, ask for mercy and accept forgiveness and salvation. These basic truths, though repeated by millions of preachers of the past and present, must be studied, believed and acted upon. Do not make the senseless mistake of thinking 'that all this 'Gospel stuff is stale news and, therefore, unworthy of your attention.' The Scriptures tell us that on the great Day of Judgement multiplied millions will gnash their teeth in anguish for having harboured such foolish thoughts. (Matthew 13:42-50)

Even though animal sacrifices are no longer necessary, other sacrifices of a higher nature took their place and they still exist. Indeed all the sacrifices mentioned in the book of Leviticus point to these higher forms of sacrifice. The Bible refers to them as 'spiritual sacrifices.' Failure to offer these sacrifices is a serious shortcoming. I mention a few spiritual sacrifices:


But without faith it is impossible to please God:
for he that cometh to God must first believe
that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
(Hebrews 11:6)

Praise / Thanksgiving / Obedience / Testimony
Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
16: But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
1 Peter 2:3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
4: To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
5: Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ...

9: But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

High Moral Standards / Pure Bodies
Romans 12:1 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.

Believers who approach the throne of the Almighty with these spiritual sacrifices (faith in the Messiah, thanksgiving, praise, obedience and high moral standards) are acceptable of Yahweh. The Most High is very pleased with these sacrifices because they perfectly express the hidden realities to which the blood and cereal sacrifices in Leviticus pointed. It is a grave error to neglect offering these spiritual sacrifices to God. You will never get good results in your spiritual walk with God if you fail to offer these spiritual sacrifices.

Doubt, failure to give thanks, being ashamed of God, His Son, His Gospel, His Word, outright disobedience and the lust of the flesh should all be avoided. Instead believers, as members of the Almighty's royal family, His Holy nation, are called upon to offer spiritual sacrifices to Him. What will be the results?

As a member of Yahweh's family make sure you offer up these spiritual sacrifices to Him - on a daily basis. Blessings beyond measure will follow in due course.

See the SBS Gospel Page for more information on the vital subject of Salvation. Nothing in all the world is worth more to you than your own life. The Saviour has done his part to save you from eternal death. Now you must do yours. Failure to accept his offer of salvation would be the greatest mistake you could ever make! This is no exaggeration.

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Elder: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
December 1997 ... Reformatted November 1999