Throughout the past several weeks, I have been attempting to give my readers an idea of how everyone who claims the name Christian basically sees the world around them. I believe, based on what the Bible teaches, that all of Christianity can be understood by defining how Christians understand sin as a disease, blood sacrifice as the cure, and faith as the remedy. Today, I want to relate to you that the judgment for sin has always required death. It can be your own or another life, but there must always be a universal death penalty for sin in the Christian worldview.This is because Christians believe that sin is so abominable that the only way that it can be cured is through a blood sacrifice.
From the beginning of creation, sin has aways had a death requirement. God killed an animal to cover Adam and Eve after the first sin and their children continued the practice of offering a sacrifice for their sins (Genesis 3:21, 4:1-5). In the Old Testament book of Leviticus, the priest performed “a blood rite intended to eliminate the effects of sin” (Walton et al. 18). “According to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11). Moses took this so literally that he, “sprinkled it on the people, and said,“This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words” (Exodus 24:8). “Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood” (Hebrews 9:18).
New Testament Christianity explains that Old Testament animal sacrifices were only a temporary solution for sin that pointed to an ultimate blood sacrifice. “Christ came…not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:11-12). Christians believe that Jesus was the ultimate blood sacrifice. He is considered the only One perfect enough to die for their imperfections.
Jesus was a Jewish man who lived in the first century who claimed to be God (John 10:30, Mark 2:27-28). He was crucified by the Romans. Christians see Him as the Messiah that the Jews believed had been prophesied for centuries. This Messiah was to be the ultimate Deliverer who would make all things right in the world. Throughout the Old Testament different verses pointed to this Deliverer (Micah 5:2, Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:7). Jews of that day rejected Jesus as their Messiah because they expected a political ruler and Jesus died without an earthly kingdom. Christians had a different interpretation and believed “his death fulfilled rather than denied the role of Messiah” (Hudson 52).
Christians recognize Jesus’ death as the promised cure for what they perceive as the sickness of sin in the world. They believe that He was the promised Seed that was prophesied in Genesis 3:15 and was later pinpointed to come through the family lines of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David (Genesis 12:3, 17:19, Numbers 24:17, 2 Samuel 7:12-13). The apostle Paul stated this belief when he wrote “What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made” (Galatians 3:19). In Mark, Jesus said of Himself that “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Paul also said, “I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Do you believe that He died for our sins? I do and hope that you will study these scriptures and consider that Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for all of humanity’s sins. Understanding this will not “cure” your sin problem though. It requires the last basic element to any Christian worldview. You must believe it in faith. We will look at what exactly that means next time.
Hudson, Don H. Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice: Selected Readings and Workbook. Bristol, Tennessee: Pulp Press, 2013. Print.
Walton, John H., Mark L. Strauss, and Ted Cooper. The Essential Bible Companion : Key Insights for Reading God’s Word. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2006. Print.