- Christ, the Creator
- Christ, the Life
- Christ, the Son of God
- Christ, the Bread of Life
- Christ, the Incarnate God
- Christ, the Tree of Life
- Christ, the Saviour
- Christ, the Light
- Christ, the Good Shepherd
- Christ, the Living
- Christ, the True Vine
- Christ, the High Priest
- Christ, the Redeemer
- Christ, the Preached
- Christ, the King
- Christ, the Miraculous
- Christ, the Prophet
- Christ, the Mediator
- Christ, the Word
- Christ, the Faith
- Christ, the Son of Man
- Christ, the Head
- Christ, the Perfect Sacrifice
- Christ, the Immutable
- Christ, the Example
As Christians, we confess Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We trust Him as our Saviour, meaning that He will save us from our sins and the wrath of God for these sins. This salvation was made possible, we readily confess, through Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross. We call Jesus Christ the Lamb of God; and we sing songs of how He bought us with His redeeming blood. But what do we really understand about Christ, the Perfect Sacrifice for sin?
“And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:” (Hebrews 10:11)
“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;” (Hebrews 10:12)
“From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.” (Hebrews 10:13)
In our look at Christ’s sacrificial death, we need to bear in mind that no one murdered Jesus. This is an important note. Many have alternately tried to blame the Jewish or Roman people for Christ’s death. Whether or not it is done knowingly, such finger-pointing amounts to a denial of Christ’s office work as High Priest, as well as the glory of God in salvation. Salvation in its entirety is a matter of God’s Sovereign Grace; and so we must affirm that Christ deliberately and with purpose laid His life down as the Perfect Sacrifice for sin (John 10:17-18). But why the need to do so?
When the Apostle Paul wrote the Book of Hebrews, the Temple was still standing in Jerusalem and the Hebrew people were well aware of the various offerings made there. There was a veil separating the Holy Place of the Temple from the Most Holy Place, wherein the high priest alone could enter into once a year to offer the Atonement Sacrifice for the sins of the people. The priests making sacrifices in the Temple were constantly busy. The same sacrifices were offered over and over because they could not take away sins – these sacrifices were not Perfect.
“For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:4)
These continual offerings were shadows of the once-for-all, everlasting sacrificial offering to come. Old Testament believers knew that the offerings were shadows of the coming Messiah, or Christ, and His once-for-all sacrifice. They understood their sacrifices were looking forward to Christ. John the Baptist embodies this expectancy when he called Jesus the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world (John 1:29).
Here we see the contrast between the offerings of the priests and the offering Christ made. The priestly offerings were imperfect, even as shadows give inaccurate resemblances of the original form. But the reality to which these offerings pointed was the Perfect Sacrifice of Jesus Christ – the spotless Lamb of God, whose sacrifice satisfied God’s righteous demands so that no other offering would ever be needed. Rather than merely covering sin, the Perfect Sacrifice removed sin.
There was no chair in the Temple, because the priest’s job was never finished. But after Jesus Christ offered up Himself as the Perfect Sacrifice, He sat down at the right hand of God. His work was finished.
When Jesus died on the cross, the veil of the Temple was torn from the top to the bottom (Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38). Thus, the Holy of Holies was made visible from without. The veil that separated man from God had been torn apart; and a new and living way was ushered in. Because of the Sacrifice of Christ, God is now accessible. We have access to the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ; and we are now living under a new and better covenant.
The Perfect Sacrifice for sin has been made. No other offering is acceptable from that moment on. When Paul wrote to his Hebrew readers, the Temple was still standing and the unbelieving priests continued offering their imperfect sacrifices. However, just a few years later, the City of Jerusalem was destroyed; and there has been no offerings made since. With the arrival of that which is Perfect, that which is a partial shadow must necessarily pass away, and all things become new.
Because the once-for-all Perfect Sacrifice of Jesus Christ has eternally paid the debt of sin for us, we never need to wonder if our own sacrifice has been accepted. We may approach God with a pure heart, knowing that Christ has perfected forever those who are sanctified by His blood.
Our One Perfect Sacrifice has been made, removing our sin. Once and for all, we are kept by our Perfect Sacrifice.