Jesus in the Old Testament – part One

SIN and SACRIFICE

Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Genesis 2:16-17  And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;  (17)  but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
Ezekiel 18:4  For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child—both alike belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die.

There is a point in living freely where we cross the line.  World Governments draw their own lines.  Very strict Governments make the line very clear and permit very limited movement.  So-called Democracies draw a line that is not so clear and move it at will!  In Eden, God made just one rule.  It was there to help Adam and Eve grow up.  The world they lived in was so free and gentle.  A Father disciplines His children (trains them).  Just one rule – keep away from “that tree”.  All the trees in the forest were theirs.  Even the Tree of Life (an example of Who Jesus Christ is).  The Tree of Life is mentioned in Genesis, Proverbs and Revelation.

Sadly, Adam decided to disobey God’s command.  This sin is also called “rebellion”.  Somehow it has infected every human being such that we see it in everyone in some way or other.

God had told Adam that eating the fruit of “that tree” would cause his death.  But Adam did not die physically – not for another 900 years or so!  What happened?  We see from the account in Genesis Chapter Three that the relationship was broken.  God could not “see” Adam and Eve.  Adam and Eve did not want to “see” God.  The second thing we read is that the couple were expelled from the Presence of God (Eden) and the way back was made impossible without death at the hands of the Cherubim. The third thing we read is that humans had to live in fear and danger.  The freedoms of the Garden were lost.  The Natural World had become alien and limiting, a place of tears and toil.  All these things can be described as “death”.  Humans are born into a world that is “without God and without hope”.  We are dead in our trespasses and sins.  True freedom is only a dream.  We have no way back to God through our own efforts. Each of us will, eventually die.

Within the account of Genesis Chapter Three there is a Promise.  God did not leave Adam and Eve hopeless.  In fact He did not stop speaking to them.  Please note that speaking to someone is not the same as speaking with someone!  God told Eve that a Son would be born through her.  This Seed would conquer Satan but it would cost Him to do this.  The God clothed the couple in animal skins.  Their sin had brought about the death, the shedding of blood of innocent animals.  These thoughts bring into view the need for Sacrifice.  Abel understood this and offered lambs from the firstborn of his flock.  He offered what God had provided.  Cain tried to offer what he had achieved from the toil and sweat of his work.  So, from the beginning a principal of a sinner being accepted by God on the basis of an animal sacrifice was established.  Our modern world seems to view all this as crude and ugly.  So it is and a vivd picture of how crude and ugly sin is!  However, the point is that God is willing and able to accept me if I come to Him on the basis of what He has provided.  Abraham understood this.

Gen 22:8  Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

God’s provision of a sacrifice is the Lord Jesus Christ.  This is what all the Scriptures point to.  Jesus was the Lamb of God, without spot or blemish.  He willingly (not forced) came into the world – God become flesh – and permitted the sin and rebellion and rejection of humanity to fall on Him.  He suffered and died on that Roman Gibbet in our place.  Through this sacrifice of Himself and then conquering death’s hold in glorious resurrection life, Jesus has opened the Way to something far better than Eden.  We are all free to turn from self, rebellion, sin, and come to God in the good of what Jesus has done.  God has provided a way to life that is Eternal.  Trust in that provision, brings new life, spiritual life and assurance that we are included in God’s eternal purposes in Christ Jesus.  We can choose Life.

Deuteronomy 30:19  I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: