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THE LAMB OF GOD IN THE OLD TESTAMENT SANCTUARIES:Ch-1;P-1
by Dr Surya Kumar Daimari
9/21/2014 / Bible Studies
THE LAMB OF GOD IN THE OLD TESTAMENT SANCTUARIES
By Dr. Surya Kumar Daimari
The main purpose of these series of Bible study will be to make an exegetical survey of the sacrificial Lamb of God in the Old Testament passages mainly in the Sanctuary and its typological significance to the propitiatory and expiatory atonement work of the Lord Jesus Christ in the New as reflected in John 1:29, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
The Lamb is used almost exclusively in a very specific manner all throughout the Bible right from the book of Genesis to Revelation. The utmost importance and significance of the study of the Lamb cannot be over stressed or simply overlapped, rather it calls for a thorough plumbing study of the word and a disciplined application of the mind to the truth of the Scripture.
When we study the subject with an holy awe and reverence depending on the grace of the Holy Spirit, we meet the divine revelation of God and see the unique personality of our Redeemer. Because, it is not just the study of an animal that is brought for a sacrifice, rather, a study of the Son of God, the Christ, the Creator, the Everlasting Father.
In the Old Testament Sanctuary, Lamb was used for a burnt offering and a sin offering. The blood was applied to the horns of the altar and the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant in the most holy place. It was the great prophet, John the Baptist who first recognized Jesus Christ as representing the Lamb of the Old Testament Sanctuary service. Thus he said,
"Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29
In the symbol of the Sanctuary, the sins of the people of Israel were portrayed as removed and forgiven by the sacrifice of the Lamb. It is this Lamb like characteristic of meekness and gentleness that is perfectly seen in Christ, for He offered Himself as a sacrifice so that we can be redeemed and forgiven eternally and also live the eternity with the Lord.
THE UNIVERSAL NECESSITY OF A SACRIFICE
1.THE ORIGIN AND THE FIRST MENTION OF A SACRIFICE:
God kills an animal:
Animal sacrifice seems to have been the most predominant form of worship prevalent in the history of humanity all throughout the ages. Wherever explorers go, they have seen it that wherever there is any conception of God, man makes sacrifice in some form or the other.
The origin of sacrifice though explicitly not known, it is implicitly clear in the Bible. It traces the origin of man and than to the origin of sin in the human history. The first mention of killing of an animal occurs in Genesis :21 where God had to kill animals to clothe the nakedness of our first parents with garments made from the skins of animals.
"Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them".
According to Genesis record, God created Adam and Eve after His own image.
"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." Gen 1:26
"God created man in his own image." Gen 1:27
Man was created in the image of God and after His likeness. It means that God made man like Himself as a personal being. Therefore, our first parents were holy and sinless in the original righteousness as God is. As such, their moral nature was a reflection of God Himself. But however, they were given the responsibility of absolute freedom. It was possible for them to choose good or evil. God had a divine purpose in creating them and that was for communion and fellowship with Himself ﴾Gen 3:8﴿. God wanted to live with them, talk with them and walk with them. God wanted that they be obedient to His commandments. For God said,
"..of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Gen 3:4,5
But the Edenic serpent, the most cunning and beautiful of God's animal creatures, the Satan, the most mysterious personage after his fall as a result of God's curse came to Eve and deceived her saying,
"Ye shall not die,"
"Ye shall be as Elohim" Gen 3:, 5
As a consequence of Satan's beguiling,
Eve " ..took of the fruit thereof and did eat and gave also unto her husband with her; and did eat." Gen 3:6
This is the way they broke the commandment of God by eating the forbidden fruit of the tree. This was the beginning of the man's tragic apostasy from God. The consequence of the transgression of the word of God were obviously striking and painful.
1. Adam and Eve were overwhelmed with a sense of guilt, for "they knew they were naked." Gen 3:10,11
2. The relationship between God and man was directly affected. They were aware of their estrangement, because, they hid themselves from God.
3. They were accursed of God.
" unto dust shall thou return." Gen 3:19
4. They were banished from the presence of God.
"drove out the man" from the garden of Eden." Gen 3:23
5. They lost their God given nature .holiness and righteousness of God.
6. They eventually died.
Adam and Eve, after they had sinned tried to clothe their naked bodies with fig leaves﴾Gen 3:7﴿, but that was not a sufficient covering. Just then, we have the first mention of killing of animals in Gen 3:21. For God had to kill animals to cover their naked bodies with cloth made from the skins of animals. The Hebrew word for 'skin' is "Owr" which refers to the skin of animal. Thus the necessity of killing of animals shedding their blood is first seen only when Adam sinned.
THE TYPOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE:
Adam and Eve tried to cover their nakedness and shame by making garments from fig leaves, but that was not a sufficient covering. In other words, it means to say that the way they tried to approach God through the work of self righteousness was not the way they should. God has His own way of approach. God showed them that the guilt of sin could be covered only by shedding blood of a victim ﴾3:21﴿. This action of God has a messianic message in it. This implies that God has a provision of salvation for the sinful man. This provision of God for sinful man is fulfilled on the cross of Calvary when Jesus died on our behalf.
2. THE SECOND MENTION OF SACRIFICE:
Abel Offers a Slain Lamb of God.
The second mention is in Gen 4:4. The best thing Abel could offer to the Lord was a slain Lamb out of the firstlings of his flock. Abel's sacrifice was an excellent sacrifice for the Lord.
For ".the Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering" Gen 4:4﴾b﴿.
Abel knew God's way of approach in worship and was accepted in God's presence. On the other hand, Cain repudiated the way of God's approach in worship. It is very significant to note that God did not accept any offering Cain had brought of the fruit of the ground. Gen 4:3,5
".unto Cain and to his offering he had no respect. And Cain was wroth, and his countenance fell." Gen 4:5
God did not accept Cain's offering because Cain was not a man of faith whereas by faith Abel offered God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain. Secondly, he was not a man of love, because his works were evil. I John 3:11,12
Cain has become an epithet in the New Testament. The way of the world has been referred to as "the way of Cain" ﴾ Jude 11﴿. In other words, "the way of Cain" means the way of the world. The way of Cain was extremely evil. He is a specimen of all evil. Jude is speaking about the way of the last days that resembles the way of Cain an apostasy from God's way.
THE TYPOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF ABEL'S OFFERING:
The word 'Lamb' is first found in Gen 4:4 in the Bible with the offering of the firstling of the flock by Abel and its acceptance by God. It is very significant that the Lamb that Abel offered was a slain lamb. After this, we will have several mentions of 'Lamb' as 'Paschal Lamb', 'Passover Lamb' or the 'Sacrificial Lamb' in the Old Testament passages also several references in the New Testament typifying that Christ is the Slain Lamb or our Passover Lamb.
The word is "arnion" which means "Little Lamb". The word "Lamb" is found 28 times in the book of Revelation alone in a very significant manner.
As the "Passover Lamb", I Cor 5:7
The "Slain Lamb" Rev 5:6,12; 13:8
The "Lamb of God" John 1:29
Christ was the Lamb foreordained before the foundation of the world. I Pet 1:19- 20
Thus, the slain lamb that Abel offered to God typically and prophetically foreshadows the Christ as the Slain Lamb.
3. THE THIRD MENTION OF A SACRIFICE:
Noah Builds an Altar:
The third mention of Sacrifice is in Gen 8:20
"Noah builded an altar unto the Lord and took of every clean beast and every clean foul and offered burnt offering on the altar. And the Lord smelled a sweet savour and said on his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake."
Noah is the first person to have built an altar to God as recorded in the O.T. The word for 'altar' in Heb. is 'mizbea', meaning "place of sacrifice"which is again derived from 'zabah' which means "to slaughter", "to sacrifice". Another word is 'harel', meaning "mountain of God" from which the word "altar" has been translated in KJV. Noah built an altar to God where he offered one animal from each kind of clean animal and bird preserved in the ark as burnt offerings to God. It was obviously an offering of thanksgiving to God for His saving grace from the great flood.
A burnt offering is a kind of offering which goes up as a soothing aroma to the Lord ﴾Ex 29:25﴿ burned to ashes ﴾Lev 6:10﴿ so that it becomes an irrevocable gift and to give it a spiritual form, it means, it rises in smoke from the altar toward God.
After Noah, we will see that Abraham built an altar at Shechem, one at Bethel, and at Mamre and later one on Mount Moria. Isaac also built one at Beer-sheba, then Jacob at Shechem and at Bethel. Several altars were erected by the Israelites later mainly in the Tabernacle and then in the Temple.
THE TYPOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE:
An altar is a "place of sacrifice". It means, it is a place of worship. In many places in the N.T. the word "altar" is used in spiritual senses, such as the golden altar is a symbolic of intercessory prayer ﴾Rev 8:3-5﴿. The altar of Noah is a shadow of what God had done at the cross by sacrificing His own Son to save the sinners. The sacrifice on the altar is Christ Jesus Himself ﴾I Cor 10:18; Pet 2:5,9﴿
Heb 13:10, "We have an altar".
To be continued﴾Read﴿
Name of the Author of this article: Dr. Surya Kumar Daimari, MA,M.Ed, PGDTE,D.Min.(Doctor of Ministry)
The author is a freelance writer.
Book published: The Names of the Believers in the Bible in Types and Symbols .
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Read more articles by Dr Surya Kumar Daimari
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