* about revelation - the opening to us of the methods and plans of God in our salvation?
* about Jesus Christ - did He need a nature like ours to be able to save us?
* about the relationship between the law of God and our salvation?
In representations of reality, God has spoken to us. In the lives of His people and in symbols, He has revealed His plans and His method of saving us from our sinfulness.
In multiple forms and with chosen roles, each member of the triune God, seeks to reveal to us the character of God.
God, the awesome but kindly Father, reveals it in the content of His law.
God, the faithful and obedient Son, reveals it in perfect compliance to that law.
God, the Holy Spirit, reveals the character of God in the love of those whose minds He influences.
To illustrate His plan of redemption, God intervened in the lives of the patriarchs. In the roles played by their first and second sons, He revealed the nature of the two great dispensations to be in effect during this earth's period of grace.1
|Cain's sacrifice was not accepted, Abel's was.|
|Jacob received the blessing instead of Esau|
The second dispensation revealed God's provision for our release from that bondage.
Through sacrifices and ceremonies, God enabled the children of Israel to participate, by faith, in the realities of the second dispensation.2
The "sin offering" represented One who would receive the guilt of sins committed, and carry the penalty of them before God. The life of the animal, represented by the blood, was proof that the penalty for their sins had been paid.4
The IncarnationThe long-awaited messiah was to be one of Adam's children, with a (human) self-consulting nature, as we all have, but also with the altruistic heart of God. Although He was God, he needed the fallen nature of man to be able to overcome the temptation to consult His own will, and so become man's perfect substitute.5
As the "burnt offering", Christ lived a perfectly sinless (God-consulting) life on behalf of mankind. And as the "sin offering", He paid for the guilt of our sins - as His life was wrung out on the cross.7
Faith in this same love, as impressed on our minds by the Holy Spirit, enables us to forfeit our own desires and needs, and trust God's will instead. When tempted to consult our own wills, we trust that He knows best and will provide for us in our need. Through faith, we overcome sin - as Christ overcame it.9
(If we refuse to confess and forsake any sin, as pointed out by the unchanging moral law of God, we reject God and revert to self-consultation by conscious choice and once again fall under the sentence of death.)10
We can be thankful that God is a God of altruistic love. When justice demanded our death, He, through Christ, bore the pain of it. We know that we can trust Him at all times. We can face death without fear as we trust in His promise of the resurrection. Let us make sure that we are not unsubmissive in any one point, so that we can enjoy the favor of a loving God forever.11
1 Galatians 4:21-31
2 Hebrews 8:4,5; 10:1
3 Leviticus 1:3,4,9
4 Leviticus 4:2-7; Hebrews 9:22
5 Hebrews 4:15
6 Romans 5:19
7 Hebrews 10:8-10
8 2 Corinthians 5:14,15
9 1 Corinthians 10:12,13;
Revelation 14:12; 1 John 5:4
10 Hebrews 10:26,27
11 John 11:25; James 2:10;
Psalms 23; Revelation 2:7