Exodus 24 – The Sacrifice

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If you’ve been with us for a while, you may know that I was looking at the Book of Exodus and the lessons which we learned from the event of the Jews coming out of Egypt. And, in Corinthians, Paul tells us that these things which happened are examples to us who have come to faith in Jesus the Messiah.

As we look at the pattern of events which took place with the Exodus, we can see that there are many things which apply to us, which connect to the New Covenant and to Yeshua Jesus as the Messiah.

Last time I spoke on this I was looking at the Ten Commandments. I want to move on now to Exodus chapter 24. So, if you have your Bibles we’re going to read Exodus chapter 24.

Let’s just have a word of prayer as we come to the Word of God. Lord, we would like to you thank you for your Word; we thank you that it is truth and pray that you bless the reading and the preaching of your Word and guide us into all truth. We pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ Yeshua/Jesus the Messiah, amen.

This chapter is actually pivotal in our understanding of the Hebrew scriptures of the Tanakh, the Old Testament. It shows how God sealed the covenant with Israel through the Torah (the Law) and how this was going to be the means by which He would communicate and relate to His people in the time between Moses and the Messiah.

When the Messiah Yeshua would come in, He would bring in the New Covenant but, up until this time, God would communicate through the Covenant with Moses.

We see that this is a covenant sealed with blood, a covenant which God makes which is of great significance in our understanding of the Hebrew scriptures and indeed, of the whole of the Bible.

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There are a number of significant parallels between what happens here and what happens in the giving of the New Covenant, particularly in the day of Pentecost.

THE JEWISH FEASTS

Interestingly, these two events (Old and New Covenants) took place at the same time in the Hebrew calendar, on the day of Pentecost, the feast which the Jewish people hold called Shavuot which is the equivalent of Pentecost.

Now I want to make a few points on this subject if I can get through them all.

As part of our study into Exodus 24, we’ve looked at:

Which brings me on to the next subject. Notice that as Moses gives the people the Torah, he offers the sacrifice. Verses 5 to 8:

Then he sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord. And Moses took half the blood and put it in basins, and half the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has said we will do, and be obedient.” 8 And Moses took the blood, 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 24.5-8

This is the blood of the covenant. If you look through the Old Testament you’ll find that every covenant which God makes is sealed with blood.

Every covenant requires the shedding of blood and the shedding of blood didn’t mean just means a little prick, it meant the death of an animal which would die in order to cover the sin of the people that God, who is holy, could relate to a sinful people through the blood of the sacrifice. That’s why Yeshua/Jesus, who is holy – without sin, had to come to be the final sacrifice for the sin of the world.

And we see that, in the New Testament, particularly in the Book of Hebrews, it draws this point out and it quotes directly from this passage in Exodus.

Let’s read Hebrews chapter 9 starting at verse 11:

11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 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. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. 16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. 

Hebrews 9.11-17

A bit of a complicated argument there but Paul’s saying that ‘if you make a will and you leave some money to somebody, while you’re alive, that doesn’t benefit them, it is only when you die, that’s when they’re going to get the money‘.

Therefore, there is the necessity of a death here in order to receive the promise, and so:

18 Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. 19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” 

Hebrews 9.18-20

This is speaking directly to this passage here in Exodus 24.

21 Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

Hebrews 9.21-22

In other words, it’s an absolute requirement of God that there should be a shedding of blood in order for God to relate to human beings.

People think that sounds a bit ‘bloodthirsty’.

Why do you actually need the shedding of blood? The reason is because God is holy and we are not holy, we are sinful. God cannot relate to us. Also, because the wages of sin is death, therefore what you’re going to receive from sin is death: either you pay for your sin by your own death or by the death of another.

And God, in His mercy, said that if another dies in your place, He can relate to you and you can be saved from the penalty of sin. Under the Old Covenant, it was the taking of the animal which was innocent, which was offered as a sacrifice, which shed its blood in order that God could relate to you.

Under the New Covenant, it’s the much better sacrifice the sacrifice of Yeshua/Jesus the Messiah who is without sin, who offered Himself without sin as a sacrifice for our sins in order that God, who is holy, can relate to us who are not holy.

And there’s no other way in which we can be redeemed except through Jesus the Messiah. Take the blood out, you’ve got nothing. If you have a Christianity without the blood of Jesus, it’s nothing.

Judaism also, today, has no sacrifice of blood. Because once the Temple was destroyed in the year 70 AD, after this Jesus died and rose from the dead, it was not longer possible to offer the sacrifices. There was no longer a priesthood, there was no longer a sacrifice. And rabbis came along and said that God no longer requires a shedding of blood, that He is pleased to accept prayer and fasting and good deeds to cover our sins.

The Bible doesn’t say that. Prayer and fasting, good deeds, no matter how many you do, no matter how sincere you are, will never cover your sins. You have to have the blood of atonement. There must be the blood of sacrifice, and the only way in which your sins can be covered is through the blood of atonement, through Yeshua/Jesus the Messiah.

That’s why all other religions don’t work either. Whether it’s Islam, Hinduism, whatever the idea in all religions, when you come down to it, is that if you do a few good deeds, they’re going to cover out your bad deeds. When you come down to it, every religion says, more or less that.

It doesn’t work like that. You can do as many good deeds as you like, they will never cover your bad deeds. The only thing that’s going to cover your bad deeds, your sins, is the blood of atonement. And the only blood of atonement which is offered to us today is not the sacrifices of animals but the sacrifice of Yeshua/Jesus the Messiah.

So, going on in Hebrews, it says in verse 23:

23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

Hebrews 9.23-28

Wonderful verses those! They tell us what Jesus came for. He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself and, if you are not a believer today, I appeal to you to put your trust in Jesus, to be saved. Because there’s only one way you can be saved from the judgment of God: it is appointed under man to die once and after death the judgment.

Notice the word ‘once‘ by the way. That rules out reincarnation. You get one shot at this life. If you don’t get it right in one life, you won’t have another chance.

So, now is the day of salvation, now is the day to put it right, to get it right with God and to have Salvation through Jesus the Messiah.

It is appointed unto men to die once and, after death, the judgment but Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. (Hebrews 9.27 & 28)

That also does away with the mass by the way, the Catholic mass. Because Catholics believe that when they offer the mass, they’re sacrificing Jesus over and over again. It doesn’t work like that. Jesus made one sacrifice. It was sufficient. You don’t need to sacrifice Him over and over again. He is the final and complete, and sufficient sacrifice and therefore, this verse in Hebrews deals with every other religion: Judaism, Hinduism, Catholicism, and it says that none of them are going to get you to God. You need repentance and faith in Jesus the Messiah. He’s the only One.

To those who eagerly wait for Him, He will appear a second time apart from sin, for salvation.

So, the same Jesus is going to come a second time to judge the world in righteousness. He’s going to judge us according to how we’ve responded to this message. He’s not going to judge us by how many good deeds we’ve done, He’s going to judge us according to whether we have repented and believed the Gospel, as simple as that.

Hebrews tells us that almost all things are purified with blood without the shedding of blood there is no remission.

Leviticus chapter 17 says:

The life of the flesh is in the blood … for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.

Leviticus 17.11

The reality of sin requires the shedding of blood, something to go under death, the death of an innocent party on behalf of the guilty in order that we might enter into the covenant with God.

Jesus paid the price and so He died once for our sins and that’s what’s missing in every other religion. Just look at what Jesus said at the last supper:

He took the wine and he said to the disciples to remember Him through the eating of the bread and the taking of the wine. He says: this is My blood of the New Covenant which was shed for many for the remission of sins.

27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 

Matthew 26.27-28

The New Covenant shed through the blood of Jesus for the remission of sins. Praise the Lord! He’s done it for you, he’s done it for me, and through Him, each one of us can come to God and know that our sins are forgiven and that we have eternal life and a tremendous hope in this world. Even as we see all the bad stuff going on around us, we can look up and lift up our heads because our redemption is drawing near.

Jesus is coming. 1 John says:

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

1 John 1.5-10

I get quite a lot of people telling me they haven’t sinned, they’re good people. Well, if you measure yourself by others, sort of look at Adolf Hitler, then someone may say: ‘well I’m a good person compared to him.’

You’re meant to measure yourself by Jesus Christ and if you live as good as life as Jesus Christ’s then you could say ‘I’m not a sinner‘. But nobody does. So, we need, all of us, to repent and believe, and receive forgiveness through Him.

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