Jesus, Our Sacrifice

This is the second in a series of Christmas reflections written by our author, Martha. You may connect it to our topic this month (teaching) by remembering that it was originally used as a teaching tool in Martha’s congregation.

Sacrifice: The Old Testament tells us much about the nature of sacrifice in the ancient  Hebrew culture.  In Leviticus we read the rules for sacrifice; they specify that the animals to be sacrificed must be spotless. Not one of us would qualify for the final sacrifice; only if God himself, in the form of his Son, were to come to earth would there be a sinless man who could bear the burden for all.  In Genesis, God called Abraham to sacrifice his only son, and Abraham was obedient. In that event, God sent a substitute sacrifice, a ram, to take Isaac’s place. When Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, no substitute came forth—he was the substitute for us.  Just as the blood of a sacrificial lamb was used to mark those who would be saved in In the Exodus story of the Passover, we are marked by the blood of our Savior. In his first epistle, John says when we walk in the light and have fellowship with one another, the blood of Jesus purifies us from all sin.  Most important, Jesus himself said of the cup of wine—the same wine we share in the celebration of the Eucharist—“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins”  At the gates of Eden, God told Satan he would send a man to defeat him. The baby  lying  in  the manger will become that man. 

For more posts about sacrifice see:

The Sacrifice of Separation

The Ultimate Sacrifice

One Sacrifice

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