Lesson 25 - The Meaning of Christ’s Death From the Old Testament

    The Old Testament is like a signpost on the side of the road giving directions. God knows that everyone has been lost. He made sure that the way back to him is well marked. Many of the great stories in the Old Testament were recorded to be a picture of the way to be made right with God. In this last lesson, we will now review some of these Old Testament stories and see how they pointed forward to the Lord Jesus Christ and his death for us on the cross.

    Adam and Eve, Genesis 3

    Do you remember what Adam and Eve did when they sinned and became aware they were naked? They made themselves coverings of leaves. Did God accept the clothing they made? No, God refused to accept what they made because he wanted to teach them that they could not do anything to make themselves acceptable to him. God wants each of us to realize this. There is nothing we can do to make ourselves acceptable to God. Going to church, providing for our families, doing good deeds, being baptized, and praying are all things that we should do, but none of these things will make us acceptable to God. Are you trying to do something to make yourself right before God? If you are, you need to realize that what you are doing is no more acceptable to God than the clothes Adam and Eve made.

    God rejected the clothes that they had made, and God made His own plan, and killed an animal to provide clothes for them. God refuses to accept anything we do to make ourselves pleasing to him, and He has provided the only way for us to be right with Him. Because he loved us, he sent Jesus Christ to die for us so we could be made acceptable to him. If you trust only in him, then, just as God put the clothes on Adam and Eve, he will forgive your sins and accept you. God will accept you, not because you are sinless, but because the Lord Jesus who died in your place is sinless. All who trust in him alone are forever accepted by God because they are clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

    Cain and Abel, Genesis 4

    The next story we need to consider is the one about Cain and Abel. God made it clear from the beginning that, whenever anyone came to worship, he must bring an animal, kill it, and allow its blood to run out. God said to do this because he knew one day Jesus Christ would give his blood to pay for the sins of the world. God rejected Cain because he came to God in his own way, according to his own ideas, and not in the way God had commanded. Abel was a sinner too, but he was accepted by God because he trusted in God to save him and brought the blood sacrifice God required. In the same way, God will accept all those who believe on Jesus the Savior.

    Noah and His Family, Genesis 6

    Do you remember reading about the way people were living in Noah's time, before the flood? People refused to listen to God's warning given through Noah. God said he was going to destroy the world by a flood. Did God intend to destroy Noah who, like Abel, knew he was a sinner and trusted in God to send a Savior? No. Do you remember how many doors God told Noah to make in the ark? Just one. There was only one way they could enter the ark and be saved from God's judgment. Before the flood came, the animals, Noah, and his family all entered the ark by the one door, and God shut them in. Inside the ark, they were safe from God's punishment on the sinful world. God only sent one Savior just like there was only one ark.

    Everyone outside the ark died in the flood because they refused to believe God and enter the ark by the one door. That one door reminds us of the Lord Jesus who is the only way to eternal life. When anyone believes that Jesus died for his sins and puts his trust only in him, God forgives his sins and gives him eternal life. Don't be foolish like the people in Noah's day that refused to enter the ark and be saved.

    Abraham and Isaac, Genesis 22

    One day, God instructed Abraham to take his only son Isaac and offer him for a burnt sacrifice. The place where God told Abraham to go was very near, if not the very same place, where Jesus Christ was sacrificed. Abraham laid the wood for the burnt sacrifice on the back of Isaac and went up the hill. Jesus Christ carried the wooden cross up the hill to where he would be crucified. When Isaac asked his father where the sacrifice was, he responded, "My son, God will provide himself a lamb." Jesus Christ is God the Son. God did indeed provide himself as a sacrificial Lamb. The Bible says in John 1:29 that Jesus Christ is “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.”

    The Passover Lamb, Exodus 12

    God brought 10 plagues upon the land of Egypt so that they would release the people of Israel to go and worship God. During the last plague, God promised to kill the firstborn child in every family. The Israelites would have lost their firstborn too, but God made a way for them to escape. Each family had to choose a lamb.

    First, the lamb had to be without blemish. God commanded the Israelites to choose a lamb that was in perfect physical condition. These perfect lambs of the Israelites were a picture Jesus Christ. He was without sin.

    Second, the lamb had to die. The Israelites kept the lamb until the time God said they should kill it. The lamb had to die and its blood had to be shed, if the firstborn child was to be saved from death. In the same way, it was necessary for the Lord Jesus to give his blood as the payment for our sins. There was no other way we could be saved from God's judgment on our sins.

    Third, the lamb's blood had to be placed on the top and sides of the door frame. Even though the Israelites killed the lamb and caught its blood in the basin as God had commanded them, the firstborn child would still have died unless they put the blood on the top and sides of the door frame. This teaches us that merely knowing that we are sinners and that Jesus died for our sins will not save us from God's terrible judgment. The Israelites had to put the blood of the lamb on the door frames of their houses to show God they were trusting in the blood to protect them from the angel of death. In the same way, we have to trust personally in the Lord Jesus and his death as the payment for our sins. Jesus, the perfect Lamb, has already died and shed his blood. Have you had his blood applied to your life to cover your sins? We must believe that what the Lord Jesus did on the cross was for us as individuals. Jesus died for me personally. Jesus died for you personally.

    Did the angel of death kill any firstborn child inside a house where the blood had been applied? No. God said he would pass over every house where he saw the blood, and he did. In the same way, you can be absolutely certain that if you trust in Jesus Christ you will never be punished for your sins. Jesus’ blood paid for all your sin, and you can be certain that God will never demand a second payment. But only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone will have their sins paid for. If you reject Jesus Christ, you must pay for your own sins!

    The Day of Atonement, Leviticus 16

    After God delivered the Israelites from the Egyptians, he led them through the wilderness until they came to Mount Sinai. Here, God gave them his commandments which showed them they were helpless sinners under the condemnation of death. They could never keep the laws of God and make themselves acceptable to him. However, God is also loving, merciful, and gracious. He instructed Moses to have a tabernacle built where he would meet with his people and forgive their sin, if they would follow His instructions.

    Once a year, the high priest was to enter the inner room of the tabernacle and sprinkle the blood of a lamb on the mercy seat. Year after year, animals were sacrificed and their blood sprinkled on the mercy seat in the tabernacle, but the blood of animals could never pay for sin. These offerings only pictured Jesus Christ who was to come to provide the one complete sacrifice for sin by sacrificing his own life.

    What About You?

    How foolish the Jews were who refused to accept that Jesus was the Savior sent from God. How foolish they were not to believe that his blood had fully paid for all sin. People today are just as foolish when they try to save themselves by the things they do instead of simply trusting in what Jesus has already done. Are you going to trust in what you do or in what Jesus has done for you on the cross? What are you going to do?

    Millions of people from countries all over the world have looked back to what Jesus Christ did when he died for them, and they have trusted him as their Savior. What about you? Will you repent of your sins? Agree with God that you are a sinner and deserve eternal separation from him in the Lake of Fire. Stop trying to make yourself acceptable to God by your own efforts, and trust completely and trust only in Jesus Christ as your Savior.

    Study Questions

    1. What did Adam and Eve do when they realized that they had sinned against God?
    2. What are some ways that people try to make themselves acceptable with God today?
    3. What have you done to try to make yourself acceptable with God?
    4. God Cain because he came to God in his way, according to his ideas, and not in the way God had commanded.
    5. How many doors were made to enter into the ark? How many ways have been prepared to enter into heaven?
    6. What 3 things needed to be true of the Passover Lamb?
    a. It had to be a .
    b. It needed to .
    c. The needed to be put on the door frame.
    7. Jesus has already died and shed His blood. Have you applied his blood to your life to cover your sins?
    8. God gave Israel the 10 commandments to teach them what?
    9. Are you going to trust in what you do or in what Jesus has done for you on the cross?

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    This is the last lesson in the series! We hope it has been a help to you. Do you have any questions or comments about this twenty-fifth lesson or on what you have learned in this series?

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