|Volume 24 Number 7 July 2022
“For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. …But this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:4, 12). The author of Hebrews spent a great amount of Scripture demonstrating that Jesus and the New Covenant are better than Moses and the Old Covenant. Christ’s priesthood is better than the priesthood of the Old Testament. His promises are better. His sacrifice is better, which is the point of Hebrews 10:4 and 12.
The Mosaic Law prescribed daily sacrifices, weekly sacrifices, monthly sacrifices, annual sacrifices and special sacrifices. A vast number of animals were killed during the approximately 1,500 years between Mt. Sinai and the day of Jesus’ death. It is impossible to know exactly how many animals were sacrificed under the Law, but we can look at some numbers to get just an idea of the enormous amount.
Numbers 7 tells us that at the dedication of the Tabernacle, 36 oxen, 144 sheep and 72 goats were killed over a twelve-day period. At the dedication of Solomon’s Temple, 220,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep were killed. The historian Josephus records that at one Passover 256,500 animals were sacrificed, though some modern commentators believe that Josephus exaggerated many of his numbers. They say that it would only have been possible to sacrifice around 27,000 in the allotted time, which would still have been a lot of animals. However, an ancient Jewish commentator states that King Agrippa wanted to know how many animals were sacrificed at the Passover. He had a count done, and they stopped counting at 1.2 million.
Yet, all of those animals could not take away sins! Only Jesus could do that. He died once for all mankind. All the millions and millions of gallons of blood shed during the Mosaic period could not match the effectiveness of the blood that Jesus shed in His scourging and crucifixion.
We are so very blessed by the sacrifice that Jesus gave. Through Him, we have remission of sins. Study your Bible. Learn all about the scheme or plan of redemption. Learn how to contact the blood of Christ (Ephesians 1:7; Romans 6:3-5), and if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.
Cool Like Dad!
One day recently, my youngest came running around the corner wearing a shirt that I just so happen to love. Now, before I tell you what the shirt said on the front, I need you to understand I did not buy this shirt for him. I’m honestly not sure where he got it, but I just wanted it to be clear that I did not buy it for him. On the front of my son’s shirt, that I obviously love, are the words “Cool Like Dad.” This shirt makes me smile every time I see it on him, and I will be a little sad when he outgrows it.
Yet, while I do smile every time I see this shirt, those three words have the ability to bring a grown man to his knees. In those three little words there is a comparison. You are seeing an example of where, in this case, a child patterns himself after a parent. For me, the idea of being a good example for my children has been in my thoughts and in my mind since the moment I found out that I was going to be a dad. This is something that I think about, pray about and talk about constantly with my wife.
In a healthy way, parents – really all people – need to continually think about the example they set before others, and that includes the kind of example they present to their children. In numerous Scriptures, we are told after Whom we are to pattern our lives and what kind of an example we are to set for others. In Ephesians 5:1, we see that we are to be “imitators of God, as dear children” (NKJV). Children often imitate their parents or possibly an older sibling or relative. As children of God, we are to imitate Christ by the lives we live. As Christians, we should constantly examine our own lives to be sure that we are truly living for Him.
Do the things we do and say show honor toward God by demonstrating godliness everywhere we go? As a Christian man, husband, father and friend, I need to set a Christ-like example to my children and toward everyone I meet and know. This is actually something that we all must ponder and consider. In Scripture, the apostle Paul frequently wrote about the example he was trying to set, which we also ought to set for others. In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul, in the context of giving all glory to God, said, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” This is a bold statement that is worthy of reproducing in our lives as Christians. Notice that Paul was not only aware that imitation occurs, but he embraced it with a bold and yet humble attitude. Paul did not want glory for himself or just the flattery that comes with imitation. Instead, he wanted to set a standard for his own life and demonstrate that the One truly worthy of being imitated is Christ.
As a dad, I love when my children imitate the good things that I do, but unfortunately, not everything I do is always good. It sometimes takes a bad action on my child’s part or maybe even some silly little t-shirt to wake me up so that I pay better attention to the kind of example I am setting. Like the young man Timothy, let us all strive to “be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). Let us all strive daily to set a Christ-like example for all the world to see. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).