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LESSON FIVE

WORSHIP, SACRIFICES and OFFERINGS

Introduction

What would you do if the only way you could be saved was by perfectly observing all 630 laws and commandments in the Old Testament? Not only would you have to do exactly what each law required, but you would also be expected to have perfect and pure motives at all times and in every situation. You would have to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and you would also have to love your neighbors as yourself. Just one failure on one occasion would mean that you could not be saved (See James 2:10).

Obviously, if the way of salvation in the Old Testament was by perfectly obeying all of God’s laws, no one would ever be saved! No one except Jesus Christ has ever been perfect and free from sin. People are conceived and born in sin (Psalm 51:5) and they continue to fall short of what God requires of them as long as they live.

In Old Testament times, the Israelites were reminded of that over and over again. The whole sacrificial system was built on the realization that the people would sin and would sin repeatedly. The rituals and sacrifices God ordained for those who were sorry for their sins did not earn their salvation. Rather, their sacrifices opened up the way for them to receive the forgiveness and peace God gave them by His grace. And they also pointed forward to the one perfect sacrifice Jesus Christ would some day make in order that the sins of all who put their faith in Him could be washed away. How thankful we should be that there never was a time when God declared that salvation would have to be attained by human efforts

In this Lesson we will study some of the provisions God made and the commandments He gave regarding worship and sacrifice in the Old Testament. When the people obeyed these commands and followed His instructions, they opened their hearts and lives to receive the grace God promised them.

THE TABERNACLE

When Moses spent forty days with God on Mt. Sinai, God gave him some very detailed instructions concerning the building of a Tabernacle or Tent where God would meet with His people. In this Tabernacle the people could worship their God and bring Him their sacrifices and offerings.

The Tabernacle itself was a large tent about 45 feet long and 15 feet wide which was covered by expensive and colorful fabrics. It was divided into two rooms separated by a heavy curtain or veil. The first room, called the Holy Place, was 30 feet long and could be entered only by the priests. This room contained only three items: a golden altar where the priests burned incense, a table on which fresh loaves of bread were placed each Sabbath day, and a solid gold oil-fed candelabra which provided light for the Tabernacle. The second room, called the Most Holy Place or Holy of Holies, was 15 feet square and was separated from the first room by a heavy curtain or veil. This room contained only one item, a wooden gold-covered box called the ark of the covenant, in which were placed the Ten Commandments, some manna, and the rod of Aaron the High Priest. Only the High Priest was permitted to enter the Most Holy Place and he could do so only once a year on The Day of Atonement. Whenever he entered this most sacred place, He came with an offering of blood which he sprinkled on top of the ark which was appropriately called The Mercy Seat (Exodus 25:17-22). The High Priest was never permitted to enter the Holy of Holies where God “dwelled” without the blood from a sacrifice!

The Tabernacle itself was surrounded by an enclosed “court yard” or enclosure where the people would bring their sacrifices to be offered by the priests. This enclosure was 150 feet long and 75 feet wide. The first thing one would see when entering the courtyard was this altar. Anyone who came to the Tabernacle to be “near to God” would immediately be reminded that no one should seek to approach the Lord without an appropriate offering or sacrifice. God also made it very clear that this altar was the only place where they were permitted to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings to their God.

In the courtyard here was one additional item between the altar of sacrifice and the Tabernacle itself. This was a laver or wash basin where the priests would wash their hands and their feet every time they entered the Holy Place and before they offered a sacrifice on the altar (Exodus 30:17-21). The priests needed to be made physically clean after the bloody work of sacrificing the offerings, but they also needed to be spiritually clean when in the presence of the Lord.

God had given detailed and explicit instructions regarding the building of the Tabernacle and also all the activities that would take place there (Exodus 25:40). Nothing was to be done without those instructions. GOD Himself determined when and where and how He was to be worshiped. One of the reasons for that was that the Tabernacle was “a copy and shadow of what is in heaven” (Hebrews 8:5).

THE THEOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TABERNACLE

In the New Testament we read that Jesus Christ was the eternal and living Word of God who came to this earth in the form of a man and “tabernacled” among us (John 1:1,14). (The word “tabernacled” is the literal meaning of the Greek word usually translated as “dwelled” or “lived.”) In Christ, God personally lived among men and demonstrated His love, grace, and compassion to His people. Christ came to fulfill many of the things which the Tabernacle symbolized or foreshadowed. He was the perfect sacrifice for man’s sins (John 1:29), the true Light who came into the world (John 1:9; 8:12; 12:46), and the true bread from heaven (John 6:48-51). And in Romans 3:25 we read that “God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in his blood.”

There was only one entrance to the Tabernacle itself and also one entrance to the Tabernacle grounds—an opening on the eastern end of the outer courtyard. The tribe of Levi, from which came the High Priest and other priests, were encamped closest to the Tabernacle. The other tribes of Israel were arranged around the Tabernacle in a specific order revealed by God. The tribe of Judah was placed on the east side where the entrance was. This may have reminded the people that the Messiah or Redeemer who would some day come and make an atoning sacrifice for their sins would come from the tribe of Judah. This Messiah (Jesus) would be the only way to God for anyone who wanted to come to Him (John 14:6).

In Old Testament times the Tabernacle was always placed in the middle of the camp wherever the Israelites settled for a longer or shorter period of time. It was a reminder to the people that their God was truly “in the midst”of them. This was further emphasized by the pillar of cloud or fire which rested above the Tabernacle whenever the people camped (Numbers 9:15-23). When the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the people knew they were supposed to move. When the cloud stayed in a certain place, the people stayed, too. In this way, they knew that their God was always here with them!

The first thing people would see when entering the Tabernacle grounds was the altar where all the sacrifices were offered. This altar taught the people two very important truths: (1) They needed to offer a blood sacrifice because of their sins, and (2) God was willing to forgive their sins on the basis of an appropriate sacrifice which would some day be offered on their behalf. (See Leviticus 1:3-9.) Though the people did not fully understand the way in God Himself would some day provide a perfect sacrifice for their sins (in fulfillment of the promise of Genesis 3:15), most of the people would realize that the sacrifice of an animal could not by itself atone for their sins (Hebrews 10:4). They also knew that as long as sacrifices were continually being offered on the altar over and over again, the perfect sacrifice had not yet been made.

The laver or basin for washing served as a reminder that not only the priests but every believer needed to be washed and cleansed spiritually when coming into the presence of the LORD. The sacrifices “atoned” for their sins as they pointed forward to Christ, but the believers themselves needed to be cleansed from the defilement and impurity that resulted from those sins. Cleansing from sin was always of the highest significance and importance for those who wanted to be at peace with God.

When King David sinned greatly against the Lord and earnestly desired to have his sins forgiven, he wrote,

“Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. . . .Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow. . . Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity” (Psalm 51: 2, 7, 9).

In the New Testament we read: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”(1 John 1:9). To the Corinthian believers Paul wrote about those who had turned to the Lord after having been guilty of many different sins. He wrote, “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).

The burning of incense on the golden altar was symbolic of the prayers of God’s people which were continually being offered to the Lord (Exodus 30:7-8. See also Psalm 141:2 and Revelation 5:8). Though only the priests were permitted to enter the Holy Place, the people knew that the incense was being offered to the Lord each morning and evening so incense would “burn continually before the Lord for generations to come” (Exodus 30:8).

The heavy curtain or veil which separated the two rooms in the Tabernacle (and later in the Temple) indicated that people in Old Testament times did not yet have full and free access to God the way we do (Leviticus 16:2). Their God was truly with them and He did accept them as His children, but there was still a significant barrier between them and their LORD. It was not until Jesus offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice for our sins that people could come directly to God without going through a human mediator. This truth was miraculously demonstrated when the veil in the Temple was torn in two when Jesus died on the cross (Matthew 27:50-51) and was explicitly taught later in the book of Hebrews (Hebrews 4:16 and 7:25).

Since sacrifices were continually being offered in the Tabernacle (and later in the Temple), it was clear that the people were continually in need of forgiveness. It also served as a strong reminder that the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sins (Hebrews 10:4). A perfect human sacrifice would be required for that (Hebrews 2:14-17).The High Priest who served as a “representative” of the people before God had to offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as for the sins of the people. Because of his own sinfulness, he could not offer himself for the sins of someone else (Hebrews 9:6-10). Only Jesus

could do that! He was the True High Priest who made the perfect sacrifice of Himself for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2; Colossians 1:19-20). After He died, blood sacrifices were no longer necessary (Hebrews 10:18). Jesus “made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (Hebrews 9:14).

SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS

The books of Leviticus and Numbers contain many commands, laws, and regulations regarding sacrifices, offerings, defilement, purification, personal cleansing, clean and unclean food, duties of the priests and Levites, feast days, celebrations, punishments for disobedience and rewards for obedience. God commanded the Israelites to serve Him, worship Him, honor Him and obey Him in every area of their lives. There was no area of life which was unimportant or insignificant to God..

The laws regarding sacrifice were specific and detailed. Only perfect animals (who pointed forward to the perfect Lamb of God) could be accepted for sacrifice. The priests had to wear special garments and perform all their activities in a carefully prescribed way. The High Priest, who alone could enter the Most Holy Place, had to wear special garments which only he could wear. He also had to observe some requirements and commands which God gave especially to him and he had to follow detailed laws in a very precise way. The words HOLY TO THE LORD were inscribed on a gold plate on his turban, so that neither he nor the people would forget that he was appointed by God to for his sacred tasks. Nothing was left up to the worshiper or the priests to decide what they should do or how they should so it. Everything had to be done in the way their holy God had prescribed. It was only one year before that the Israelites were living as slaves in a pagan land. Now they were set apart as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6). God required them, as His “holy nation” to worship and serve Him exactly as He had commanded them.

There is one brief story recorded in Leviticus which indicates how absolutely important all this was in the sight of God. This story involves two of the sons of Aaron the High Priest. These sons had a very special role to play in the activities in the Tabernacle and they were given very special honor. However, on one occasion they did not perform their duties in the exact way the Lord had commanded. Instead of doing what the Lord had told them to do, they deliberately “offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to His command” (Leviticus 10:1). Because of their disobedience and pride, God immediately put them to death! Leviticus 10:2-3 tells us what happened.

“Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Moses then said to Aaron, ‘This is what the Lord spoke of when He said, “Among those who approach me I will show myself holy. In the sight of all the people I will be honored”’.”

Aaron’s response to this awesome event is recorded in these very simple words: “Aaron remained silent” (Leviticus 10:3). It had not been very long before this event that Aaron himself gave in to the demands of the people and made a golden calf to “help” the people worship their God. As a result of this serious violation of God’s explicit command not to make idols of any kind, God punished a large number of Israelites with death. But even the severe punishment which the people witnessed on that occasion did not keep the sons of Aaron from doing things their way rather than God’s way. The Israelites were very slow to learn!

This story of Aaron’s sons again demonstrates that sinful human beings can never even begin to earn their salvation. If God punished two of the sons of the High Priest in such a dramatic way for a single offense, how could anyone ever believe that any human being would ever be able to merit salvation by perfectly doing everything God had commanded? No one (aside from Jesus) ever came close to living the perfect life that God required . . . and no one ever will. We must therefore always continue to emphasize the gracious provision of God to forgive sins rather than focusing on man’s feeble efforts to try to earn his salvation.

One of the very special blessings of being saved by grace is that it makes salvation a reality and a certainty for those who sincerely confess their sins and trust in God to forgive them for the sake of Jesus. Those who put their confidence in their own efforts to earn salvation will always have to live with the reality and certainty that they have never done enough!

A SECOND STORY in Leviticus emphasizes that sins could be atoned for and taken away only by means of a God-appointed substitute. This story is found in Leviticus 16 where we read about the various ceremonies that took place on the Day of Atonement. This was the only day of the year when the High Priest went “behind the veil” into the Most Holy Place to sprinkle blood on the ark of the covenant. If he entered the Most Holy Place at any other time or in any other way than God prescribed, he himself would die (Leviticus 16:1-2).

On the Day of Atonement, the High Priest bathed in water, put on sacred garments and first of all offered a sacrifice for his own sins and those of his family (Leviticus 16:3-6). He took some of the blood of this sacrifice and sprinkled it in the Most Holy Place (Leviticus 16:11-14). Later He did the same with the blood of another sacrifice for the sins of the people (Leviticus 16:15). He also made atonement for the altar “to cleanse it and to consecrate it from the uncleanness of the Israelites (Leviticus 16:18-19).

“In this way he will make atonement for the Most Holy Place because of the uncleanness and rebellion of the Israelites, whatever their sins have been. He is to do the same for the Tent of Meeting, which is among them in the midst of their uncleanness” (Leviticus 16:16).

All of these passages emphasize the uncleanness and rebelliousness of the people and the uncleanness of everything associated with their activities. All needed to be cleansed and purified. All needed to be forgiven—including the High Priest and his family. And the divinely appointed “means” of forgiveness was the shedding and sprinkling of blood. All of these sacrifices pointed unmistakably to Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). The fact that the people could not fully understand all of this does not take away from the truth emphasized in the book of Hebrews that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22).

In addition to the sacrifices offered on the Day of Atonement for the sins of the people, there was one other significant event that took place on that day. After the High Priest had sacrificed the animals and sprinkled their blood in the Most Holy Place, he took a live goat, put both of his hands on the head of the goat, confessed over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites and put them on the goat’s head. This goat was then taken out to a solitary place and released into the desert, carrying on its head “all their sins” (Leviticus 16:20-22). The sins of the people were thus not only “atoned for” but also carried away never to be “seen” again. (See Psalm 103:12.)

Through all these activities the Israelites were not only continually reminded of their sins, but they were also continually reminded of God’s gracious provision for the forgiveness of those sins. Anyone who would witness the seemingly endless offering of sacrifices and the shedding of blood would become aware of the seriousness of their sins and the greatness of God’s grace in being willing to forgive them. It was only grace that provided the grounds for their forgiveness—not the work of their hands or the bringing of their gifts or the offering of their sacrifices. This fundamental teaching that we are saved by grace through faith is as important in the Old Testament as it is in the New!

THE TEMPLE

When the Israelites first entered the Land which the Lord had promised to Abraham hundreds of years before, the Tabernacle was set up in a central location as the place of worship and sacrifice. For many years the Israelites continued to come to the Tabernacle to bring their sacrifices and offerings, since sin offerings and burnt offerings might not be offered at any other place or in any other way than God had commanded many years earlier.

After some years, however, God revealed that a permanent structure should replace the Tabernacle as the central place of worship and sacrifice. Under the leadership of King Solomon, son of King David of the tribe of Judah, a beautiful, costly and impressive Temple was built in the city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem became “the holy city” and the temple was built along the same pattern as the Tabernacle, with a Holy Place, a Most Holy Place, and a large and impressive courtyard where people worshiped the Lord, offered their gifts and sacrifices, and learned more about their God.

Though the Temple was much more elaborate and impressive than the Tabernacle had been, both of them served as the exclusive place of worship and sacrifice for the people. Consequently, throughout Old Testament history, the people of Israel made frequent visits to Jerusalem for the offering of sacrifices, presentation of their gifts and offerings, and the celebration of the special festivals which they were commanded to observe. And all that happened at the Temple by way of sacrifice, offering, and the presence of God, pointed forward to New Testament times when God Himself would “tabernacle” among men in the person of His eternal Son, Jesus Christ.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

The books of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers demonstrate unmistakably that God’s people were always saved only by His grace and never by observing laws or offering sacrifices or bringing gifts. No one ever came close to keeping all of God’s laws or living in perfect obedience. The extensive and detailed commands regarding the sacrifices which people had to offer were a constant reminder of their continual need for cleansing and forgiveness. The sudden deaths of Aaron’s two sons was a solemn warning that the people were to obey God always and in everything. The Tabernacle and its furnishings not only provided the people with a place to worship God and bring Him their sacrifices, but they also pointed forward to the time when a perfect sacrifice would be offered which would bring believers genuine forgiveness and eternal peace with their God. God demonstrated His presence among His people through pillars of cloud and fire and glory, but all of these also pointed forward to the time when God Himself would not only live among His people but live within them through His Holy Spirit.

[/vc_column_text] [vc_accordion title=”QUESTIONS FOR LESSON ONE” el_position=”last”] [vc_accordion_tab title=”Review Quiz”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

Click the plus buttons to see the answers to the questions.

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”1. Read James 2:10 and fill in the blanks: “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just ___________ point is guilty of breaking ________ of it.””] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

1. . . . one . . . all . . .

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”2. What does Psalm 51:5 teach?”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

2. All people are conceived and born in sin.

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”3.Which of the following statements is most correct? Choose A or B or C. A. People who offered all the required sacrifices would be saved and forgiven on the basis of their obedience. B. People who offered the required sacrifices which God commanded would be saved and forgiven because these sacrifices showed how sorry they were for their sins.. C. People who offered the required sacrifices would be saved and forgiven because their sacrifices demonstrated their trust in God’s grace to forgive them as He promised.”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

3. C. People who offered the required sacrifices would be saved and forgiven because their sacrifices demonstrated their trust in God’s grace to forgive them as He promised.

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”4. A. Is the following statement true or false? “Even if Jesus had never been born and had never died on the cross, the Old Testament sacrifices would have been sufficient for the forgiveness of sins.””] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

4. A. False

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”B. Write out a Biblical text which supports you answer.”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

B. Hebrews 10:4  “It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”5. Which of the following statements is NOT true? A. Only the High Priest might enter the Most Holy Place in the Tabernacle. B. The people of Israel were permitted to enter the outer court of the Tabernacle but might not enter the Tabernacle itself. C. The High Priest was permitted to enter the Most Holy Place whenever he chose to do so IF he wore the proper garments and washed from head to foot before entering it. D. The priests were permitted to enter the Holy Place but not the Most Holy Place.”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

5. C. The High Priest was permitted to enter the Most Holy Place whenever he chose to do so IF he wore the proper garments and washed from head to foot before entering it.

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”6. A. What three items were found in the Holy Place in the Tabernacle?”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

6. A. (1) A golden altar where the priests burned incense.
(2) A table on which fresh loaves of bread were placed each Sabbath day.
(3) A solid gold oil-fed candelabra which provided light for the tabernacle.

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”B. What one item was found in the Most Holy Place?”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

B. The ark of the covenant containing Aaron’s rod that budded, the Ten Commandments, and some manna.

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”7. A. What was the “Mercy Seat”? (*Also called the Atonement Cover in some Bible versions.)”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

7. A. “Mercy Seat” was the name given to the top cover of the ark.

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”B. Why do you think it was given this name?”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

B. It was given this name since the mercy seat was covered with the blood of a sacrificial lamb. Whenever the High Priest entered the Most Holy Place, he sprinkled blood on the top of the ark. When God “looked down” from heaven, he would “see” the blood which was interposed between Himself and the laws which He had given. This was symbolic of the fact that God sees us who believe in Jesus as covered by his blood that was shed on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins.

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”8. In John 1:14, we read that “The Word [Jesus] became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” What is the literal meaning of the Greek word translated “made his dwelling”?”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

8. “tabernacled” John 1:14 would then read, “The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us.”

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”9. A. Which New Testament passage refers to Jesus as the “Lamb of God”?”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

9. A. John 1:29

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”B. Which New Testament passage refers to Jesus as the “light of the world”?”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

B. John 8:12

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”C. Which New Testament passage refers to Jesus as the “Bread of life”?”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

C. John 6:35

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”10. A. How many entrances were there to the Tabernacle court yard?”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

10. A. One

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”B. How many entrances were there to the Tabernacle itself?”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

B. One

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”C. Write out John 14:6.”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

C. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”11. How did the people of Israel know that their God was present with them when they were in the wilderness? (See Numbers 9:15-23.)”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

11. When the tabernacle was set up, a special cloud covered it and stayed there. In the evening the cloud looked like a pillar of fire. Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, the Israelites moved out. As long as the cloud did not move, the people remained in camp. Whenever the people saw the cloud, they knew that their God was there with them.

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”12. A. What was the first thing people would see when they entered the courtyard of the Tabernacle?”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

12. A. They would see the altar of sacrifice.

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”B. Why was this significant?”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

B. For two reasons: (1) This taught the people that they needed to offer a blood sacrifice for their sins because they could not enter the presence of God without being cleansed from their sin. (2) The altar reminded them that God was willing to forgive their sins on the basis of a sacrifice which would one day be offered on their behalf.

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”13. What was the significance of the Laver or Basin for Washing that was in the Courtyard?”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

13. The laver served as a reminder that every believer needed to be washed and cleansed spiritually when coming into the presence of the Lord. Cleansing from the impurity of sin was of great importance for everyone who desired to be at peace with God.

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”14. A. What separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place?”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

14. A. A heavy curtain or veil.

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”B. What was the significance of this barrier?”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

B. The veil taught them that they did not yet have full and free access to God as long as a “fully satisfactory” sacrifice for sin had not yet been made.

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”C. When was the barrier removed?”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

C. The barrier was removed when Christ died on the cross for our sins, making the perfect sacrifice that was required. The visible indication of this was the miraculous tearing of the veil from top to bottom when Jesus died.

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”15. Which of the following statements is/are true? A. Since the people were commanded to continue offering sacrifices, this showed that the people were continually in need of forgiveness. B. Since the people were commanded to continue offering sacrifices, this showed that the blood of bulls and goats could not really take away sins. C. Both A and B.”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

15. C

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”16. A. Write out Hebrews 9:22.”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

16. A. “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”B. When were blood sacrifices no longer necessary?”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

B. Blood sacrifices were no longer required after Jesus provided the perfect sacrifice for our sins on the cross.

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”C. Write out a Bible passage which supports your answer to “B.””] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

C.  Hebrews 10:18. “And where these [sins and lawless acts] have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.”  Hebrews 9:12. “[Jesus] . . . entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.”

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”17. Why did God require the Israelites to offer only “perfect” or “unblemished” animals in their sacrifices?”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

17. Jesus Christ was the perfect, sinless Lamb of God who died for the sins of the world. The Old Testament animals that pointed forward to Him therefore had to be as “perfect” as possible. Any animal with an observable blemish of any kind could not be used as a sacrifice.

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”18. What two major things did the High Priest do on the Day of Atonement?”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

18. A. The High Priest offered a sacrifice on the altar for his own sins and those of his family and another sacrifice for the sins of the people. He also made atonement for the altar itself to cleanse it from the uncleanness of the Israelites. He sprinkled the blood of the sacrifices on the Mercy Seat in the Most Holy Place.

B. The High Priest selected another animal, placed his hands on the head of this goat to represent the “transfer” of the sins of the people to the goat, and then sent this goat out into the wilderness where it would never be seen again. This was symbolic of the fact that God removes our sins from us and remembers them no more. (See Psalm 103:12.)

[/vc_column_text] [/vc_accordion_tab] [vc_accordion_tab title=”19. Which of the following statements is true? Which are false? A. The High Priest did not have to offer sacrifices for his own sins, since he was holier than the rest of the people. B. If the High Priest did not come with blood into the Most Holy Place, he would die. C. The High Priest was elected by the people to be their representative before God. D. The first High Priest in the Old Testament was Moses.”] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]

19. A. False
B. True
C. False
D. False

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20. A. This statement is not true.

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B. The teaching of salvation “by grace alone” may be spelled out more clearly in specific texts in the New Testament, but the doctrine of salvation by grace alone is clearly taught in the Old Testament as well as in the New. There is no one in either the Old or the New Testament that could claim to be saved by obeying the law. Many were blessed because of their obedience, but no one merited or earned salvation from the power and penalty of sin through anything they themselves did or could do. The continual offering of sacrifices for sin in Old Testament times clearly demonstrated that salvation was a gift of God’s grace for those who repented of their sins and trusted Him for forgiveness. Salvation was always obtained by God’s grace alone.

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How would you respond to each of the following five statements? Respond to each statement separately. If possible, provide at least one Scripture passage to support your answer.

1. “I’m glad to know that God saves ungodly and sinful people by His grace. However, I have always lived an obedient and God-fearing life and don’t really need His grace.”

2. “God commanded people to obey His laws and He expected them to obey His laws because He knew they could obey them if they really wanted to.”

3. “God was unduly and unnecessarily harsh in punishing the two sons of Aaron with death They may have done wrong, but what they did definitely did not deserve the death penalty.”

4. “Being saved by our works provides us with much more certainty and confidence than if we were saved by grace. We know when we do good, but we can never be sure about grace.”

5. “It’s far better to have too many laws than to have too few of them. If there is a law for everything, then we can know exactly what God wants us to do and we can go ahead and do it.”

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1. There are some people who live in a way that is very commendable in many ways. They exhibit kindness, patience, helpfulness, and love for others, and they stay away from some of the more obvious sins. These people often find it difficult to admit or acknowledge that they need God’s grace since they are sincere in believing that they are not sinners. The Bible, however, teaches that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and that “there is no one who does good, not even one” (Psalm 53:3). Most people do not understand that God requires perfection in both motives and actions and that God also requires that we love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and our neighbors as ourselves. These are standards which no human being can ever meet. It is usually much more difficult, however, to convince a “self-righteous” person of his need for a Savior than to convince someone who has openly and obviously lived a very sinful life.

2. God did command people to obey His laws and decrees but he knew that no one would ever be able to fully obey them. As David wrote in Psalm 51:5, we are conceived and born in sin and, as Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:1, we are dead in our transgressions and sins. Consequently, we are inclined to evil rather than to good (Ephesians 2:3). Also, many years before God gave the law to Moses, he destroyed the world with a flood in the days of Noah because of the pervasive evil that existed in the world. Even some of the greatest saints in the Bible (including such people as Noah, Abraham, Jacob, David, Hezekiah, Peter and others) were guilty of failing to do all that God wanted and commanded them to do.

3.The deaths of Aaron’s sons does seem very severe to many people, especially because so many people take sin and disobedience rather lightly. To them, a lighter punishment would seem to have been far more appropriate. However, the sons of Aaron were representing the people before a perfectly holy God. They had been given a place of authority as well as a place of very significant responsibility in serving God in the tabernacle. Their disobedience was therefore a very great offense against God and a terrible example to the people. If God treated their sin lightly, the people would not have understood the absolute holiness of their God or the absolute obedience He demanded. Earlier, Aaron himself had led the people astray by making a golden calf to “help” the people in their worship of God. His disobedience and the disobedience of the people led to the deaths of many of the Israelites.. Aaron’s sons had apparently not learned from that earlier experience, so God once again demonstrated His own holiness and His hatred of disobedience and sin. The deaths of Aaron’s son, therefore, though an extreme punishment, was definitely appropriate.

4. Quite the opposite is true. We may believe that we are doing “good” in the sight of God, but His divine standards are so very much higher than our own. No one comes even close to doing all that God requires of us. Besides, if we were judged by our works, we would never know whether we had been holy enough, good enough, committed enough, or obedient enough. Nor would we ever know whether our motives were perfectly pure or whether we had done everything in the right way. Who would be able to judge his own motives without prejudice? Who would be able to evaluate how much “good” was left undone? However, when we trust God’s grace, we may have absolute confidence and certainty that Jesus has done everything necessary for our salvation. He left nothing undone and paid the full penalty we deserved because of our sins. When we understand that His perfect obedience is credited to our account through faith, we need to have neither fear nor uncertainty nor any question concerning the reality that our sins have been forgiven, our debt has been paid, and our eternal life is secure.

5. In some situations this might possibly be true—at least for a while. Some people seem to need laws for everything in order for them to stay on track in serving God. However, if we depend on laws to determine how to live, we will run the risk of becoming bound again by the law from which we were freed in Christ. Therefore, rather than depending on specific laws for guidance in every situation, we should seek increasingly to develop a new attitude and spirit which enables us, without laws, to know and do the will of God. In the New Testament, Paul urges believers to be “transformed by the renewal of their minds” so that they “will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1-3). Besides, it’s important to remember that laws—whether many or few—do not give us the power to obey those laws. Only the indwelling Holy Spirit enables us to love and serve the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

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FOR FURTHER REFLECTION

How would you respond to each of the following five statements? Respond to each statement separately. If possible, provide at least one Scripture passage to support your answer.

1. “I’m glad to know that God saves ungodly and sinful people by His grace. However, I have always lived an obedient and God-fearing life and don’t really need His grace.”
2. “God commanded people to obey His laws and He expected them to obey His laws because He knew they could obey them if they really wanted to.”
3. “God was unduly and unnecessarily harsh in punishing the two sons of Aaron with death They may have done wrong, but what they did definitely did not deserve the death penalty.”
4. “Being saved by our works provides us with much more certainty and confidence than if we were saved by grace. We know when we do good, but we can never be sure about grace.”
5. “It’s far better to have too many laws than to have too few of them. If there is a law for everything, then we can know exactly what God wants us to do and we can go ahead and do it.”

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