I would like ask a question. I
was saved at 36 years of age and prior to my conversion I lived a
very immoral lifestyle. Which included abortion, adultery and a
bisexual lifestyle. There is not a single commandment that I did not
break in thought or deed. It was brought to my
attention that the sacrifices offered in the OT were a shadow of what
Christ would come to do, right? Ok.
Except... there are no sacrifices
offered for the things that I did. Without
exception they were simply punishable by immediate death, no
redeeming yourself with a sacrifice.
It was also said that there are those that
are saved in the NT that committed these crimes, and we're obviously
saved, but I need scripture now to back this up. I'm in a bit of a
tailspin over it.
So I guess my question is if the old
sacrificial system was a shadow and Christ is now our perfect lamb
how are certain sins covered or forgiven if they were not
Also for the past 5 years have attended a
very legalistic IFB church , why ? Out of obedience to my husband
who will not attend anywhere else. Its not all bad but , its an
awful lot of external holiness, like skirt length, hair length , no
this no that sort of thing. So thank you for your web site and the
studies I'm really enjoying them. Just can't find anything to answer
my question. Hoping you can .
thanks for the email and your honesty. The good news is
YES! The Bible does provide an answer to your question. Before getting
there, let me say that you are right... under the law there were many
sins that resulted straight in death and there was no sacrifice for
them. Also, the sacrifices were for 'unintentional' sins. Numbers
15:22-36 speaks about the sacrifice required for 'unintentional' sins
but not for 'defiant' sins. And it gives an example of a Sabbath
breaker that must have been 'defiantly' breaking that commandment and
had to be put to death. Make no mistake... the law is perfect and
right and just... but it is death. It condemns each and every one of
us for something or many things. That is why the Apostle Paul called
the Ten Commands 'the ministry of death' and the 'ministry of
2 Corinthians 3:7-9 But if the ministry of
death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the
sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of
the glory of his face, fading as it was, (8) how will the ministry of
the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? (9) For if the ministry of
condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness
abound in glory.
Of course, that was the very purpose of
the law. It was to hold all under a statement condemnation so that
EVERY mouth would be closed and NO ONE could say that they were
acceptable to God by their own efforts.
Romans 3:19-20 Now
we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under
the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may
become accountable to God; (20) because by the works of the Law no
flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the
knowledge of sin.
So what of your question? Does Jesus'
death deal with the sins that the Old Testament sacrifices couldn't?
You bet! Read Paul's great message to the Jews (who knew the law) in
Acts 13:15-39 and note the climax of the 'good news' of the gospel in
Acts 13:38-39 "Therefore let it be known to you,
brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you,
(39) and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all
things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses.
Another version speaks of being justified:
Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything
you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.
So it says that because of Jesus' death, the forgiveness of
sins is now proclaimed and EVERYONE who believes is freed or justified
FROM ALL THINGS done, including those things (or sins) that the law
could not free, forgive, justify a person from. It is very good news!
Especially to someone that sees their guilt in those things that the
law couldn't touch!
That is why, when the writer of Hebrews
writes his letter to the Hebrews (Jews who understood the law), he
uses one word over and over - 'better'. For example:
1:4 Jesus is better than the angels
Heb 7:19 Jesus' sacrifice gives
a better hope than the law
Heb 7:22 Jesus is the guarantee of a
Heb 8:6 Jesus' ministry is based on better promises
Heb 9:23 Jesus death was a better sacrifice than that under the law
Quite frankly, there is no comparison. Yes, the Old Testament was
a 'shadow' of what was to come with Jesus' death, but it wasn't the
real thing. Jesus' death provided so much more.
Hebrews 10:14 because by one sacrifice he has
made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
The blessing of the New Testament and the better covenant we live
under is that justification (being declared righteous in the sight of
God) is no longer on the basis of works (the law) at all. This is a
RADICAL concept but a true one.
The law came through
Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:17)
And now, because of Jesus' death, God is free and PERFECTLY JUST
to JUSTIFY SINNERS on a whole different principle totally independent
of the law. It is one based on GRACE and FAITH,
3:21-26 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been
made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (22) This
righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who
believe. There is no difference, (23) for all have sinned and fall
short of the glory of God, (24) and are justified freely by his grace
through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (25) God presented
him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did
this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had
left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-- (26) he did it to
demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the
one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
So even to those that previously lived in immoral lifestyles (some
similar to what you have listed), Paul could say:
1 Corinthians 6:11 And that is what some of you were. 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.
I hope this helps!