“A Continual Burnt Offering”
In the Old Testament, under the legal, Mosaic dispensation, the Lord God required a continual burnt offering, an offering made by fire every morning and every evening. He promised to meet his people in mercy, sanctify them, dwell among them, and glorify himself by this continual burnt offering. Of course, both the continual burnt offering and the promises connected with it were useful and meaningful only as types of our Lord Jesus Christ, our continual burnt offering, in and by whom our God accepts us in mercy, blesses us with grace, sanctifies us, dwells with us in peace, and reveals his glory.
Christ our Sacrifice
How infinitely important in the sight of the eternal God was, and is that indescribably vast and efficacious sacrifice of the Lamb of God “slain from the foundation of the world,” which every day, morning and evening, the Lord God commanded to be set forth in this ceremonial offering made by fire. With careful exactness, the church in the wilderness observed this daily ritual of oblation. Scrupulously, all true Israelites performed the ritual with an eye of faith, looking for the appearance of the promised Redeemer.
Every morning and every evening, this continual burnt offering proclaimed to all who observed that “without shedding of blood is no remission.” Without blood atonement, none can be accepted. Without a divine Substitute, none can be forgiven. Without a justice satisfying, propitiatory sacrifice, none can be justified. Sin must be punished.
In the Old Testament Moses, and Aaron, and believing men and women throughout that dispensation kept this continual burnt offering at the house of God by faith in Christ, the Lamb of God, who in due time died for sinners, put away sin, did away all the penal effects of sin, and brought all the law to a full stop by the sacrifice of himself.
This daily sacrifice and the oblation has ceased, just as the prophet Daniel declared it would (Daniel 9:27). The lamb of the morning and the lamb of the evening are now no more offered. Why?— Because the thing signified by these things has been accomplished. The sign is no longer needed. Christ (the One typified) has come; and redemption (the thing foreshadowed) has been accomplished. Once the substance has come the shadow is forever gone. Who needs or wants to hold a picture when the one loved is present? Yes, Christ has put a full stop to the law and all its ceremonies and sacrifices. — “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth!” — “Ye are not under the law, but under grace!” — If you are God’s, “ye are dead to the law by the body of Christ!”
A Continual Offering
Did Israel of old have a continual burnt offering? In this Gospel Age the Israel of God, Abraham’s true seed, has a continual burnt offering before God. That Offering is Christ our Savior. Let us ever set our hearts upon him, fixing the eye of faith on him, let us behold him continually in unceasing prayer, in steadfast faith, in the ordinances of divine worship, and in all the Book of God. We should see him through the whole of the Bible. Upon every page, in every event he is the one thing, the only thing signified. I would have every person under my influence (and pray for grace for myself) to see this sweet, this blessed, this soul-comforting, soul-strengthening, soul-transforming continual burnt offering: —Christ the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world! Gaze on him and follow him whithersoever he goes and has gone. Follow him until we behold him “in the midst of the throne as the Lamb as it had been slain,” wearing in his glorified body the marks of our redemption.
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