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“Jesus is the Christ”
It would be impossible to honestly apply the words of the psalmist in Psalm 40:6-8 to anyone but the Messiah. Indeed, the Jewish commentators from ancient times have said that this Psalm is a messianic prophecy. And, of course, God the Holy Ghost declares in the Book of Hebrews that this prophecy is fulfilled in the Person and work of Jesus of Nazareth (Hebrews 10:5-10).
In these three verses of Inspiration, the Prophet David tells us that there are specific things by which the Christ of God, the true Messiah of Israel, may be identified. And these things find their fulfilment only in Jesus of Nazareth, our Lord and Savior.
The types, promises, and prophecies of the Old Testament Scriptures weave a garment that is tailor made to fit only one man. That man is the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God. And that man is our Savior.
Here David told us that when the Christ, the Messiah comes all the sacrifices and ceremonies of legal worship must cease. — “Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire.” The sacrifices, ceremonies, and laws of the Mosaic economy were never intended to be a means of salvation. God never had pleasure and satisfaction in them. They could not remove sin, satisfy justice, or make men righteous before God (Hebrews 10:1-4).
The sacrifices and ceremonies of the law were only useful as types and shadows of Christ, to show the nature and necessity of his redemptive work. Once they were fulfilled they must and did cease forever, because they have no other service.
The law given by Moses was designed by God to identify and expose sin, to deter men from deeds of iniquity, and to show the necessity of a substitute. Once the law had served its purpose and was fulfilled by Christ, it had no other use, and ceased to have power over men. — “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth” (Romans 10:4).
The Old Testament Scriptures constantly reminded the Jews that God had no regard for their sacrifices and ceremonies, except as they typified Christ and were observed by faith in him (1 Samuel 15:22; Psalm 50:7-13; 51:16-17; Isaiah 1:11-14; Daniel 9:27). Those five passages from the Old Testament, read without comment, demonstrate clearly that the sacrifices and ceremonies of legal worship were never intended to be perpetual. They were only temporary pictures of Christ.
Even the Mosaic covenant, as set forth in what we commonly call the Ten Commandments, was only designed to be a temporary covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34; cf. Hebrews 8:7-13). The law of God, as a covenant, a rule of life, and the revelation of God’s righteous requirements from men, was designed only to lead us to Christ, by whom it is fulfilled (Galatians 3:24-25).
When Christ came, the sacrifices and ceremonies of the Old Testament did cease to be observed. David, at least a thousand years before our Lord’s incarnation, intimated that when he came he would accomplish that which no sacrifice, ceremony, or law could accomplish (redemption, justification, righteousness, and forgiveness). The laws, sacrifices, and ceremonies of Israel were only scaffolding, temporarily necessary for the building of his kingdom. Christ Jesus tore down the scaffolding! All the Jewish sacrifices and ceremonies ceased to have virtue when Christ died. And all ceased to exist when God destroyed both Jerusalem and Judaism in 70 A.D. The priesthood ceased. The temple ceased. The sacrifices ceased. The nation of Israel ceased.
When Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ of God, the Messiah, finished his work the sacrifices and ceremonies of legal worship ceased. To demonstrate that fact, the veil of the temple was ripped apart (Matthew 27:51). The centurion standing by, as he observed all that transpired at Calvary, rightly concluded, “Truly this was the Son of God” (Matthew 27:54).