Virtually all Christians believe and maintain that the sin offerings of the Jewish Pentateuch were typical of the sacrifice of Jesus. The word typical means: “conforming to, exhibiting, or indicating the character, qualities, attributes, or nature characteristic of or peculiar to a particular type. Of the nature of or constituting a type.” Thus we are to believe that the sin offerings of the falsified Jewish Pentateuch typified or symbolised the sacrifice of Jesus. If you carefully study the sacrificial system of the Old Testament and all the references to the same in the New - especially in the Book of Hebrews - you will realise that there are enormous problems and difficulties once we accept the principal of typology between the so called Mosaic sin offerings and the offering of Jesus. The Hebrew word used in the Jewish Pentateuch and elsewhere for the purification or sin offering is hattat.
The first most fundamental principle of the Book of Hebrews is that there can be no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood [Hebrews 9:22]. According to this principle atonement or remission or forgiveness of sin can be obtained only through a bloody sacrifice or a bloody sin offering. This principle and argument of the author of Hebrews [and virtually all Christians] does not agree with the principal and instructions allegedly given by God in the Jewish Torah. Leviticus 4 gives us a detailed account which deals explicitly with a sin offering. The offering had to be presented according to the rank or status of the individual in the community. If the priest sinned he had to present a young bull [verse 3]. If the whole Israelite Community sinned the same victim was prescribed [verse 14]. If a leader sinned he had to present a male goat [verse 23]. The first three laws or principles were non-negotiable. Neither the priest nor the community or the prominent leader could make a substitute and present a victim of a lesser ranking. This is due to the fact that the legislator of this law regarded the priest, the whole community and the prominent leader wealthy enough to present the prescribed victims.
If however an average Israelite person sinned, he was obligated to present a female goat [signifying a lesser rank of both the offerer and the offering]. The offerer had to lay his own hand on the animal and slaughter it personally. The offerer was also allowed to bring a female lamb as a substitute for the female goat. The procedure was the same. He had to lay his hand on the animal and slaughter it personally [verses 27-31]. If an ordinary person could not afford to offer a female goat or lamb then he was required to offer two doves or young pigeons [Leviticus 5:7]. If a person could not even afford these victims then he was to bring an oblation or bloodless sacrifice. Please note the text of Leviticus 5:11-13:
“If, however, he cannot afford two doves or two young pigeons, he is to bring as an offering for his sin a tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a SIN OFFERING. He must not put oil or incense on it, because it is a sin offering. He is to bring it to the priest, who shall take a handful of it as a memorial portion and burn it on the altar on top of the offerings made to Yahweh by fire. It is a SIN OFFERING. In this way the priest will make ATONEMENT for him for any of these sins he has committed, and he will be forgiven.”
It is therefore apparent that the author of the Book of Hebrews was mistaken and that the Jewish Pentateuch does teach that sin can be forgiven and atoned for without the shedding of blood. The next thing very apparent in the Book of Hebrews is the fact that the author believed and taught that the blood of Jesus DID NOT AND COULD NOT CLEANSE ALL SINS INDISCRIMINATELY. The author taught that only inherent sin [of Adam] and those committed in ignorance were atoned for by the bloody sacrifice of Jesus. His argument is based on the fact that Jesus died only once in order to atone for sin.Please note the text of Hebrews 6:4-6:
“It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”
I will now demonstrate very clearly that the author of the Book of Hebrews believed that the blood of Jesus could atone only for the sins committed in ignorance just as was the case with the sin offering in the Jewish Pentateuch. This truth is seldom realised due to the fact that Christian preachers continually teach that works do not play an important role in a Christian’s life but only the faith in the ATONING SACRIFICE OF JESUS. We are generally taught that virtually any sin committed after baptism and “enlightenment” can be forgiven and washed away by the “blood of Jesus.” I will here demonstrate that this was not taught by those who adhered to the sacrificial cultus of the Jewish Pentateuch.The word enlightenment is crucial in this text. The author said: “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened to be brought back to repentance.” The words enlightened and illuminated are synonyms. Illumination or enlightenment was always associated with baptism. St. Crysostom of the 4th century wrote:
“Heretics have baptism, not illumination: they are baptized in body, but not enlightened in soul: as Simon Magus was baptized, but not illuminated.”
The word enlightened comes from the Greek word photizo which was translated as enlightened, illuminated and make to see in the King James Bible. The word appears in Ephesians 3:9 and is translated make to see. In 2 Timothy 1:10 the word photizo was translated made manifest. Dr. Spiros Zodhiates in his Complete Word Study Dictionary of the New Testament plainly states that the word photizo means:
“to illuminate, make one see or understand, to bring to light, to understand.”
The New Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon on p. 663 defines the word photizo as follows:
“to enlighten, illumine; render evident; become clear; to give understanding to.”
Therefore the author of Hebrews 6:4-6 believed and taught that no sin can be forgiven after the person was enlightened and received knowledge. That is, he taught that no sin committed with knowledge and understanding can be forgiven. In Hebrews 10:26-30 the author of Hebrews makes his point even more clearer and forceful:
“No sacrifices can be made for people who decide to sin after they find out about the truth. They are God’s enemies. And all they can look forward to is a terrible judgment and a furious fire. If two or more witnesses accused someone of breaking the Law of Moses, that person could be put to death. But it is much worse to dishonour God’s Son and to disgrace the blood of the promise that made us holy. And it’s just as bad to insult the Holy Spirit, who shows us mercy” [The Bible for Today].
Now please note the same text in the Jerusalem Bible:
“If, after we have been given knowledge of the truth, we should deliberately commit any sins, then there is no longer any sacrifice for them. There will be left only the dreadful prospect of judgment and of the raging fire that is to burn rebels. Anyone who disregards the Law of Moses is ruthlessly put to death on the word of two witnesses or three; and you may be sure that anyone who tramples on the Son of God, and who treats the blood of the covenant which sanctified him as if it were not holy, and who insults the Spirit of grace, will be condemned to a far severer punishment.”
Both texts of the Book of Hebrews indisputably prove that the author believed in and actually based his argument on the principles of the Mosaic sacrifices. What most Christians do not know but the author of Hebrews was of course aware, is the fact that the blood of animals in the Jewish Pentateuch could never atone for any sin consciously committed. That is, the sacrificial cultus of the Old Testament provided atonement only for the sins committed in ignorance. Any sin committed voluntarily could not be atoned for but the person had to be killed for his sin. There was no prescribed sacrifice which could atone for the sin committed with knowledge. I have already referred to the 4th and 5th chapters of Leviticus earlier. But I did not point out the fact that the sin offering prescribed there could only atone for the unintentional sin. Please note the following clear statements:
“The LORD commanded Moses to tell the people of Israel that anyone who sinned and broke any of the LORD’S commands WITHOUT INTENDING TO, would have to observe the following rules” [Good News Bible].
The rules that follow I have already covered earlier. Here is its summary. A priest who sinned without intending to had to bring a young bull as his sin offering in order to atone for his unintentional sin. The whole community which sinned unawares or unintentionally had to bring the same victim. The ruler who sinned unintentionally had to present a male goat for his atonement of sin. Any other person who sinned unintentionally had to bring a female goat or lamb. If they could not afford it they had to bring two doves or two young pigeons. If they could not even afford these victims then they were obligated to present an oblation in order to atone for their unintentional sin. There was simply no prescribed sacrifice for the intentional sin. Not only so, but the Jewish Pentateuch explicitly states that there can be no atonement for any intentional sin. Numbers 15 also gives a detailed account of the atonement for unintentional sins. Then in verses 29-30 we are explicitly told the following:
“The same regulation applies to everyone who UNINTENTIONALLY commits a sin, whether he is a native Israelite or a resident foreigner. But any person who sins DELIBERATELY, whether he is a native or a foreigner, is guilty of treating the LORD with contempt, and SHALL BE PUT TO DEATH, because he has rejected what the LORD said and has deliberately broken one of his commands. He is responsible for his own death” [Good News Bible].
The death penalty was applied on anyone who broke even one single command INTENTIONALLY or PRESUMPTIOSLY - as King James Bible puts it. The Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary on p. 739, sec. ‘sin offering’ states:
“The Sin Offering: This was for sins unconsciously and unintentionally committed…For conscious and deliberate violations of the Law no atonement was possible.”
Numbers 15:32-36 lists one conscious or presumptuous sin. Even though the sin appears to be very insignificant the author states that there was no remedy or sacrificial atonement possible. The offender had to be put to death. The offender was killed for “merely” gathering firewood on the Sabbath. He however, according to the author, was aware that such an act was prohibited. His sin therefore was not committed in ignorance. Elsewhere we find that anyone who desecrated the Sabbath had to be put to death. There was no remedy or blood atonement possible. Realising all these facts we are now in a better position to understand the comment of the author of Hebrews. He clearly based his argument on the principle of the Jewish Pentateuch. We do not know for certain who actually wrote the Book of Hebrews. There is no consensus among the Bible scholars. The style differs from that of Paul and also Paul’s name and personal greeting is absent.
The author however had to be a close associate of Paul since he was a friend and an associate of Timothy. He obviously wrote from Italy since he extended greetings from the believers in Italy. From the writings of Paul it appears that he also held the same view as the author of Hebrews. In 1 Timothy 1:12-13 Paul wrote to Timothy the following:
“I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength for my work. I thank him for considering me worthy and appointing me to serve him, even though in the past I spoke evil of him and persecuted and insulted him. But God was merciful to me because I DID NOT YET HAVE FAITH and so DID NOT KNOW WHAT I WAS DOING” [Good News Bible].
Paul here strongly implies that his sins were forgiven on the basis of Jesus' sacrifice [verse 15] only because his sins were committed in IGNORANCE and not PRESUMPTUOUSLY. From elsewhere it appears that Paul did not believe that the sacrifice of Jesus could atone for the “great” sins of those who were believers and enlightened in baptism. But it appears that Paul thought that those people who could not claim the “atonement for their sins on the basis of Jesus' blood could somehow be forgiven and ultimately saved through the bloody sacrifice of their own. In 1 Timothy 1:19-20 Paul states that two believing men - Hymenaeus and Alexander - fell from faith. Paul did not recommend that they repent and claim the blood of Jesus but rather he delivered them to Satan in order to learn not to blaspheme. From this text alone it is not clear what “delivering to Satan” means. But when we compare this text with that of 1 Corinthians 5 we get the clearer picture. Among the Corinthian believers there was a believer who apparently had intercourse either with his stepmother or else with one of his father’s wives. As soon as Paul heard of this he instantly condemned the man. Please note verses 3-5:
“And even though I am far away from you in body, still I am there with you in spirit; and as though I were there with you, I have in the name of our Lord Jesus already passed judgment on the man who has done this terrible thing. As you meet together, and I meet with you in my spirit, by the power of our Lord Jesus present with us, you are to hand this man over to Satan for his BODY TO BE DESTROYED, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord” [Good News Bible].
Paul apparently believed that the presumptuous sin of this believer could not be atoned for by his repentance, animal blood or the blood of Jesus. He believed that the only ultimate remedy for this man would be to atone for his sin through his own blood sacrifice. Paul actually learned this practice from the Pharisees. To this day the adherents of Rabbinical Judaism believe in the self-sacrifice which alone can atone for the wilful sins. In their official Prayer Book The Complete Artscroll Siddur, compiled by Rabbi Nosson Scherman, on p. 845, we find the following prayer recited at deathbed:
“I acknowledge before you HASHEM, my God and the God of my forefathers, that my recovery and death are in Your hand. May it be Your will that You heal me with total recovery, but, if I die, may my death be an ATONEMENT for all the errors, iniquities, and willful sins that I have erred, sinned and transgressed before You.”
By carefully examining the Old Testament we discover that God and the true prophets of His did not identify with the legislator of the Jewish Pentateuch and the sacrificial system. God and the true prophets most certainly did not believe nor did they teach that a sin consciously or presumptuously committed could not be forgiven. Neither did they teach that those who sinned in this manner must be put to death or atone for their sins through their own blood sacrifice.. We have already seen that Isaiah 1 clearly shows that God did not identify with the Jewish sacrificial cultus and that He did not in fact prescribe this abominable cult. In verses 15-18 Yahweh said to the Israelites:
“…your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away your evil deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do right; seek justice, help the oppressed, do justice to the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, says Yahweh: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
The Israelites committed great horrors. They served the hinder gods. They worshipped molten images and many idols. They committed adulteries and fornication. They committed and continually practiced great evils and completely despised the Holy Law of God. According to the legislator of the Jewish Pentateuch these Israelites should have been put to death - since there was no sacrifice left to atone for their sins. But God however repeatedly testified that He was more than willing to forgive and atone for their sin by His LOVE and MERCY if only they were willing to REFORM their ways and begin to practice righteousness. Ezekiel 18 positively proves that God did not believe in the Jewish Pentateuch nor did He prescribe all those capital punishments we find in the Jewish Torah. Please note the following quote:
“If an evil man stops sinning and KEEPS MY LAWS, if he does what is right and good, he will not die; HE WILL CERTAINLY LIVE. All his sins will be forgiven, and he will live, because HE DID WHAT IS RIGHT. Do you think I enjoy seeing an evil man die? Asks the Sovereign LORD. No, I would rather see him repent and live. But if a righteous man stops doing good and starts doing all the evil, disgusting things that evil men do, will he go on living? No! None of his good he did will be remembered. He will die because of his unfaithfulness and his sins. But you say, What the Sovereign LORD does isn’t right. Listen to me, you Israelites. You think my way of doing things isn’t right? It is your way that isn’t right. When a righteous man stops doing good and starts doing evil and then dies, he dies because of the evil he has done. When an evil man stops sinning and does what is right and good, he SAVES HIS LIFE. He realizes what he is doing and stops sinning, so he will certainly not die, but go on LIVING. And you Israelites say, What the Sovereign LORD does isn’t right. You think my way isn’t right, do you? It is your way that isn’t right. Now I, the Sovereign LORD, am telling you Israelites that I will judge each of you BY WHAT HE HAS DONE. Turn away from all the evil you are doing, and don’t let your sin destroy you. Give up all the evil you have been doing, and get yourselves new mind and hearts. Why do you Israelites want to die? I do not want anyone to die, says the Sovereign LORD. Turn away from your sins and LIVE” [verses 21-32 Good News Bible].
Can anything be plainer? God clearly states that He is willing to forgive ANY and ALL sins to those who repent and start obeying His Holy Law. Virtually every sin mentioned in Ezekiel 18 was subject to capital punishment according to the legislator of the Jewish Pentateuch yet God was more than glad to forgive these sins since He did not want anyone to die. There was a king in Judah by the name of Manasseh. He was the longest reigning king in either Judah or Israel. But he was also the most wicked king - committing all sort of abominations. Please note the following excerpts from 2 Kings 21:
“Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for fifty five years…Following the disgusting practices of the nations whom the LORD had driven out of the land as his people advanced, Manasseh sinned against the LORD. He rebuilt the pagan places of worship…he built altars for the worship of Baal and made an image of the goddess Asherah…Manasseh also worshipped the stars. He built pagan altars in the Temple…In the two courtyards of the Temple he built altars for the worship of the stars. He sacrificed his son as a burnt offering. He practiced divination and magic and consulted fortune tellers and mediums. He sinned greatly against Yahweh…Manasseh killed so many innocent people that the streets of Jerusalem were flowing with blood.”
Every sin that Manasseh committed - mentioned in this chapter - called for a capital punishment. You can verify this fact by consulting the prescriptions of the legislator of the Jewish Pentateuch. God kept sending His prophets to warn Manasseh and the people of Judah. They urged him to return to God. He however refused to listen. Later he was arrested by the Babylonian official and was taken captive to Babylon. In prison however Manasseh turned to God and begged His forgiveness. God heard his prayer and forgave him all his sins. Manasseh was restored back to his throne and from then on at least superficially served God [2 Chronicles 33:10-33]. Now I want you to realise one very important fact. The author of 2 Kings 21 who closely followed the Jewish Pentateuch presented Manasseh is a horrible sinner who never repented of his sins. He closed his story on Manasseh without ever mentioning his prayer, repentance and restoration. The chronicler on the other hand felt compelled to revise this story and tell the whole truth. Please note the following comment of James Charlesworth in his introduction of the Apocryphal Prayer of Manasseh:
“According to 2 Kings 21, Manasseh dies unrepentant; in contrast, the Chronicler felt impelled to rewrite this history.”
The prayer Manasseh prayed is very interesting indeed. Of course we can never be certain whether this prayer is authentic or not. But then we can never be certain of this about many passages even preserved in the Bible. Just because something is in the Bible that does not mean that it is genuine literature and inspired. The Prayer of Manasseh is an ancient document composed at least several centuries prior to the birth of Jesus. You can draw your own conclusions concerning Manasseh’s prayer after you read it:
“O Yahweh, Elohim of our fathers, Elohim of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their righteous offspring; He who made the heaven and the earth with all their beauty; He who bound the sea and established it by the command of his word, he who closed the bottomless pit and sealed it by his powerful and glorious name; You before whom all things fear and tremble; especially before your power. Because your awesome magnificence cannot be endured; none can endure or stand before your anger and fury against sinners; But unending and immeasurable are your promised mercies; Because you are Yahweh, long-suffering, merciful, and greatly compassionate; and you feel sorry over the evils of men. You, O Yahweh, according to your gentle grace, promised forgiveness to those who repent of their sins, and in your manifold mercies appointed repentance for sinners as the way to salvation. You, therefore, O Yahweh, Elohim of the righteous, did not appoint grace for the righteous, such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, those who did not sin against you; but you appointed grace for me, I who am a sinner. Because my sins exceeded the number of the sands of the sea, and on account of the multitude of my iniquities, I have no strength to lift up my eyes. And now, O Yahweh, I am justly afflicted, and I am deservedly harassed. Already I am ensnared. And I am bent by many iron chains, so that I cannot lift up my head; for I do not deserve to lift up my eyes and look to see the height of heaven, because of the gross iniquity of my wicked deeds, because I did evil things before you, and provoked your fury, and set up idols and multiplied impurity. And now behold I am bending the knees of my heart before you; and I am beseeching your kindness. I have sinned, O Yahweh, I have sinned; and I certainly know my sins. I beseech you; forgive me, O Yahweh, forgive me! Do not destroy me with my transgressions; do not be angry against me forever; do not remember my evils; and do not condemn me and banish me to the depths of the earth! For you are the Elohim of those who repent. In me you will manifest all your grace; and although I am not worthy, you will save me according to your manifold mercies. Because of this salvation I shall praise you continually all the days of my life; because all the hosts of heaven praise you, and sing to you forever and ever.”
God is merciful and full of forgiveness. He is our FATHER and He loves His children. He does not need a sacrificial victim nor does He need to see the shedding of blood in order to be moved with compassion and forgive. If we as sinful fathers and mothers forgive our children simply because we really love them, how much more then will God our heavenly Father forgive us His children. Those who cannot see or accept this fact must indeed have a blind soul. Jesus, the Son of God and our Elder Brother also believed that God was compassionate and loving - full of mercy and forgiveness. Jesus also rejected the legislation of the Jewish legislator concerning sin offering and the capital punishments. A woman was caught in the act of adultery and then she was brought before Jesus [John 8]. The Pharisees told Jesus that “Moses” commanded in the Law that such people should be stoned to death. They asked Jesus what was his opinion on the subject. Jesus ignored them and began to write with his finger on the ground. As they continued to annoy him he told them that they can stone the woman to death if they were without sin and perfectly innocent from any crime. Being condemned by their conscience they simply left. Jesus told the woman that he does not condemn her.
He charged her to go and sin no more - that is, reform her lifestyle. If God really commanded Moses that such people MUST BE PUT TO DEATH then Jesus most certainly disobeyed and broke the Law of God. And if Jesus broke and nullified the Law of God then he most certainly was a transgressor and sinner. But I know for a fact that Jesus was not a sinner and I also have no doubt whatsoever that God did not command that such people should be put to death. God always gave us humans opportunity to repent and alter our sinful ways. Those who repented and reformed their evil ways were more than welcome by God - as numerous texts of the Bible and extra-canonical literature testify. We also know from the Hebrew Evangel of Matthew [often called Gospel of the Nazarenes], that Jesus believed and taught that even the holy prophets were stained with sin. This passage of Matthew was well known to the early Church Fathers and several of them actually referred to this passage. This is what Jesus actually said:
“If your brother has sinned with a word and has made amends with you, welcome him seven times a day. His follower Simon said to him, Seven times a day? The master answered and said to him, In fact, I tell you, as often as seventy times seven times. For in the prophets also, after they were anointed with the holy spirit, sinful language was found” [Gospel of the Nazoreans 5, Jerome, Against the Pelagians 3.2].
The Book of Revelation plainly reveals that those who committed even great and terrible sins could be forgiven if they would only admit their guilt and repent. Please note the following passages:
“But there are a few things I have against you: there are some among you who follow the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak how to lead the people of Israel into sin by persuading them to eat food that had been offered to idols and to practice sexual immorality. In the same way you have people among you who follow the teaching of the Nicolatians. Now turn from your sins! If you don’t, I will come to you soon and fight against those people with the sword that comes out of my mouth” [Revelation 2:14-16].
“But this is what I have against you: you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a messenger of God. By her teaching she misleads my servants into practicing sexual immorality and eating food that has been offered to idols. I have given her time to repent of her sins, but she does not want to turn from her immorality. And so I will throw her on a bed of where she and those who committed adultery with her will suffer terribly. I will do this now UNLESS THEY REPENT of the wicked things they did with her” [Revelation 2:20-23].
It is very clear to me that Jesus, the Son of God did not believe in the Jewish legislation concerning the sin offering and atonement. Jesus did not believe that only unintentional sins could be atoned for but he clearly believed and taught that even the sins of idolatry and adultery can be forgiven to them who reform their lifestyle and truly repent. Jesus addressed himself to the believers and those who were enlightened in baptism. Even though they sinned terribly, Jesus gave them opportunity to repent. The author of Hebrews was therefore gravely mistaken. All those who acknowledge the text of Hebrews as inspired and infallible and if they acknowledge the Jewish sacrificial cultus as inspired and infallible are LOST because their sins which they commit after their original conversion and baptism cannot be forgiven and atoned for. They can only look forward to the terrible judgment and the punishment with fire. Therefore my dear reader, I urge you to abandon the idea of sacrifice and bloodshed as the means of your atonement and to beg God to forgive you your sins committed presumptuously.
He is loving and merciful Father and He will most definitely forgive you if you truly reject the blood atonement in your heart. Now it is essential to point out the absurdity involved in the sin offering prescribed in the Jewish Pentateuch and the Christian ludicrous teaching concerning the sacrifice of Jesus and his alleged bloody atonement. Any sacrificial victim chosen for a sacrifice had to be perfect and without any defect. This was especially true of the victim used for the sin offering. The victim was brought by the offerer to the priest and the altar of the Temple. The offerer had to lay his hand on the head of the sacrificial victim and confess his sin or guilt. In this way he identified with the victim and transferred his sin and guilt on the head of the pure and innocent victim. Although it is evil to kill an animal at leat it seems logical that the victim chosen to atone for sin should be pure and blameless. It also seems logical that the sins should be transferred through the laying on of hand or hands. That the laying on of hands on the head of a victim signifies the transference of sin is very obvious from the passage of Leviticus 16:21 where Aaron was instructed to do the following:
“He shall put both of his hands on the goat’s head and confess over it all the evils, sins and rebellions of the people of Israel, and so TRANSFER them to the goat’s head.”
The moment the offerer laid his hand or hands on the head of his sacrificial victim all his unintentional sins were transferred to the head of his victim. But the sins were not atoned for until the BLOOD OF THE VICTIM WAS SHED. Only the SHED BLOOD actually ATONED FOR THE SIN. The author of Hebrews clearly shows that Jesus is the substitute of the Mosaic victim:
“So God does away with old sacrifices and puts the sacrifice of Christ in their place. Because Jesus Christ did what God wanted him to do, we are all purified from sin by the offering that he made of his own body once and for all…Christ, however, offered one sacrifice for sins, an offering that is effective forever…With one sacrifice, then, he has made perfect forever those who are purified from sin” [Hebrews 10:9-14].
The author argues that Jesus was perfect and sinless - because he did everything God asked him to do. As a perfect sacrifice he atoned for all our past sins with his shed blood. The author was either ignorant or he deliberately ignored the real problem his teaching and that of the Mosaic Torah posed concerning the blood atonement. Before I point out this problem I first of all want to present Paul’s view and teaching on the subject. Paul apparently believed and taught that Jesus was accursed. Please note Galatians 3:13:
“But by becoming a curse for us Christ has redeemed us from the curse that the Law brings; for the Scripture says, Anyone who is hanged on a tree is under God’s curse.”
Paul obviously did not realise the absurdity and horror of his teaching. Neither did in fact the Jewish legislator of the sacrificial cultus. They believed and maintained that the sacrificial victim had to be PERFECT and BLAMELESS and INNOCENT. For only an innocent and holy victim could be accepted as a substitute and could actually atone for the sins of the offerer. But at the same time through ignorance they have introduced a system where sin is actually atoned for through sin. Paul referred to Deuteronomy 21:22-23. Please note this text quoted from the King James Bible exactly as it is:
“And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; [for he that is hanged is accursed of God;] that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.”
Paul apparently based himself on the rendering of the Greek Septuagint. The Hebrew text is disputable. Not all Bible scholars agree how the Hebrew text should be translated and what is its real meaning. For this reason you will find various renderings of this text in the English Bibles. I want you to note the text as is translated in the Bible for Today:
“If a criminal is put to death, and you hang the dead body on a tree, you must not let it hang there overnight. Bury it the same day, because the dead body of a criminal will bring God’s curse on the land. The LORD your God is giving this land to you, so don’t make it unclean by leaving the bodies of executed criminals on display.”
Please also note the text as it stands in the Good News Bible:
“If a man has been put to death for a crime and his body is hung on a post, it is not to remain there overnight. It must be buried the same day, because a dead body hanging on a post brings God’s curse on the land. Bury the body, so that you will not defile the land that the LORD your God is giving you.”
Please also note that the ancient Peshitta version differs from that of Hebrew or the Septuagint:
“And if any man has committed a sin worthy of death, and he is crucified on a tree, and thus put to death; His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but you shall bury him the same day [for he who shall revile God shall be crucified], and you shall not defile your land, which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance” [Dr. George Lamsa’s translation of the ancient text].
Paul quoted this text to suit his cause. His interpretation of the text is strongly contested by certain Bible scholars and experts of philology. If the text means what Paul understood it to mean then every single person ever crucified or hung on a tree was accursed by God. But for what purpose? If Jesus who was righteous was accursed in order to redeem mankind from the alleged curse of the Law and Adam for what purpose was Apostle Peter accursed? The tradition tells us that Peter was crucified with his head down. John 21:18-19 says:
“I am telling you the truth: when you were young, you used to get ready and go anywhere you wanted to; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will tie you up and take you where you don’t want to go. [In saying this, Jesus was indicating the way in which Peter would die and bring glory to God.”]
If anyone crucified is accursed by God then how could Peter glorify God by dying on a cross? What about all believing people who were crucified by Nero and other monsters? What about all the babies and young children crucified through the ages - even as late as World War II - were all these innocent children also accursed by God? To believe and teach so is not only stupid but it actually borders on the line of blasphemy. Jesus said that the Kingdom of God belongs to little children and that unless we become like little children we shall never obtain salvation. Now please note what else Paul maintained in 2 Corinthians 5:21:
“For he hath made him to be SIN for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” [King James Bible].
Paul believed and acknowledged that Jesus lived a sinless life. But he maintained that while Jesus was hanging on the tree God actually made Jesus a SINNER by transferring all the sins of the world upon himself. Paul is saying that just as an offerer transferred his sin to the sacrificial victim by the laying on of hands so did God transfer the sins of the whole world upon Jesus. Now Paul and the Jewish legislator were ignorant of the fact that they actually believed in and taught atonement of sin THROUGH sin. For both the animal victim of the Mosaic Torah and Yahshua himself became DEFILED, POLLUTTED, SINFUL and IMPURE by the SINS TRANSFERRED UPON THEM. How then could they atone for sin in the sinful condition they were in? How could their blood wash away sin when it was actually STAINED and DEFILED and became ACCURSED by all the sins of the world? Please remember that the legislator in the Mosaic Torah maintained that anyone who touched anything unclean or polluted or sinful became unclean and had to wash with water and present a sin offering. The duration of their uncleanliness depended upon the decree of their defilement. Since Paul and virtually all Christians maintain that ALL THE SINS OF THE WORLD were LAID ON JESUS and that he actually BECAME ACCURSED because of this and that his own Father allegedly abandoned him because of this SINFUL STATE AND CONDITION, how then was it possible for him to atone for sin and to actually present his SINFUL AND POLLUTTED BLOOD in the Holy of Holies in heaven?
No, Jesus was not the sacrificial victim of the Mosaic Torah. Nor did he die to atone for the sin of Adam and the world. Nor did he die in order to appease angry God and cool off His wrath. Remember, Jesus said that sin cannot be atoned for by either the blood of an animal of that of a human being. He in fact maintained that shedding of blood only increased sin and condemnation. Jesus was a victim indeed. He was also a sacrifice for sin. But not at all in the way that Christians believe and teach. In the Gospel of the Holy Twelve we find the following words of Jesus which he spoke to his disciples after his resurrection:
“Teach ye the holy law of love which I have delivered unto you. And whosoever forsake their sins, they are remitted unto them, and whosoever continue in their sins they are retained unto them. Baptise them who believe and repent, bless and anoint them, and offer ye the pure oblation of the fruits of the earth, which I have appointed unto you for a Memorial of me. Lo, I have given my body and my blood to be offered on the cross, for the redemption of the world FROM THE SIN AGAINST LOVE, and from the BLOODY SACRIFICES and FEASTS OF THE PAST…And ye shall eat and drink thereof [of the Oblation], for a memorial, that I have delivered all who believe in me from the ancient bondage of your ancestors. For they, making a god of their belly, sacrificed unto their god the INNOCENT CREATURES OF THE EARTH, in place of the carnal nature within themselves. And EATING OF THEIR FLESH and DRINKING OF THEIR BLOOD to their own destruction, corrupted their bodies and shortened their days, even as the Gentiles who knew not the truth, or who knowing it, have changed it into a lie.” While eating the Oblation with his disciples on the night of his arrest, Yahshua told them: “Verily I say unto you, for this end have I come into the world, THAT I MAY PUT AWAY ALL BLOOD OFFERINGS AND THE EATING OF THE FLESH OF THE BEASTS AND THE BIRDS THAT ARE SLAIN BY MEN. In the beginning, God gave to all, the fruits of the trees, and the seeds, and the herbs, for food; but those who loved themselves more than God, or their fellows, corrupted their ways, and brought diseases into their bodies, and filled the earth with lust and violence. Not by shedding innocent blood, therefore, but by living a righteous life, shall ye find the peace of God”.
Jesus allowed himself to be the victim, martyr and the sacrificial offering so that humanity may realise the futility and horror of BLOOD SACRIFICE. He wanted humanity to see that even his own blood - as holy and as precious as it was - could not actually ATONE FOR SIN. The atonement and remission of sins is possible only through REPENTANCE and OBEDIENCE. Although Jesus died and his holy and innocent blood was shed by the wicked men, his blood could not wash away or take away the SINS OF THE WORLD. The world is still full of violence and sin and many are still in their sins - guilty as always. If Jesus died in order to remove the sin and guilt Adam passed on his posterity then everything which was automatically imposed on the world on account of his sin would have been automatically removed from the world on account of Jesus' obedience and vicarious atonement. Since there is pain, suffering and death now in the world as it was even before Adam was created - it is plain therefore that neither Jesus nor Adam played any role in either bringing about or removing the curse in this world.
If the Pharisees and the Chief Priests and the Jews would have accepted Jesus as the Prophet Moses promised, then obviously they would not have killed him. How then would they have obtained salvation and how would have the alleged sin of Adam been removed from the world? Jesus himself testified that he could have prayed his Father to send him legions of angels and set him free. Jesus chose to die in order to fulfil the prophecies which said that he would die and not because he believed that his death was absolutely necessary as a vicarious atonement for the fallen humanity. I hope that you, dear reader, will eventually come to realise this fact. I hope that you will come to see that God hated the Jewish sacrificial cultus and that is exactly why He on certain occasions destroyed their Temple where these horrible rites took place. In 70 c.e. the Temple was finally destroyed by Titus and we have Jesus' word that no man will ever be able to rebuild it and revive the Jewish sacrificial cultus within its walls. Nineteen centuries had passed since Jesus gave his promise and to this day no man was born who was able to breach this promise and restore the horrible practice of the sacrificial cultus.