Sacrificial Atonement

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God’s solution for the problem of sin is sacrifice. Most Christian’s understand that Jesus was serving as a sacrifice on our behalf when He was crucified. However, many don’t understand is the major role that sacrifice played in the Old Testament, all pointing to Christ. Most Christians understand that Jesus’s death on the cross paid for our sins, but they rarely consider that Jesus’s death was the culmination of a larger story of sin and sacrifice that develops throughout the Old Testament.

Sacrifice is seen throughout the Old Testament. Remember when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, they became afraid and tried to cover themselves with leaves. God’s response foreshadowed the way He would continue to deal with human sin: God made clothes for Adam and Eve out of animal skins. An animal had to die so that the shame of sin could be covered. As soon as sin entered the world, God made a way to deal with that sin through sacrifice. However, the sacrificial method isn’t fully developed or explained until we get to the book of Leviticus.

In Genesis 22, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. Why would God ask Abraham to do such a thing? The Bible says Abraham obeyed the Lord, trusting that God could do anything, including raise his son from the dead (Heb. 11:19). Abraham arrived at the place that God designated for the sacrifice, prepared the altar, and raised his hand to sacrifice his only son. But at the last moment, God stopped him and instead provided a ram for Abraham to sacrifice in place of Isaac.

Isaac asked Abraham about the animal for the sacrifice and Abraham responded “God will provide the lamb my son.” A few thousand years later John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb that takes away the sin of the World.” Not only did God supply the Lamb (Christ), but at the same spot of where Abraham offered Isaac. The Old Testament sacrificial system shows us that God could accept a substitute.

Course Assignment:

All of Wicket Gate Bible College courses are essay courses that require independent study and a term paper/essay. Please read at least ten resources on this topic and then write a ten page essay discussing a summary of your resources and your personal opinion on the subjec