December 6, 1998

posted, December 11, 1998

Shedding of Blood

Acts 8:26-40.

Probably the best description of the gospel is found in the Old Testament, Isaiah 53. The gospel according to Isaiah preached to the Ethiopian eunuch. Because we are not a livestock community, we do not readily grasp the message as both Philip and the eunuch did.

The gospel according to Isaiah is easily illustrated in the law:

Leviticus 1:4 atonement. If the sinner wanted to have his sins forgiven and have fellowship with God the Father, he had to bring the required live animal to the place appointed by God.

It had to be without blemish, because the live animal was going to die for the "blemishes" of the sinner.

The sinner had to place his hand on the live animal.

Then it was killed in his place.

Leviticus 3:1, 2 here the sinner had a guilty conscience. He could again have peace with God through the required offering.

The live animal had to be without blemish.

It had to be offered in the place and the way prescribed by God.

The sinner had to place his hand upon the offering.

Then it was killed in his place.

Leviticus 4:1-5 sins through ignorance had to have a sin offering Here the individual had to offer a live animal for sins he had committed that he was not even aware of.

This offering had to be without blemish.

It had to be offered in the place and in the way prescribed by God.

The sinner had to place his hand upon the offering.

Then it was killed in his place.

Vv. 13 - 15, the whole congregation. Here we see that one live offering was enough for the sins of the whole congregation, well over 6 million people.

The offering had to be without blemish.

It had to be offered in the place and in the manner required by God.

The representatives of the people had to lay their hands upon the offering.

Then it was killed in his place.

Vv. 22 - 24, here we see that when a ruler sinned, he had to do the same thing. He had to being the required live animal to the place required by God. He had to lay his hands upon the live animal, and then it was killed in his place.

Vv. 27-29, the same requirements were upon everyone, from the lowest person in the street to those in the highest offices in the land. When the person sinned, he had to being the required live animal to the place required by God. Then the animal was killed in the place of the sinner.


1) Absolutely no one was exempt. Anyone who wanted his or her sins forgiven (atonement with God) had to sacrifice a spotless live animal. Anyone who wanted peace with God had to offer a live animal.

Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

The Lord knew that not everyone could afford a lamb or a bullock, so he made provisions. Leviticus 1:14 & 4:35, if the sinner was a poor person, he could bring a dove or a young pigeon. So no one could say he could not afford the sacrifice for his or her sins.


2) The sacrifice or offering had to be absolutely perfect; it could not have any kind of blemish.

3) The sacrifice or offering had to be offered in the place and in the manner required by God.

4) The sinner had to lay his hand upon the sacrifice, and then the living animal was killed for that person's sins. Its blood was shed.

Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die.

God promised death to Adam and Eve if they sinned; and they did. Through Adam's sin, sin passed upon all of Adam's children.

When the individual laid his hand upon the live animal, God counted that person's sin transferred from the sinner to the animal. When the animal was killed, as far as God was concerned, the live animal was killed in the place of the sinner. The penalty for the individual's sins was fulfilled when the animal's life was taken.

(Only temporally until Christ would come. But we will leave that alone for now.)

If any of the above things were missed, the sinner remained in his sins. There was no other way to approach the heavenly Father other than through his sins being transferred to the proper blood sacrifice.

All of these requirements pointed to one thing, the living sacrifice of Christ for our sins.

John the Baptist looked at Christ, and he said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29-36.)

1 Peter:2:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

Leviticus shows the absolute necessity of a sinless sacrifice for sin. The sinner had to lay his hand upon the sacrifice. When he did this, in God's eyes his sin was transferred to the spotless sacrifice, and the sacrifice was then killed in place of the sinner. If the sinner did not do this, there was no transfer of sin and guilt.

Isaiah 53:

Isaiah 53:1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

Christ bore (to carry, support take away, forgive) our griefs and sorrows.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Christ was wounded (wound here means to pierce, or to kill) for our transgressions (sin and rebellion).

Christ had no sin and rebellion to be wounded for. He was wounded for our rebellion.

Christ was bruised (crushed) for our iniquities (sin and the guilt over that sin).

Christ had no sin and guilt to be crushed down for. He was crushed down for our sin and guilt. Our sins were transferred to Christ, causing the Father to turn away from him.

Christ was chastised (a term used for correcting our children) for our peace (the opposite of war).

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Christ was oppressed as a tax collector oppresses those he is trying to collet taxes from.

Christ owed nothing to no one, so there was no reason for him to be oppressed. He was oppressed in our place, having no reason to be chastised. He was not at war with himself, nor with God.

Christ was afflicted -- that is, he humbled himself to the will of the Heavenly Father; he humbled himself to the death.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

National Geographic had a feature article some time ago about the sheep ranches in Australia. It showed how sheep were completely helpless. They also showed sheep shearing. When the shearer took hold of that sheep, that sheep became as limp as he could be. This was Christ before those who were going to kill him.

But he was not killed for his own sins; he was killed for ours, just as sure as the innocent victim was killed in the Old Testament in place of the sinner.

We must by faith place our hand upon the sacrifice. When we do that, our sins are transferred to the spotless lamb of God. He suffered the penalty for our sins as sure as the live animals did in place of the sinners in the Old Testament.

Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Hebrews 9:8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: 9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; 10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. 11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

800 years before Christ, Isaiah 53 tells us what Christ would do for sinners. 2000 years after Christ, we can read Isaiah 53 and see what Christ did for sinners.

Have you by faith placed your hand upon Christ to pay the price of your sins?