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Types of Christ in the Old Testament

Old Testament Sacrifices as a Type of Christ's Death

Jesus the Crucified

The climax of the life of Jesus was His death by horrific crucifixion. Some say that in times before Christ it that they would tie or nail criminals to a stake or tree AFTER they had been put to death. Crucifixion of living persons seems to have come only with the Romans. It was unknown among the Jews. BUT, a thousand years before Jesus was born, His crucifixion was clearly foretold!

Psalm 22:16-17 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. [17] I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. (KJV) . . . I disagree with most commentators on verse 17, for instance: this may refer to the violent extension of his body when his whole weight hung upon the nails which attached his hands to the transverse beam of the cross. I think it goes far beyond that! I think that Jesus' Bones were actually visible after the agonizing scourging that He went through . . . for us! I think this is literal!

A scourge was a Roman implement used for severe physical punishment. This whip consisted of a handle with about nine (cat of nine tails) to twelve leather cords with jagged pieces of bone or metal fastened at each end to make the blow more painful. The victim was tied to a post and severe blows were applied to the bare back and loins and sometimes to the face and bowels. The flesh would be slashed deep in several places by each single blow. Scourging was a cruel and hideous type of punishment, and many times the victim often fainted and some even died under it. It was designed to get confessions and secrets from spies. WHAT could they hope to get from this innocent Sinless One? Scourging or flogging was permitted by the law up to 40 stripes (Deut.25:3). The Jews reduced it to 39 stripes (2 Cor.11:23-25). If the scourge used on Jesus was a 'cat of nine tails' and He was hit even 39 times, this would make 281 stripes cutting into His precious Flesh. It is certain that some of those lashes struck in the same place and cut deeper each time, thus causing His literal bones to be exposed. It is easy for me to see how this prophecy was fulfilled by Jesus. I can also easily see how He was marred more than any other man. Isaiah 52:14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: (KJV)

Jesus' death on the cross was shown many times and in many ways. Even the sharing of his clothes, which the New Testament describes as having been carried out by the soldiers, is clearly described: Psalm 22:18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. (KJV) Matthew 27:35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. (KJV)

Psalm 22:6-8 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. [7] All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, [8] He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. (KJV) Matthew 27:43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. (KJV)

Isaiah 53:7 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. (KJV) Matthew 27:12 And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. (KJV)

The Old Testament prophecies about Christ written up to a thousand years before the event they describe. Their complete fulfillment in Christ is evidence that He was Messiah and that prophecies were the Word of God.

The Sacrifices and Offerings of the Old Testament

The sacrifices and offerings of the Old Testament were only types and shadows of the Sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Old Testament priesthood offered both gifts and sacrifices for the people. New Testament believers (priesthood) can learn from the Old.

To present Christ as the final sacrifice we must bring reality to the types and shadows. God was not pleased with animal sacrifices because they did NOT accomplish what was needed to redeem man. The blood of bulls and goats could NOT take away sin; it only covered sin temporarily. The sacrifices pointed to Christ and His death. God prepared a body for Jesus to become the Final Offering. Hebrews 10:5-6 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: [6] In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. (KJV)

The Old Testament had five major offerings: burnt offering, meal offering, peace offering, sin offering, and the trespass offering. Each offering pointed to Christ and had great insight for the New Testament priesthood. Jesus is our High Priest. Hebrews 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. (KJV) He is also the Mediator of a better covenant that is established on better promises. Jesus, our Supreme Sacrifice, offered Himself up ONCE to put away sin forever. Hebrews 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; (KJV) Christ Jesus made the Old Covenant obsolete and has given us a "New Covenant," a better covenant!

The burnt offering (ascending offering), was the highest order of the Old Testament offerings. The entire offering was burnt upon the altar. The offering was to be made every morning and evening. The animal’s death points the death of Christ, the shedding of blood points to the atonement and the smoke ascending up typifies the resurrection. Moses gives us the Jews instructions in the Book of Leviticus on how to offer the burnt offering.

The offering is to be a male without any defect. It must be presented at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting so that it will be accepted to the Lord. The sinner was to lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it would be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him (Lev.1:2-9). The burnt offering depended on the person's monetary wealth: a bull, a sheep, a goat, or a bird.

#1 The first type of Christ in the burnt offering is a male without blemish. Jesus, our Sacrifice, offered Himself to God without spot or blemish.

1 Peter 2:22-23 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: (KJV)

The animal required for this sacrifice was the purest, cleanest, and best of creatures, nothing else would do. The most perfect of its kind. No imperfect animal could be a perfect sacrifice, or effect a perfect righteousness. Jesus was the only Perfect Sacrifice that could bring reality to this type.

#2 The sacrifice was to be presented at the door of the tabernacle. Jesus said He was the door. The only way into the Kingdom of God is through the death (door) of Jesus. The priest was required to put his hand on the head of the burnt offering and it was accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. This served two purposes, the transferring of sin and identifying with the death of the sacrifice. Jesus became sin to identify with all of man. 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. (KJV)

The death of Christ was my death. Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (KJV) . . . When a sinner laid his hands on the head of the sacrifice, it made the offerer and the offering one . . . and that oneness, in the case of the burnt offering, made his offerering acceptable to God. In the New Testament, the believer’s identification with, and acceptance of Christ makes us acceptable to God.

The burnt offering was to be killed then skinned and cut in pieces. The offering had to be perfect outside and inside. The act simply removed of the outward covering, so that what was within might be fully revealed. It was not sufficient that the offering should be outwardly without blemish, the hidden parts should all be disclosed. Jesus was perfect and without sin and the fire of God's wrath was poured out upon Him when He was on the cross. The stripes on His back were for OUR healing . . . SPIRITUAL healing NOT physical healing as many think.

We lay our hands on Him by identifying with Him in His death. He became sin who knew no sin (2 Cor.5:21). The aroma of His death rose up in victory, pleasing God. His precious Blood spilled, His flesh laid bare, and His whole nature torn, and given to the burning flames of God's judgment . . . that our souls might live.

The meal offering, also called the meat and grain offering, is different than the burnt offering in many ways. No animals or blood are involved and only part of the meal offering is burned. A portion of the meal offering is given to the priest to consume while the burnt offering was totally consumed on the altar. One offering is not to be separated from the other. The burnt offering was the work of Christ in His death and resurrection. The meal offering pictures the righteous Christ while on Earth. The sinless life of Christ makes the burnt offering effective.

When anyone offered a meal offering to the Lord, his offering was to be fine flour. And he poured oil on it, and put frankincense on it. He brought it to the priests, one of whom shall take from it his handful of fine flour and frankincense. And the priest shall burn it as a memorial on the altar, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord. The rest of the meal offering was the priests and it is most holy of the offerings to the Lord made by fire. For you shall burn no leaven nor any honey in any offering to the Lord made by fire. (Lev.2.1-3,11)

If you examine the ingredients of the meal offering, there is fine flour, oil, frankincense, and salt. These are ingredients for bread. Jesus said, "I am the bread of life." (John 6.48) If we are to be identified with Christ for the forgiveness of our sins through His Blood, we must also be identified with Him in a living example of His Spirit by walking even as He walked. 1 Corinthians 10:17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. (KJV)

Fine flour is a 'type' of the Word of God. Jesus, in His earthly walk, was both man and God. He was the express image of God; to see Him was to see God. John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (KJV)

The oil was a type of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It was the same oil used by the priest to consecrate or set apart (sanctify). It typifies the anointing of Jesus in His earthly life. Frankincense symbolizes the prayers and intercessions. Jesus is our great High Priest that lives to make intercession for us. Psalm 141:2 Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. (KJV)

Salt is used to preserve and to purify. It is also used to keep things healthy and well. Jesus came to purify us and to heal our broken spirits. Matthew 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. (KJV) . . . Jesus was/is the Word anointed by the Holy Spirit to offer up prayers and intercessions for the world and to preserve and keep them that are His.

Two things were forbidden to be used in the meal offering, leaven and honey. Leaven (yeast) typifies sin and corruption and tends to spoil and decay. There was to be nothing that corrupted or in any way represented the Man, Christ Jesus as sinful or proud. The leaven of the Pharisees was pride and hypocrisy. Our offering to God must be pure, and offered with a loving heart. ANY insincerity, hypocrisy, selfishness, malice, or wickedness cherished in the soul, will corrupt and destroy man’s piety or consecration to God. Honey is a natural sweetener and good to the taste. It typifies the flesh or sensual indulgences. The lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16) are the "honey" of the world and Jesus did NOT take any part of it.

The burnt offering was the work of Christ, the meal offering the walk (life) of Christ, and the peace offering the results of both. The peace offering was an optional sacrifice that was made in response to God’s acceptance of the sacrifices. It is the only offering in which the offerer would get a part of the sacrifice. Peace means a cessation of hostilities, harmonious agreement, tranquility and the absence of disturbance. In the Scriptures it brings prosperity, welfare, joy, happiness. When we understand the atonement that Christ has brought to us, we will be elated with joy and peace. Our relationship with God is not gloom and doom but of happiness and joy (Luke 2.14).

The peace offering consisted of a sacrificed animal, be male or female, and had to be without blemish before the Lord. Some of the offering was was burned to the Lord, some eaten by the priest, and some returned to the worshiper to eat. This sacrifice was always a social occasion, the worshipper invited friends to the meal, to eat and to drink before God. This sacrifice was like a communion sacrifice, for the participants knew God to be invisibly present as the guest of honor.

The peace offering could only come AFTER the burnt offering and the meal offering. The only way back to God was the death of Christ. Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (KJV) . . . Jesus is our Peace Offering! Just He can give us access by faith into fellowship with God. It is only through the shedding of blood that we have peace and can rejoice in the grace of God.

Sacrifices for sin were divided into two offerings: the sin offering and the trespass offering. The sin offering symbolizes the nature of sin. The trespass offering symbolizes the act of sin.

There are two clear distinctions between the sweet-savor offerings and the sin and trespass offerings. The burnt, meal, and peace offerings were a sweet savor because no sin was represented in them. God enjoyed them because of the love and devotion of the offerer they represented.

The sin and trespass offerings, though requiring unblemished animals to be offered, representing the sinless Christ, were nonetheless laden with unforgiven sin. Jesus was laden with sin once He took our sins upon Himself, and the law claimed His life. God never views sin as pleasurable; they were NEVER a sweet savor to Him.

A second distinction is that the sin and trespass offerings were burnt outside the camp. This act emphasized God's disgust and hatred to sin and at the same time signaled the separation sin produces. The sinner is separated from God, and can never have access to Him until he repented, and he was likewise separated from the community until cleansed of his trespass.

Leviticus 4 gives instructions concerning the sin offering and Leviticus 5 for the trespass offering. Aren't sins and trespasses the same thing? God sees the difference, that is why there are two different offerings for them.

We cannot look into another person's heart . . . but, God tells us that He looks at the heart in His judgments of men (I Sam.16:7). Human nature judges what a person does instead of what he is. We are willing to confess that we might do evil things but we hesitate to admit that the heart, the fountain of what we do, might be inherently evil! Jeremiah 17:9 plainly says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?"

How can the sin in the heart be covered unless there is an offering for what is in it? The difference between the offerings of Leviticus 4 and 5 is this: The sin offering of Leviticus 4 covers our evil nature, the heart's sin. The trespass offering of Leviticus 5 atones for the fruits of that evil nature, the acts that are actually performed.

The combined effect of all these sacrificial offerings of the law is to give hope to all men who fear God and submit to His will. They may sin and fall short, sorrow over their many flaws and faults: BUT . . . if they are "humble and contrite of heart" (Isa.57:15) and confess their sins in the Name of Jesus (1 John 1:8-9), in whom all these sacrifices look forward to, they shall be forgiven. Psalm 130:3-4 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? [4] But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. (KJV) . . . Trust God! He CANNOT lie!

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. (KJV) . . . Jesus is our sin offering, the ONLY Offering we need! Believe it! John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (KJV) . . . ONLY One Way to Heaven! JESUS!

Types of Christ in the Old Testament

Type of Israel, Jonah

Types . . . Eve Bride of Christ

Types of Christ's Death, Coats of Skin

Types of Christ's Death, Old Testament Sacrifices

Types of Christ's Death, Tabernacle

Types of Christ, Adam

Types of Christ, David

Types of Christ, Elijah

Types of Christ, Elisha

Types of Christ, Examples

Types of Christ, Isaac

Types of Christ, Job

Types of Christ, Joseph

Types of Christ, Melchezidek

Types of Christ, Moses

Types of Christ, the Pillar of Cloud and Fire

Types of Christ, Samson

Types of Christ, the Rock

Types of Christ, the Brazen Serpent

Types of Christ, the Exodus

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