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How Jesus Fulfilled the Law.

Throughout the Old Testament, there are prophecies signifying the coming of Israel’s long-awaited Messiah. We know that those prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus’ conception and birth. We also know that Jesus died as the final atonement sacrifice. However, have you ever thought about how Jesus brought the Mosaic Law to completion? I’ll admit that I am far from an expert on the Law, but as I studied the Book of Leviticus, I discovered ways Jesus fulfilled the Law that I never knew before. In a time when we celebrate Jesus fulfilling the Messianic Prophecies, I want to focus on how Jesus also fulfilled the Law for once and all.

Don’t think I came to abolish the Law or the Prophecies. I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.

Jesus (Matt. 5:17 CSB)

The Sacrificial Lamb

Every animal presented before the Lord for sacrifice was to be unblemished, without fault or sin. Jesus is the only One who has ever been born without sin. The thing about sin is that it’s not determined by a person’s actions or heart alone. We are born into the Curse of Sin, every human, male or female, from Cain to the baby born two seconds ago. We are all born into this curse. So how did Jesus escape it?

The simple answer is because He is God, obviously. However, we can break it down further.

Did you know that blood is determined by the father? Because of this, every person is born with the blood lineage of Adam, the firstborn of man. Except for One. Jesus, whose Father was God and not another human. Because His blood was determined by His Father, Jesus was born outside the curse of sin. He only took on sin when he became the final atoning sacrifice.

Presenting the Sacrifice

He shall lay his hand on the head of his offering [transferring symbolically his guilt to the sacrifice] and kill it at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting…

Lev. 3:2 AMP

According to the Law, the sacrifices were not killed by the Priests. They were killed by the person who brought the offering while the priests looked on.

The Sanhedrin didn’t kill Jesus. Yes they tried Him and insisted Pilate sentence Him to death, but they did not perform the sacrifice. They looked on as the Gentiles whipped then nailed Jesus to the cross and raised the cross up.

The significance of at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting is that the person presenting the sacrifice could not come before God into His presence until his sin had been transferred onto and paid by the offering. Once the Offering was sacrificed, the sin was no more and the presenter could enter into God’s dwelling place.

Jesus passionately cried out, took His last breath, and gave up His spirit. At that moment the veil in the Holy of Holies was torn in two from the top to the bottom.

Matt. 27:50-51

At Jesus’ death, the most intimate of places, where the Ark of the Covenant sat, the place where God’s Spirit dwelled, was made wide open for all to enter in.

If you don’t know, the veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Temple was thick. Not only thick, it was huge. It was literally meant to be a barrier between God and every other person. And it was ripped from top to bottom. God ripped that veil, signifying there was no division, nothing that would prevent the people from entering His presence any longer.

The Atoning Sacrifice had been fulfilled once and for all, and His people could now enter into His presence.

The Two Goats

He [Aaron] is to take from the Israelite community two male goats for a sin offering…Next he will take the two goats and place them before the LORD at the entrance to the tent of meeting. After Aaron casts lots for the two goats, one lot for the LORD and the other for an uninhabitable place, he is to present the goat chosen by lot for the LORD and sacrifice it as a sin offering. But the goat chosen by lot for an uninhabitable place is to be presented alive before the LORD to make atonement with it by sending it into the wilderness for an uninhabitable place…He is to put them on the goat’s head and send it away into the wilderness…

Lev. 16:5, 7-10, 21 CSB

On the day of Atonement, two goats were to be presented and lots cast. One of those goats would be the atoning sacrifice. The other was let go.

As I read this, I think of Pilate bringing out Barabbas and asking the people to choose one to let go. The people, so incited by the Sanhedrin and false witnesses, called out for Barabbas to be let go. The lot fell and Jesus was chosen as the sacrifice while Barabbas was released. (Matt. 27:15-26)

What happened to Barabbas? We don’t know. We can assume that no matter how he lived out the rest of his days, he was an outcast, separated from the people of Israel. He would’ve lived in the wilderness, metaphorically and possibly literally.

But there’s something else here. Pilate in releasing Barabbas also washed his hands of guilt. How did the people react? The entire mob answered him by crying out, “His blood be on us and on our children.” They willfully took on the responsibility, the guilt of shedding Jesus’ blood. Essentially, their sin was their own transgression and they would pay it. (Matt. 27:24-26)

Thankfully, we have a gracious God who does not deny anyone who earnestly repents and accepts Jesus’ sacrifice. As we know from Peter’s speech, many who were in the very mob that cried out for Jesus’ death repented and were saved. (Acts 2:14-41)

The Grain Offering

If your offering is grain baked on a griddle, it shall be of fine unleavened flour, mixed with oil. You are to break it into pieces, and you shall pour oil on it; it is a grain offering.

Lev. 2:5-6 AMP

Throughout the Bible, leavening was a symbol of sin and oil was a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The grain offering was to be presented without leavening, symbolizing sinlessness, and with oil, symbolizing God’s Spirit was on it. Jesus, who likened His body to bread at Passover, was the fulfillment of this grain offering. (Luke 22:19)

However, the grain offering was not not presented on the altar whole but already broken.

Before He was placed on the cross, Jesus was whipped and tortured. His body was already beaten and bruised, the skin broken, before being placed on the altar. (Matt. 27:26-30)

Blood on the Altar

And the priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle some of it seven times before the Lord in front of the veil of the sanctuary. The priest shall also put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of fragrant incense which is before the Lord in the Tent of Meeting. All the rest of the blood of the bull he shall pour out at the base of the altar of the burnt offering which is at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting.

Lev. 4:6-7 AMP

I came across an interesting point while scouring the internet, and I am sorry I can’t remember where I found it, but it was a comment along the lines that between His time in the Garden and being put on the cross, Jesus bled seven times. Seven times was the number of times a priest was to sprinkle blood before the altar.

Then on the cross, the altar for His sacrifice, Jesus bled out as He hung there. Gravity would’ve done the rest of the work and pulled the blood down, essentially pouring the blood fo the sacrifice down and around the base of the altar.

The rest of His blood that had not already been sprinkled around was poured out at the base of His altar.

Taken to a Consecrated Place

All the rest of the bull, he is to bring outside the camp to a clean place where the ashes are poured out…

Lev. 4:12 Amp

The sin offering was to be taken outside of the Temple to a special, consecrated place prepared, and there the body was to be offered to the Lord.

The blood consecrated the people, making them holy, but unlike other offerings, the body of the sacrifice for the Sin offering was given to the Lord in total––no other part of it could be used or given as a portion to the people or priests.

After His blood was shed, His life given in sacrifice, Jesus was taken to a tomb that had been consecrated but unused. When He emerged from that tomb, it was not with the earthly, fleshly body He went in with. The old body was completely gone, presented to the Father alone. Jesus had a new body.

In being laid in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb, Jesus fulfilled another requirement of the Mosaic Law.

The Burnt Offering

The meat that comes in contact with anything that is unclean shall not be eaten; it shall be burned in the fire…

Lev. 7:19 AMP

The Law speaks of the burnt offering, and of unclean being burnt, but Jesus wasn’t burned for our iniquities so how does He fulfill the requirements for the Burnt Offering?

By spiritually entering God’s holy fire. We talk of Him entering Hell and stripping the enemy of the keys. Well what is there? The fire of God.

It is there, in the depths of Sheol where God’s fire burns that the burnt offering portion took place before Jesus stripped the enemy of their power and keys.

Cleansed by Water

One of Jesus’ most famous acts before beginning His ministry was getting baptized by John, His cousin. It is an act we follow today, a symbol of the transformation our inner being goes through when we accept Jesus’ sacrifice. But did you know that it is also a fulfillment of some parts of the Mosaic Law?

One example is found in the requirements for the Burnt Offering.

But he shall wash its entrails and its legs with water. The priest shall offer all of it up in smoke on the altar as a burnt offering. It is an offering by fire, a sweet and soothing aroma to the Lord.

Lev. 1:9 AMP

Jesus might not’ve been disembowled, especially that early on in His ministry, but His baptizing was as much symbolic as it was fulfillment. In the sacrifice, washing it would make sure it was cleansed of blood and other impurities before being presented on the altar to God.

The only other time Jesus being washed is mentioned is when Mary washes his feet with her tears and pours perfume on him. (Luke 7:37-48) This was right before He was crucified and He acknowledged her actions as ones for His burial.

On the Third Day…

But what remains of the sacrificial meat by the third day must be burned. If any of the meat of his fellowship sacrifice is eaten on the third day, it will not be accepted. It will not be credited to the one who presents it; it is repulsive. The person who eats any of it will bear his iniquity.

Lev. 7:17-18 CSB

Have you ever wondered why Jesus rose on the third day? Why not the second or the seventh? Seven is considered a holy number after all. It wasn’t like He would’ve risen with a decaying body. He had a new one.

The reason behind this is found in sacrifices like the Fellowship Offering. Sacrifices were allowed to be partaken of on the first and second days, but not beyond that. If any was eaten on the third day, that sacrifice was voided.

Had Jesus stayed in the tomb for any other amount of time, the Law would not have been fulfilled and His sacrifice would’ve been voided. He couldn’t rise on the second day because days were from evening to evening. Had He risen the morning of the second day, it would not have fulfilled the requirements where sacrifices were to be partaken of on the second day.

There’s more…

I know that there is so much more that I don’t even know about. Jesus’ life and death was for one purpose: to bring the Law to perfect completion. He obviously succeeded, otherwise we would not have the relationship with the Father that we do. One filled with grace, love, mercy, forgiveness, and second chances.

Have you studied the Mosaic Law in relation to Jesus?

What have you learned?

Please share it with us below in the comments!

Happy Friday!!

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