Chapter 3 – Christ Repairs the Breach
The first two chapters of this book could be summed up in the statement, “All mankind is born under the dominion of sin, and this sin has caused a separation between man and God.”
It is my hope that you might understand and acknowledge these first two foundational truths that we might proceed further to build upon them. The next foundation stone that needs to be laid is the understanding that sin always must be atoned for. The word atone actually came into existence by combining the words ‘at’ and ‘one.’ The underlying sense of the word is to bring forth a unity between two or more parties.
Adam and Eve’s sin caused a separation to occur between God and man. It was not Yahweh’s desire that this separation should remain. Sin, however, could not simply be forgotten. Sin always bears a cost, even as breaking the law of man incurs a penalty. To comprehend the penalty of sin, we need to understand a couple things.
As was mentioned in the last chapter, sin is actually a turning away from life to embrace death. What man needs is a return to life. God has determined that mankind can only be restored to life through the sacrifice of another life. In effect, someone, or something, must surrender their life in order for the penalty of sin to be blotted out and for life to be restored to mankind.
In the Old Testament we see that it was the life of an animal that served as this atoning sacrifice to bring man back into harmony with God. Sin had to be covered by the blood of an animal. This animal effectually surrendered its life that man might not die, but might be restored to the life of God. This substitutionary sacrifice to deliver mankind from the penalty of death was most clearly seen in the Passover lamb.
For 430 years the descendants of Abraham dwelt as slaves in the land of Egypt. They were treated harshly and ruled over by stern taskmasters who put them to forced labor. Their condition was very bitter, and their history serves as one more parable that Yahweh has provided in order to lead us to understand spiritual truth.
The descendants of Abraham, were known as God’s chosen people. They stand as a type and shadow for the children of God today. We too have been subject to slavery from the moment of our birth. We are held under bondage to sin. This servitude is extremely vexing, and no matter how much we long to break free from sin’s dominion, we find that sin, like Pharaoh, is too strong for us. Sin/Pharaoh will not willingly allow any to leave their service. Even as Moses repeatedly told Pharaoh “Let my people go,” and Pharaoh refused to do so, so too does sin decline our repeated entreaties.
The children of Israel in bondage in Egypt is a parable of mankind in bondage to the sin that rules in their flesh. Israel was unable to leave Egypt until God performed one final act against the land of Egypt. God had already sent nine plagues upon the land, bringing judgments against that which enslaved His people. But one final judgment was yet to come, and only then could Israel go free.
Yahweh spoke to Moses and told him to inform the people to prepare to leave in haste. What was about to take place would foreshadow a day when Yahweh would suddenly free mankind from slavery to sin. He instructed all Israel to take a lamb into their households on the tenth day of the first month. It had to be a male lamb, one year old, and it had to be without spot or blemish. After the lamb lived with them in their home for several days, they were to slay the lamb on the fourteenth day of the month, and they were to place the blood of the lamb on the doorposts and lintel at the entryway of their home.
Yahweh said that on that night He would send forth the death angel, and the firstborn male of every family in Egypt, and the firstborn male of all cattle, would die. Only if the death angel saw the blood of the lamb on the doorposts and lintel of the home, he would pass over that home and none would die.
Although the Israelites did not understand it at the time, what they were signifying by the blood of the lamb applied to their doorways, is that this lamb was serving as a substitutionary sacrifice for them. This lamb was giving up its life that they might live. Prophetically this looked forward to the day when Yahweh would send His Son as a Passover lamb to shed His blood and surrender His life that mankind might live.
Sin must always be atoned for by blood. As the apostle Paul declared in the book of Hebrews:
And with blood almost all things are purified according to the law, and apart from blood-shedding forgiveness doth not come.
[Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible]
Apart from blood-shedding forgiveness does not come! What is significant about the shedding of blood? The Scriptures declare the following:
“You shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.”
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.”
The life of a creature is in the blood. As we study the Hebrew word used in these verses that is translated into English as life, we find that it is the word nephesh. This word is also translated as the English word soul. What God is revealing to mankind is that the blood of an animal contains its soul, and the soul of the animal is given to make atonement for the soul of man. “For it is the blood by reason of the (nephesh – soul) that makes atonement.”
It is important that all mankind understand that sin is never simply forgiven and forgotten. It must always be atoned for. “Apart from blood-shedding forgiveness does not come.” This makes the consequences of our sin very serious.
Consider for a moment how attached an Israelite family would become to the year old lamb that they brought into their home at Passover. For several days they would feed this lamb by hand. The children would play with it. It might even sleep in their beds. But on the night of the Passover they had to take this little lamb and kill it. They had to take the blood of the lamb and put it upon their door so that they would be spared by the death angel.
I recently read a true story about some men who invited a minister to join them for lunch. They decided to serve lamb from a farm as the meat for lunch. One of the men came to the minister around two in the afternoon, and apologized that the lunch was not ready yet. He said that he and two other men had gone out earlier that morning to kill and butcher the lamb for their lunch. However, when they saw the lamb standing there, so trusting and innocent, they all began to bawl at the thought of killing it. It took them three hours before they were able to bring themselves to slay the lamb. I am sure that they were thinking of the Son of God who went as a lamb to the slaughter and freely laid down His life for man, and this was part of the reason for their great emotion.
The penalty of sin is always death. The life of some creature must atone for sin. The soul of one creature must be surrendered in place of the soul of another. By the death of one, another receives life.
Throughout the Old Testament Yahweh declared that the blood of animals could be used to atone for the sin of mankind. Bulls, goats, sheep, and even birds were killed, and their blood offered up to God in order to make atonement. These sacrifices were never permanent, and had to be offered again and again, until a perfect sacrifice should come that could make a perfect atonement for man. Only another man could make such an atonement, and this man had to be without sin, even as the Passover lamb had to be without spot or blemish. We understand that this perfect man was Yahshua, Yah’s Salvation.
For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.
For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
What is declared here is that the Law delivered to the children of Israel by the hand of Moses contained only a type and shadow of the perfect atonement that God would one day provide for the sin of man. The blood of bulls and goats would serve as a substitute for the life of man until the blood of the Son of God was freely given up as a perfect and eternal sacrifice on our behalf. When the Son of God gave His life as a ransom for the life of sinful mankind, He put away for all time the penalty of death that was the consequence of sin. Never again would another animal need to shed its blood to atone for sin.
I Corinthians 5:7
For Christ our Passover… has been sacrificed.
It is necessary for all men and women who wish to overcome their addictive behavior to understand these things. BEFORE victory over sin can be attained, the penalty of sin must be atoned for. You must be brought back to union with God in order to walk victoriously over sin, and union with God is only obtained as the penalty of death is paid. Yahshua has willingly given His life as a ransom for yours. He received death that you might receive the life of God.
“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
It is imperative that you understand that sin can only be overcome through the life of God. When man sinned in the Garden of Eden he became separated from the life of God. Christ came to restore the breach. He came that we might have life once more.
Yahshua said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
There is only one way to attain spiritual life and be able to rule over the passions and desires of the flesh. Yahshua is the way. He has shed His blood as a ransom for mankind, but we must apply the blood to the doorposts of our heart. We must by faith claim the blood of Yahshua as the atoning sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sin.
“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”– that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Yahshua as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
You must have the penalty of sin atoned for. The sin that is present in your flesh, the power of sin that holds you captive and will not let you go, must be broken and its dominion over you destroyed. This breaking of sin’s dominion is accomplished by the blood of the Passover Lamb being placed upon your life.
When Christ was crucified at the order of the Jewish High Priest, the Jewish leaders did not understand that they were acting out the foreordained plan of God. What they did in ignorance, and with evil intent, God in His love and mercy had determined should be done to break the power of sin over mankind, and call a people back into fellowship with Himself. When Pilate, the Roman government official over the territory of Jerusalem, said he found no fault in Christ, he was acting as the Old Testament inspectors who were to examine the Passover lambs and insure they were without defect, spot, or blemish. Pilate examined Christ, and said, “I find no fault in this man.” When Pilate hesitated to put an innocent man to death, the jealous Jewish religious leaders induced the people to demand that Christ be slain. We read.
And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!”
Indeed, the blood of Christ was shed for all mankind. We must individually make public confession that we receive Christ’s life as a ransom for our own. If you have not done this, I urge you to do so now. Then as a public testimony of your faith in that which Christ did on your behalf, the Scriptures instruct you to be baptized.
Baptism serves as a parable of what God has done for you through His Son. A person is baptized by being submerged in water and then raised back up. Waters are symbolic of death. What is pictured in baptism is the believer being joined with Christ in His death. In effect one is testifying, “When Christ died, I died, for Christ died in my place.” When one comes back out of the water it is symbolic of being joined with Christ in resurrection. Christ did not remain in the grave. On the third day after His crucifixion He rose again. Baptism is a symbol of the believer rising with Christ to a new life where sin no longer reigns over them.
Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Yahshua have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin…
Overcoming addiction is wrapped up in this issue of no longer being slaves to sin. There is only one way to be freed from sin, and therefore freed from addiction. This is by faith in the atoning work of Christ. Do you believe that He died to pay the penalty of your sin? Do you believe that He died that you might live? Then confess it, and be baptized in obedience to the command of Christ. Begin to testify by your words and your actions, by confession and baptism, that God has made a way for you to come out from the captivity of sin into the freedom of life in Christ.
The following Scriptures testify of the awesome work of Christ as the deliverer of man from the captivity of sin and the penalty of death.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
What awesome things are proclaimed in these verses. Through Christ we have been delivered from the power of darkness. We can now walk as children of light. We have been redeemed, ransomed, atoned for, by the blood of Christ. We have received the forgiveness of sins. Hallelujah! Our sins caused a separation between us and God, but Christ has repaired the breach!
But now in Christ Yahshua you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.