Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part column.
God has made provisions for mankind’s salvation. When man sinned in the garden, God could have destroyed man at that point in time. However, God’s love for man caused him to make a way for man to be justified once again.
Paul wrote, “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:10, 11).
This is seen by the purpose given for Christ coming to earth, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). The death of the Lamb of God at Calvary was the only atonement for man’s sins that God would accept.
During the time of the patriarchs and the Law of Moses, animal sacrifices were made as sin offerings. The blood of the sacrifices could not take away the sins of man.
The Hebrew writer put it like this, “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
“For then would they not have ceased to be offered? Because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices, there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
“Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure” (Heb. 10:1-6).
It was never God’s intention that the animal sacrifice would save man. The Law of Moses was the school master to bring us to Christ. Paul wrote the Galatians Christians to tell them why the law was no longer to be followed: “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God?
“God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
“But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” (Gal. 3:19-25).
God’s plan for man’s salvation from the beginning included Christ as the only sacrifice that would remove sin. When one reads of the road Jesus trod to the hill at Golgotha, he reads of the fulfillment of God’s plan, and the manifestation of God’s love for man (Isaiah 53).
Love such as this world had never known, love so great that the very Son of God would be slain so that sinful man could have salvation. What a tragedy it is when man will not listen to God’s word, when they refuse to obey and when they count the death of the Lord as no great matter.
God saves man through Christ. One must contact the blood shed by Christ, that occurring in baptism (Rom. 6:3-5).