To the first part of the question our answer is an unequivocal No. The death of
Christ on Calvary's cross provides the only sacrifice by which man can be
saved. We believe, however, that the sanctuary and the Temple services of long
ago emphasized certain vital truths in connection with the atoning work of
Jesus our Lord.
In the sanctuary ritual during the days of Israel's wanderings in the
wilderness, and later in the time of the Temple, many sacrifice's were offered.
But what ever their number, and whatever their variety, every sacrifice without
exception pointed forward to the one great sacrifice—to the death of Jesus
Christ our Lord and Saviour; He was the antitype of all these sacrificial
This "one sacrifice" (Heb. 10:12), or "one offering" (verse
14), of Christ was "for ever" (verse 12), and wrought "eternal
redemption" (Heb. 9:12) for man. This sacrifice
was completely efficacious. It provided complete atonement for all mankind, and
will never be repeated, for it was all-sufficient and covered the needs of
These sacrificial offerings teach certain important lessons; they constitute a
wonderful revelation of God's redeeming grace, repeatedly emphasized to ancient
Israel. The book of Hebrews mentions that the many sacrifices offered in the
days of Israel were divided into "daily" offerings (Heb. 7:27; 10:11)
and yearly sacrifices (Heb. 9:7; 10:3). The sacrifices were offered every day
as well as on the yearly Day of Atonement. An analysis of these sacrifices will
reveal God's plan of salvation as made known to His people of old.
As in the New Testament it took four gospel writers to portray the life of
Christ on earth, so in the Old Testament it took various sacrifices, or phases
of the sacrificial work, to represent the all-inclusive work of Jesus as the
great antitypical sacrifice for the redemption of a lost race.
1. The Morning and Evening Sacrifices.—The morning and evening
sacrifices were offered every morning and every evening, every day of the year,
irrespective of the day—even on the Feast of the Passover, Pentecost, the Day
of Atonement, or any other special festival. These offerings were consequently
called the "continual" sacrifices (Ex. 29:38, 42) and prefigured in a
unique sense the sacrifice of Christ our Lord as always available and ever
efficacious (Heb. 7:3, 24; 10:12). It is to be particularly observed that this
offering was not provided by any individual.
It was offered for the people as a whole. It was not the sinner's offering to God;
it was, on the contrary, the Lord's offering for His people. It was offered
irrespective of whether the individual Israelite took advantage of its
provision or not.
As to the vital significance of the morning and evening sacrifices, let us
observe the remarks of three authors, one Jewish and two Christian.
The daily continual (Heb. tamid) offering was in later times called "the
Tamid." Offered throughout the year, it was "the centre and core of
public worship in Judaism" (Kennedy).—J. H. Hertz, The Pentateuch and
Haftorahs, on Num. 28:2-8, p. 694.
The daily offering prescribed at Exodus xxix:38-42, and which had presumably
never been intermitted since, is specified again here because it formed the
foundation of the whole sacrificial system. Whatever else was offered was in
addition to it, not in lieu of it.—R. Winterbottom, in The Pulpit
vol. 5, p. 380.
The whole system rested upon the daily sacrifice, which was never omitted, to
which all other sacrifices were superadded. Not even the triumph of the
passover or the affliction of the day of atonement affected the daily
sacrifice.—Ibid., p. 383.
The institution [of the morning and evening sacrifice] was so imperative, that
in no circumstances was this daily oblation to be dispensed with; and the due
observance of it would secure the oft-promised grace and blessing of their
heavenly King.—Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary, Critical and
Expository, on Ex. 29:38.
This taught Israel vital lessons of truth—of "their constant dependence
upon the atoning blood of Christ" that "faith laid hold upon the
merits of the promised Saviour prefigured by the atoning
sacrifice."—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 352, 353.
In a special sense the morning and evening sacrifices prefigured the sacrifice
of Christ for all men. These
provided in type, for Israel of old, just what the antitypical sacrifice of Christ
provided later for the actual forgiveness of sin and the salvation of all who
yielded themselves to God. They represented the sacrifice of Jesus Christ when
He tasted death "for every man" (Heb. 2:9) and became "the
propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the
whole world" (1 John 2:2). The morning and evening sacrificial offerings
brought home to the hearts and minds of the people God's provision for their
salvation—the way of deliverance from sin. It revealed the way to liberty
from the bondage of iniquity. Wherever the Israelites lived they could turn
toward Jerusalem at the time of the morning and evening sacrifices, confess
their sins, and know that their God would graciously forgive (1 Kings 8:29, 30,
2. The Sinner's Daily Sacrifices.—There were certain offerings
that the individual sinner and the congregation were instructed to
bring—burnt offerings, peace offerings, meal offerings, sin offerings, and
trespass offerings. These might be called the sinner's responsive offerings.
This did not, of course, mean that every individual in Israel brought his
offering every day to the sanctuary. In the time of the Temple, these offerings
could be presented only at Jerusalem (Deut. 12:5, 6, 13, 14, 26). And as most
of the people lived far away, it was impossible for them to make their
offerings at Jerusalem every day. They could, however, comply with the
directions of the Lord when they came to the Holy City three times a year. But
by means of the daily morning and evening sacrifices, they could know their
sins were forgiven each day. They could in
this way avail themselves of God's gracious provision, though they lived on the
frontiers of the Holy Land, or even in a foreign clime.
These personal sacrifices are referred to in the early chapters of Leviticus.
Some were to be offered for the entire congregation, others for the priests and
leaders of the people, still others for the individual, or, as stated in the text, for
the "common people" (Lev. 4:27).
It is to be borne in mind that these individually and congregationally provided
offerings differed markedly from the morning and evening sacrifices. With the
provision of the morning and evening sacrifices the individual sinner had
absolutely nothing to do. They were offered on his behalf, whether he sought
their benefits or not. But the individually provided offerings were different.
The sinner himself provided them; he brought his own offering to the
tabernacle. Recognizing it as his substitute, he placed his hands upon its
head, and confessed his sins over it. Then the sacrifice was slain.
To us today, this procedure may have the appearance of human works, for every
act thus far mentioned was performed by the person presenting the sacrifice.
But this provision also was in the plan of God. These works on the part of the
offerer were not as a means of salvation, but were an evidence of
individual offerings, therefore, were not primary; they were
other words, the morning and evening sacrifice was fundamental; it was first
and foremost. In a special sense this was the type of what was accomplished on
Calvary's cross in antitype for all mankind.
The individual who accepted the benefits provided by the morning and evening
sacrifice was given opportunity to express his faith and to reveal his
acceptance of the divine provision for his salvation. This he did at the command of God.
When visiting Jerusalem he brought his own offering for himself and for his
family. In the morning and evening sacrifice we see provided atonement; in the
individual sacrifice we see appropriated atonement.
These two groups of sacrificial offerings—the one representing God's
provision for man, the other representing man's acceptance of these
provisions—were offered every day of the year. These, in a specific way, were
the offerings for sin. These were the vital sacrifices that meant deliverance
for the longing soul. They were God's provision for the one seeking pardon,
victory, and peace with God.
This experience on the part of the individual is what we commonly call
conversion, or in New Testament language, being "born again," or
passing from death unto life. In this surrender of heart and life, not only
does the individual know pardon for sin, but he has peace with God and
experiences the joy of the Lord in his soul.
3. The Day of Atonement Ritual.—Several sacrifices were offered
on the Day of Atonement. This day was the climactic day of the ceremonial year,
bringing to a consummation all the sacrifices that had been offered daily
throughout the year. On that day there were sacrifices that the earthly high
priest offered for himself and his family (Lev. 16:3, 6, et cetera). These were
for his own personal preparation for the solemn
services of the Day of Atonement. Before he could take part in God's work, he
himself must be purified, sanctified for his high, holy, and responsible office
Another part of the service was the bringing of two goats, concerning which we
read: "Then he [the high priest] shall take the two goats, and set them
before the Lord at the door of the tent of meeting; and Aaron shall cast lots
upon the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other lot for Azazel"
(Lev. 16:7, 8, R.S.V.).
Now let us look at the entire round of sacrificial ritual on this great day.
The sacrifices for sin can be listed as follows:
a. The regular morning sacrifice (Ex. 29:38, 39; Num. 28:4).
b. The special sacrifices for the high priest and his house—a bullock for a
sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering (Lev. 16:3, 6).
c. The specified goat for the people (verse 15).
d. The regular evening sacrifice (Ex. 29:38, 39; Num. 28:4).
4. The Last Act in God's Great Work for Man—The work of this
special day was a type, or illustration, of the last aspect of the great work
of God for man. In ancient Israel, it was a day of judgment. This is seen in
the instruction given:
Whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be
cut off from among his people. And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in
that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people (Lev. 23:29,
Still further, the Jewish people through the centuries have so regarded the Day of Atonement. Note the following:
Even the angels, we are told in the Ritual, are seized with fear and trembling;
they hurry to and fro and say, "Behold the Day of Judgment has come."
The Day of Atonement is the Day of Judgment.—Paul Isaac Hershon, Treasures
of the Talmud (1882), p. 97.
God, seated on His throne to judge the world, at the same time judge, Pleader,
Expert, and Witness, openeth the Book of Records. . . . The great trumpet is
sounded; a still, small voice is heard, . . . saying, This is the day of
judgment. . . . On New Year's Day the decree is written; on the Day of
Atonement it is sealed who shall live and who are to die.—The Jewish
Encyclopedia, vol. 2, p. 286.
5. The Goat for the Sin Offering.—The goat for the sin offering
on the Day of Atonement was a unique sacrificial offering. There was nothing
like it in the whole round of sacrifices. It differed from all the other
offerings in that it had a dual significance. In the first place, it provided
atonement for the people—"to make an atonement for the children of
Israel for all their sins" (Lev. 16:34). In the second place, it was used
by the Lord in cleansing the very sanctuary that was the center of their
worship throughout the year (verses 16, 20).
Observe how complete the cleansing work of the atoning blood was represented to
be. The precious blood provided cleansing—(a) for the high priest and his
house; (b) for all the people; (c) for the sanctuary, its altar, et cetera.
6. The Great Climax.Now comes the climactic act of this great
day. After full and complete atonement*
*Several authorities recognize that before Azazel came into the
picture on the Day of Atonement, full and complete atonement had been made for
the people. We give quotations from but two writers—one Christian, one Jewish:
"The slain goat had symbolized and ceremonially wrought
full atonement or covering of sins."—Pulpit Commentary, on
Leviticus, p. 242.
"One [the Lord's goat] was a victim intended to atone
for sins."—M. M. Kalisch, The Old Testament, Leviticus,
vol. 2, p. 327.
"The atonement of the people . . . was effected solely by
the blood of the . . . goat killed as a sin-offering."—Ibid., pp.
has been provided for the people, and they are safe and secure from the wiles
of the great deceiver, God gives His people a preview of the way in which He is
going to banish iniquity from His great universe. Here, in type, the author of
sin is taken and is judged. He who introduced iniquity into the government of
God receives his just deserts. The responsibility for conceiving, for
introducing, and for inducing men and women to rebellion against God is rolled
back upon his head. As the goat is consigned to the wilderness of death, so,
near the end of all things, God will consign Satan to the "bottomless
pit" (Rev. 20:1), and later to the lake of fire, where he goes down in
utter and irrevocable destruction. (See also Question 35.)
These, we believe, are some of the lessons of the great Day of Atonement in the