Have you ever thought about what a sin sacrifice might have looked like?
Recently, I read a book by Jill Eileen Smith called “The Crimson Cord” which is about Rahab. I know the book is a historical fictional account based on scriptures, however as I was reading about Rahab’s view point on the sacrifice that Yahusha son on Nun lead, I found that it was eye opening.
“The journey to Mount Ebal took two days, and the building of the altar was a process such as Rahab had never seen. No iron tool like those used in quarries touched the uncut stones that the men of Israel crated up the hill. Rahab stood with the women, her gaze often straying to Salmon as he hefted heavy stones with apparent ease and put them exactly where Joshua indicated.
At last, the altar completed, the priests came forward with bleating lambs and lowing oxen, Rahab stood beside Eliana, transfixed one moment, stricken the next. Every time a lamb’s throat was slit and its blood caught in a bronze basin, she felt the weight of her past, memories she thought long hidden flooding her mind. The blood became each man who knocked on her door, the lambs the babe she had last.
Her vision blurred as she watched the innocent die for the guilty. Despite Salmon’s attempt at explanation, she still did not grasp how this could free or make her clean. Even if she spent the rest of her life punished for her sins, she would not feel clean. Why should a lamb suffer on her account?
(I am not going to quote the whole 2-3 pages, but at one point during the sin sacrifice, Yahusha son of Nun instructions Salmon to offer Rahab an opportunity to have a lamb sacrificed for her and Salmon. Now see what happens.)
Her fingers rested against the lamb’s woolly neck, and she sensed its terror, felt the beating of its heart. She barely heard the last words of the priest, but then, too soon, another priest slit the lamb’s throat. She felt its heart stop in an instant. A sob escaped her. “Oh Elohim, O Elohim!” She fell to her knees, rocking back and forth, as the priest caught the lamb’s blood and lifted its limb body to place on YAHUAH’s altar.
The tears flowed freely now as her fingers explored the soft fur of the glistening white lamb. Take me instead. Don’t make this sweet animal die in my place.
…why did You spare me? The lamb did nothing wrong. It was I, Elohim of Israel. I alone who sinned against You. ”
*italics indicate where I have corrected the Name of YAHUAH, Yahusha son of Nun and the title of Elohim. Quoted from pages 275-277
This was not some everyday practice for Rahab. She was a foreigner who choose to help Yisra’el and eventually join herself to them. In order to become Salmon’s wife she would have had to experience sacrifices and complete other requirements according to the law. So for her, realizing the weight of her sin would have been real. I will come back and focus on her later, there is another aspect to focus on.
When I think about the sacrifice that YAHUSHA Messiah willfully choose to do on my behalf, I am in awe. His sinless life, for my sin-filled life is completely uncomprehendable. He didn’t wait for me to choose to believe in Him. He didn’t wait for me to follow commands or to get my life right. He paid the penalty for my sins and reconciled me to YAHUAH. There are no strings attached to YAHUAH’s Grace and there is nothing I can do to earn His Forgiveness.
For a few weeks now, I have been reading through Hebrews, and have had my eyes further opened. This week when I read chapter 10, I thought about the people living prior to YAHUSHA Messiah’s death. Back then, there was a remembrance of sin year by year but due to YAHUSHA’s death there is no longer a remembrance of sin!!! No yearly going back and again and again, sacrificing over and over, for the same sin! The past is in the past and the slate has been cleaned:
“For the Torah 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 have not ceased to be offered? Because 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 impossible that the blood of bulls and of goats take away sins.” Hebrews 10:1-5
The Torah pointed the way to YAHUSHA Messiah but it did not clean nor does it perfect us. An animal can’t truly comprehend sin but YAHUSHA did. He was tempted as we are, yet without sin.
“Wherefore when He came into the world, He said, “Sacrifice and offering You would not, but a body You have prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.”
Then said I, “Lo, I came (in the volume of the cepheriym it is written of me,) to do Your will, O YAH.”
Above when He said, “Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin You would not, neither had pleasure therein; which are offered by the Torah;
Then said He, “Lo, I come to do Your will, O YAH.” He takes away the first, to establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of YAHUSHA HAMASHIACH once for all.” Hebrews 10:5-10
One time. Not daily. Not yearly. ONCE. We are cleansed, purified-no longer are we in need of rituals-but by His Body we are clean!
“And every priest stands daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of YAHUAH.” Hebrews 10:11-12
YAHUSHA’s work is done, finished, over, and completed! FOREVER-YAHUSHA’sdeath doesn’t need to happen again. My sins have been taken away completely!
“From henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever them that are sanctified.” Hebrews 10:13-14
There is no limit or expiration date of His offering. It is eternal. His offering is FOREVER!!!
“Whereof the Ruach Haqoesh also is a witness to us: for after that He had said before, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days,” says YAHUAH, “I will put my Torah into their hearts, and in their minds will I write it; And their sins and Torahless deeds I will remember no more.” Hebrews 10:15-17
No more remembrance, my sins are gone, finite, destroyed, erased, removed, purged…no matter the word used, YAHUAH (when I confess and repent) remembers my sins NO MORE! Also, back then, the law was written on tablets of stone by the leader and/or priest. Now YAHUAH, Himself, writes it on our hearts and in our minds-this is personal. No more separation.
“Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer a slaughter offering for sin. So, brothers, having boldness to enter into the Set-apart Place by the blood of YAHUSHA, by a new and living way which He instituted for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of YAHUAH, let us draw near with a true heart in completeness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from a wicked conscience and our bodies washed with clean water.” Hebrews 10:18-22
The debt/penalty of sin has been fulfilled. There is no need for us to be afar from the Father YAHUAH, we can come close to Him, through YAHUSHA!
So when the enemy comes and attempts to bring my sins up, I can freely say that I have been forgiven and I have YAHUSHA’s Resurrection Power! While our oldest daughter was playing Resurrection Power on her acoustic guitar one night, I meditated on the words:
You called me from the grave by name
You called me out of all my shame
I see the old has passed away
The new has come!
Now I have Resurrection Power
Living on the inside
YAHUSHA, You have given us freedom
No longer bound by sin and darkness
Living in the light of Your goodness
You have given us freedom
*Songwriters: Ed Cash / Tony Brown / Ryan Ellis
So I am thankful to have a glimpse of the sacrifice that Rahab experienced but I am rejoicing over the Reconciliation and Forgiveness I have through the shed blood of YAHUSHA HaMashiach!!!
I am clean!