“If anyone of the common people sins unintentionally by doing something against any of the commandments of the Lord in anything which ought not to be done, and is guilty, or if his sin which he has committed comes to his knowledge, then he shall bring as his offering a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he has committed. And he shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering, and kill the sin offering at the place of the burnt offering. Then the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger, put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and pour all the remaining blood at the base of the altar. He shall remove all its fat, as fat is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offering; and the priest shall burn it on the altar for a sweet aroma to the Lord. So the priest shall make atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him.”
The Spiritual Offering of Faith That We Must Give To God
Today I would like to examine the sacrificial offering that the people of Israel gave to God in order to receive the remission of sins during the age of the Old Testament. In the days of the Old Testament, the people of Israel offered a sacrifice to God to blot out their sins, and in this way the remission of their sins was obtained. By examining the requirements, forms, and contents of the sacrifices offered by the people of the Old Testament, we can think about the proper way to believe in Jesus. In those days, whenever the people of Israel broke the Law of God, they receive the remission of their sins by bringing a sacrificial animal and offering it to God. This world and the whole universe were all made by God. Although God is not visible by our naked eyes, there is no question that He is alive and with us. God has also given human beings His Law. It is through this Law of God that we have come to realize not only the sins of our acts but also the sins of our hearts.
In today’s Scripture reading, we can see how the people of Israel were able to receive the remission of sins when they failed to keep the Law of God. When the people of Israel sinned against the God of love, that is, when their hearts, acts, or thoughts went astray—how did they obtain the remission of such sins and wash them away? They received forgiveness by offering a sacrifice according to the requirements set by God. God gave them the Law so that whenever they sinned against Him, they could obtain the remission of their sins by offering a sacrifice to God. To this end, God made the people of Israel build a house called the “Tabernacle,” and He made them offer their sacrifices inside this Tabernacle. In other words, God had given them the sacrificial system whereby the people of Israel were to bring an unblemished animal such as a lamb or a goat, and sacrifice it to God as their offering. Let’s then take a closer look at today’s Scripture reading and find out exactly how the people of Israel offered their sacrifices to God in order to receive the remission of sins.
It’s written in Leviticus 4:27-29: “If anyone of the common people sins unintentionally by doing something against any of the commandments of the Lord in anything which ought not to be done, and is guilty, or if his sin which he has committed comes to his knowledge, then he shall bring as his offering a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he has committed. And he shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering, and kill the sin offering at the place of the burnt offering.”
This is the very first thing that an Israelite had to do when he sinned against God. He had to bring an unblemished female goat and pass his sins to it by laying his hands on its head. The reason why an unblemished female goat had to be brought is simply because this is what God had commanded for them. That the sinner brought a female goat means that this goat was sacrificed in the sinner’s place. Because God loved the people of Israel so much, in order to save them from their sins, God accepted the female goat in their place and so forgave them. It’s not because God somehow liked meat that He commanded the Israelites to bring the female goat. To repeat, God commanded them to bring an unblemished female goat in order to save them from their sins by them passing their sins to the goat and letting this goat die in their place, in this order.
Why was it necessary for the Israelites to lay their hands on the head of the female goat? They laid both their hands on the head of the goat because this was the way in which they could pass their sins to that animal as set by God. When their hands were laid on the goat by faith, all their sins were transferred to the goat. The laying on of hands means “to be passed on,” “to be transferred,” and “to be buried.” It has the same meaning as the baptism of Jesus. In short, the people of Israel laid their hands on the head of their sacrificial animals in order to pass their sins to them. Laying their hands on the sacrificial animal meant passing and planting all their sins on to that animal. It was the ritual by which the sins of the people of Israel were passed to these sacrificial animals, and as a result of this these animal were put to death instead of the people of Israel dying for their sins. So, in effect, instead of the people of Israel dying for their sins, this unblemished female goat accepted their sins and was killed before God, even though it was sinless. That’s why it was called a sacrificial animal. The goat had accepted the sins of the Israelites and died in their place for their sins. This was the God-established way for saving the people of Israel from their sins, and furthermore, for the entire human race as well. Because God loved all of us human beings, He instituted this sacrificial system in order to save us from our sins.
To blot out the sins of the people of Israel, God set the requirement that they should lay their hands on their sacrificial animals without fail and thereby pass their sins to them. Accordingly, to blot out their sins, the people of Israel by faith had to lay their sins on the sacrificial animal by laying their hands on its head without fail. That’s because unless they laid their hands on the sacrificial animal and passed their sins to it, it was impossible for them to receive forgiveness or become sinless. Only if the people of the Old Testament did this could they be born again as sinless people. This was God’s law it could not be changed.
Now then, when an Israelite realized that he had sinned against God, and passed his sins to the sacrificial animal by laying his hands on its head, what happened to this animal? Once the goat accepted these sins, it lost its life. The goat had to die because it had accepted someone else’s sins. This was all in accordance to the way of salvation that God had set for the people of Israel. Even in the secular world, once a law is in place, everything must follow this law as long as the law remains intact. The legislators create laws, and the people must follow these laws. In the same vein, God Himself, the Creator who made everything, set the law of salvation for the people of Israel, and when they passed their sins to their sacrificial animals by laying their hands on its head and killed it in their place according to this law, God saved them from their sins. Like this, to be remitted from their sins, the people of Israel first passed their sins to the live goat, and then cut its throat and drew its blood. The goat was put to death precisely because it had accepted the Israelites’ sins.
The Inescapable Consequences of Sin
Every sin has consequences, and no sinner can ever escape from them. Let me illustrate this with a story. Long ago, there was once a king in a certain kingdom. Adultery was so rampant among the people of this kingdom that the king, in an effort to stamp out adultery, set a very strict law in place. The king decreed that anyone caught for adultery would be punished by having one of his eyes plucked out. He then proclaimed this new statute to all the people throughout the kingdom
However, it so happened that the very first person facing punishment under this new law was none other than the king’s own son. The prince was the first to be caught for adultery since the decree was proclaimed. The king was facing a very difficult situation. Since he was the one who established the decree against adultery, he had to enforce it, but this meant punishing his own son. To uphold this law, the king would have to pluck out one of his son’s eyes, but he couldn’t bring himself to do this as he loved his son very much. No matter how strict the law of his own making was, it could not overcome the king’s love for his son. So the king was tormented by the fact that he would have to remove his own son’ eye. At the same time, because the king’s decree was still in place, he had to enforce the law. The king had to punish his son according to the law.
Yet, the king could not bring himself to remove his own son’s eye. In the end, the king ordered the executioner to remove one of his own eyes instead of his son’s eye. He did this because his son’s crime had to be punished according to the law no matter what. So, the king gave up one of his eyes for his son, and the executioner thus plucked out the king’s eye instead of the prince’s before the people. In this way, by removing his own eye in lieu of his son’s eye, the king could protect the prince and at the same time uphold his law. As a result of this, adultery fell precipitously across the kingdom.
As illustrated by this story, someone must pay the price of any and every sin committed against God without fail. God established His law for mankind, and therefore the wages of their sins must be paid in His sight. That’s because God decreed that anyone with any sin would be put to death without fail, just as He said, “The wages of sin is death.” However, because God loved even sinners, He did not have the heart to put them to death. That is why God enabled the people of Israel to be saved by passing their sins to a live goat and then kill it in their place. God had saved them from their sins through such a sacrifice.
It was all carried out in this way that the people of Israel in the Old Testament received the remission of sins. Whenever they sinned, they brought an unblemished animal such as a goat, a lamb, or a bull to the House of God, that is, to the Tabernacle. They then passed their sins to this animal by laying their hands on its head, drew its blood by cutting its throat, and then gave this blood to the priests ministering in the Tabernacle. This was the way by which the remission of sins was received.
The people of Israel sinned day in and day out. They had to therefore offer a sacrifice every day. When they sinned in the morning, they brought an animal and sacrificed it to God. When they committed another sin at noon, they brought another animal to be sacrificed. When they sinned again in the evening, they brought yet another animal, passed their sins by laying their hands on its head, and once again received the remission of sins from God. But, they found themselves sinning again even before going to bed. In principle, the people of Israel would have to offer not just one but several goats or lambs every day just to be washed from their daily sins.
Although the people of Israel knew the law of God, they couldn’t help but sin constantly, and therefore it was impossible for them to remain sinless. So, God established another law for them. Since it was not viable for the people of Israel to receive the remission of sins individually by bringing a sacrificial animal and passing their sins every time they sinned, so God provided them with an alternative. This new law was for the people of Israel to raise someone amongst them as their representative and offer a sacrifice to God through this representative once a year, rather than offering a sacrifice day in and day out. According to this law, these representatives of the people of Israel could pass all the people’s yearly sins to a sacrificial goat once a year, and as a result of this one offering, Israel’s sins could be remitted from all the sins they committed for that year.
The Everlasting Sin Offering
Let’s turn to Leviticus 16:6-10 here, “Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house. He shall take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the Lord’s lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness.” Amen!
Aaron was chosen and raised up by God as the high priest to represent the people of Israel. The high priest’s ministry was all about offering sacrifices to God on behalf of the people of Israel. So, Aaron the high priest first passed his own sins, his wife’s sins, and his children’s sins to a bull by laying his hands on its head, killed this bull, drew its blood, and offered the bull to God. In this way, Aaron firstly made atonement for himself and his household. Only after after this was completed did he have two live goats brought to him. These had to unblemished goats. Having brought these two goats, Aaron then cast lots for them.
Why were two goats brought to Aaron? Aaron had to lay his hands on both of these goats to pass all the yearly sins of the people of Israel to them, one of the goats was to be offered to God in His Sanctuary, while the other goat was for the people of Israel to see this in actually and believe that their sins were indeed passed on. Simply put, one goat was sacrificed to God for the atonement of the people of Israel, while the other goat was offered to make this atonement known to the people of Israel.
So, in this way, Aaron brought one of the two goats to the Tabernacle. He then laid both his hands on the head of this goat and prayed, “Lord, the people of Israel have sinned against You like this. They, Your own people, have committed all kinds of sins. They have failed to worship You faithfully; they have blasphemed against You; they have committed murder; they have committed adultery; they have stolen; they have been lustful; and they have been greedy.” Like this, Aaron passed all the sins that the people of Israel had committed over a year by laying his hands on the goat according to this God-established law. After removing his hands from the goats head, he cut its throat with a knife.
In the Tabernacle, there was a place where God dwelt, namely, the Most Holy Place. Aaron entered into this place where God’s Ark of the Testimony was located, dipped his finger into the vessel holding the blood of the goat, and sprinkled this blood on the mercy seat on the east side seven times, as is written in verse 14: “He shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times.” As the Scripture explains, in the days of the Old Testament, goats were not the only sacrificial animals that accepted the sins of the people of Israel to wash them away, but other animals such as bulls and lambs were also used as sacrificial offerings. These animals were taken as the sin offerings that accepted and bore all the yearly sins of the people of Israel, and as a result of which they had to be killed.
Aaron sprinkled the blood of these goats seven times as a ritual to testify to God that this goat had in fact died instead of the people of Israel. Instead of the people of Israel dying for their sins, the high priest took the blood of the sacrificial goat, their propitiation, into the Most Holy Place and sprinkled it there to signify that the wages of the sins of the Israelites was paid by the blood of the goat in their place. It meant that the price of their sins was now paid before God.
In fact, the people of Israel had to be put to death in God’s sight if they had any sin at all. However, on account of the sacrificial system, the high priest passed the sins of the people of Israel to the sacrificial animal, cut its throat, drew its blood, and sprinkled this blood before God. This signaled that the sacrificial animal paid off the wages of the sins of the Israelites in their place. In effect, the high priest was saying to God, “Lord, look at this blood. The sacrificial goat was killed instead of the people of Israel. Look at this blood and see that all the sins of the people of Israel have been blotted out and remitted away according to Your law.” This was the significance of the first sacrifice offered to God on the Day of Atonement. When God saw the blood sprinkled by the high priest in His presence, He forgave and approved the people of Israel as being sinless, saying, “This sacrificial animal was put to death instead of the people of Israel. The wages of their sins have now been paid off according to My law. The people of Israel are now cleansed and become sinless.”
Like this, the sins of the people of Israel were blotted out through the laying on of the hands of the high priest and the blood of the sacrificial animal. When God saw this blood, He knew that the high priest had laid his hands on the sacrificial animal. Of course, animals do not even know what sin really is. Since God did not establish any law for them, they are thus without sin. However, because the sacrificial animal accepted the sins of the Israelites, it had to die in their place. Like this, when God saw the blood of the animal brought by Aaron, He forgave the people of Israel from all their yearly sins.
Without the laying of hands and the shedding of blood, there can be no remission of sins. For us to receive the remission of sins from God, we must pass our sins to a sacrificial offering by laying our hands on its head without fail. We must then kill this offering in our place. And we must sprinkle its blood before God.
Now that we have seen how the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement was offered to God in the Sanctuary, let’s turn to the sacrifice that was offered while the people of Israel were watching. Verse 21 says, “Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man.” The tenth day of the seventh month was a day of rest for all the people of Israel. It was like today, that is, it was like the Lord’s Day, Sunday, when we do not work.
The tenth day of the seventh month, which was the Day of Atonement, was the day when the people of Israel received the remission for their yearly sins. As a result of the high priest ministering the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement, the people of Israel were remitted from all their yearly sins, but it took seven days to minister this sacrifice instead of just one. That the people of Israel passed all their yearly sins on the tenth day of the seventh month is not just my own claim, but it is written clearly in the Scripture for all to see. This is found in Leviticus 16:29. Let’s read verses 29 and 30 together: “This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you. For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord.”
As it’s written clearly here, God determined that on the tenth day of the seventh month, the high priest would make atonement for the people of Israel, that is, the high priest would cleanse them and make them sinless by laying his hands on the head of the sacrificial animal and passing their sins to it, so that they may be clean before God. With a reminder that all of this was set by God Himself, let’s turn to the preceding verse: “Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat” (Leviticus 16:21). It’s very important for us to pay close attention to this passage, where God commanded Aaron to confess all the sins of the people of Israel and put them on the head of the goat.
When the high priest laid his hands on the head of the live goat, all the yearly sins of the people of Israel were passed on to this goat. This is not just my own claim or the claim of our church, but it’s what the Scripture says. When Aaron laid his hands on the sacrificial goat, all the yearly sins of the Israelites were passed on to the goat, just as the Bible says here, “putting them on the head of the goat.” The sins of the people of Israel were passed on to the goat because that was what God had determined would happen. Like this, the sins of the people of Israel were passed on to the head of the sacrificial goat trough Aaron’s hands when he laid them on the head of the goat on their behalf and confessed their sins, saying, “Lord, the people of Israel have sinned. They have committed murder. They have committed adultery. They have stolen. They have envied. They have committed idolatry before You.” That is why the laying on of hands means “to be passed on,” “to be transferred,” and “to be moved and planted elsewhere.”
Like this, once all the sins of the people of Israel were passed on to the sacrificial goat, the goat was led into the barren wilderness and abandoned there. For the people of Israel, the fact that all their sins were passed on to the scapegoat and this goat was led far into the wilderness and abandoned there signified that their sins were removed from them as they were taken away by the scapegoat. This fulfilled the Word of God saying, “The wages of sin is death.” While all the people of Israel were watching, small and tall alike, the high priest passed their sins to the scapegoat by laying his hands on its head, and then one of the Israelites led this scapegoat out into the wilderness. Those who were too short probably could not see it well, while those who were tall probably could see it further. Do you now believe that sins are passed through the laying on of hands? The people of the Old Testament received the remission of sins in this way.
Knowing all these truths how can we receive the remission of sins in this present age? Everyone living in this age, that is, everyone in the age of the New Testament—can receive the remission of sins by none other than believing in Jesus. When we turn to Matthew 1:21, we see that God the Father sent His Son to this earth to blot out all our sins. He had sent His Son to this earth through the body of the Virgin Mary. That Jesus was conceived by a virgin had already been prophesied by God through His servants. This is clearly written in Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
God said here that He would give us a sign to indicate the coming salvation of everyone in this world. This sign was that a virgin would conceive the Son of God, and that this Son of God would become the Savior on this earth. God had said so clearly through His servant, the Prophet Isaiah, about 2,700 years ago, promising us, “I will send My Son, so that I may save everyone in this world. I will send you the Savior, who will be born into this world conceived by a virgin. I will save you all through this Son.”
Just as God had promised, Jesus indeed came to this earth about 1,900 years ago. The birth year of Jesus marks 1 AD. The calendar used by everyone nowadays, that is, the Gregorian calendar—is based on this birth year of Jesus. Everything is fulfilled according to God’s promised Word.
Just a short while ago, I mentioned that when a sacrificial offering was given, it had to be an unblemished offering. But, is there anyone who is unblemished? No, there is no one! This then means that no human being can save any other human being, and that is precisely why God sent His own Son to this earth, made Him accept our sins and die in our place, and thereby made us sinless. That is how God has saved us. No human being can save another human being. So God promised that Jesus would bear the sins of mankind, die in our place, rise from the dead again, and thereby save us.
Let’s turn to Matthew 3:13-17 here: “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?’ But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’”
The passage here describes what happened when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. As it’s written here, Jesus sought out John the Baptist to receive baptism from him. He sought to be baptized by John the Baptist in order to become our own sacrificial offering and accept all the sins of this world, just as Aaron the high priest in the Old Testament had passed the sins of the people of Israel to the sacrificial goat by laying his hands on its head. What is the importance of the relationship between John the Baptist and Jesus? Also, what is the role of John the Baptist? John the Baptist was the representative of all mankind. And Jesus was the propitiation for the entire human race in this world. In other words, Jesus was to become the sacrificial offering for our sins. That is why He sought to be baptized by John the Baptist and no one else.
What is the meaning of “baptism” then? The word “baptism” means “to be washed,” “to be buried,” “to be transferred,” or “to be passed on.” Its meaning is the same as that of the laying on of hands in the Old Testament. In other words, the fact that Jesus was baptized means that our sins were passed on to Him, transferred, buried, and washed away. Just as water is used to wash something, the baptism of Jesus implies that the sins of mankind were indeed washed away. Whose sins were then washed away once John the Baptist baptized Jesus? This baptism washed away all the sins of everyone who truly believes in Jesus. That is how our sins were passed on to Jesus. It is through His baptism that the sins of mankind were passed on to Jesus and planted on His body of sacrifice. And it is because Jesus was baptized by accepting all the sins of mankind, He was put to death. It’s for this reason that Jesus sought to be baptized by John the Baptist.
It’s written in Mathew 3:14-15: “And John tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?’ But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’” Jesus said this because He was God Himself, whereas John the Baptist was the representative of mankind. No matter how virtuous the representative of mankind might be, it’s only a matter of course that he would be lower than God. However, Jesus the Son of God accepted all our sins by being baptized by John the Baptist with the laying on of his hands. It was to blot out all our sins that Jesus, God Himself who had come as our Savior was baptized.
Matthew 3:15 says, “But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’” By this, Jesus was saying that it is right for Him to free everyone from all the sins of the world by being baptized by John the Baptist. What do you think was the most right thing that Jesus did for mankind when He came to this earth? It was blotting out all the sins of mankind by being baptized John the Baptist by the laying of his hands, and then bearing the condemnation of all these sins, for human beings could not come to the presence of God, nor go to Heaven, nor receive God’s blessings because of their sins. That is why Jesus was baptized and was condemned. He had come to this earth to blot out your sins. And to this end, He was baptized by John the Baptist. The word baptism has the same meaning as the laying on of hands. By being baptized by John the Baptist like this, Jesus accepted all the sins of everyone once and for all.
It’s written in verse 16, “When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water.” Through this baptism received from John the Baptist, Jesus accepted all the sins of the entire human race in this world, each and every sin ever committed by any and all human beings until the day they die, whether committed with their thoughts, hearts, or acts. In the age of the Old Testament, salvation was reached through the scapegoat. Likewise, in this present age, we the sinners are saved through Jesus. That is why Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.
When Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in this way, all the sins of mankind, each and every sin of everyone on this planet earth, were passed on to Jesus. While no one knows when this world will end, all the sins until the end of the world were passed on to Jesus when John the Baptist baptized Jesus. Every sin ever committed by all human beings since the day they were born to now were passed on at that time. If you have not known God until now, then this also constitutes a sin, but this sin was passed on to Jesus as well, just as all the other sins that you have ever committed were passed on to Jesus, regardless of whether or not they were committed knowingly or unknowingly, and with your thoughts or acts.
Do we then still have any sin left with us, or do we have no more sin? We have no more sin! It was to bear all the sins of this world that Jesus came to this earth. And according to the will of God, Jesus indeed bore all our sins. This is the Truth. Jesus took upon all my sins when He was baptized. And He bore not only my sins, but also all the sins of everyone at that time.
God is holy. God is just. And God loves us all. Human beings were made in the likeness of the image of God. God said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” He also said, “I am the Beginning and the End.” God is the Creator who made this world in the beginning, and He is sovereign over all things until the end. God is forever alive.
Does everyone here know dayflies? Dayflies are insects, named so because they live for only a day. Since they live just for one day, their entire lifetime spans only 24 hours. In contrast, God is forever living. He can therefore do everlasting things once and for all. He can bear the sins of those who died long ago, just as He can bear all the present and future sins of every human to come as well. God can transcend time and space. He is never restricted by any constraints of time or space. God is omnipotent like this. That is why when God came to this earth, He could bear at once all the sins of those who passed away long ago, as well all the sins of those who are alive now.
God also knows when this earth will end. All of us are under the sovereignty of God. Jesus Christ could bear all the sins of mankind once and for all because He is God Himself. That’s why Jesus lived on this earth only until 33. Until He turned 30, He was raised in an ordinary family and led an ordinary life. Why was Jesus then baptized at the specific age of 30? Why did Jesus receive the baptism through which He bore all the sins of the people of the world when He turned 30? There was a reason for this. In the age of the Old Testament, the son of Aaron the high priest could succeed him as the representative of the people of Israel when he turned 30. Likewise, Jesus could accept all the sins of mankind as their Savior only after He turned 30.
In the days of the Old Testament, the remission of sins was received by passing them to a sacrificial animal, but in the age of the New Testament, Jesus accepted our sins on His own body. In other words, in contrast to the past when God had remitted away the Israelites’ sins by passing them to sacrificial animals, now in this age of the New Testament, Jesus accepted our sins on His own body rather than using an animal. Because He is forever living and immortal, He accepted all the sins of this world on His body of sacrifice and forever remitted away everyone’s sins once and for all. That is why Jesus was baptized at the age of 30.
Jesus could personally bear all the sins of mankind and remit them all away Himself rather than using any sacrificial animal because He is immortal. Because He is forever living, He could take away the sins of mankind forever. Because Jesus is God Himself rather than a human being like us, and because He had only put on the flesh of man for a short while, He could bear all our sins forever. In this way, He was able to take upon all our sins and all the sins of the entire human race.
Jesus bore all the sins of this world. He took upon the sins of mankind once and for all by being baptized. In doing so, He has saved us from all our sins. All our sins, from my sins to Pastor Kim’s sins, Deacon Park’s sins, and my beloved wife’s sins, were passed on. Because Jesus loved us, and because He had to save us out of this love, Jesus bore all our sins personally by being baptized. Because God loved Deacon Park, because He loved us, and because He loved everyone made in the likeness of His image, God Himself came to this earth and bore each and every sin by being baptized. That is how God has saved us. It is through His baptism that Jesus has saved us. All the sins of this world were passed on to Him when He was baptized.
In this way, Jesus has fulfilled all righteousness. He bore all the sins of every human being, not just the sins of everyone living on this earth right now, but also the sins of everyone who ever lived and who will ever live in the future. All the sins of this world were passed on to Jesus completely. If we believe in this, then we can all realize that our sins were passed on to Jesus. God Himself bore all our sins and all the sins of this world. Because we are full of shortcomings, we cannot help but continue to sin in the future. Nonetheless, we have still received the remission of sins by believing with our hearts that Jesus bore all our sins.
We are inadequate on our own. We are all weak. But despite this, Jesus took upon our sins. Therefore, by believing in this truth with our hearts, we can all reach our salvation. There is nothing else that we have to do. For that matter, there is nothing that we can do by ourselves to reach salvation either. The only thing that we have to do, the only thing that we can do, is to know and believe that God Himself bore all our sins. To do so, we must of necessity first of all cast aside our own thoughts. Even though in our thoughts it may be difficult to understand how Jesus took away all the sins of this world, this does not change the fact that Jesus indeed took away all our sins. So, you need to consider here what is right, whether you should stick to your own thoughts, or cast them aside.
In late the 1970s there were numerous Japanese soldiers from the Pacific War hiding in various island jungles such as Guam. Everyone knows that the Pacific War ended in 1945, right? However, these Japanese soldiers held out and were in hiding for decades, believing that they were still at war. In fact, the war had already ended long ago. Just as it’s a fact that the Pacific War ended in 1945, it’s also a fact that the sins of the world were passed on also. This world’s sins have ended already. They were already (in the past tense) passed on to Jesus 1,900 years ago, just as the Pacific War ended long ago. What about your sins then? Were they not also passed on to Jesus, or are they still around? They ended already 1,900 years ago. It’s extremely important for you to know clearly that your sins were passed on to Jesus. I’m not asking you to just believe it blindly, but rather, to grasp it clearly first.
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” By then, Jesus had already accepted all the sins of this world, and He was now carrying them to the Cross. That Jesus took away the sins of the world means that He took away each and every sin of the world, big and small alike, including the twelve sins that everyone has inherited from the womb of one’s mother. The “Lamb of God” here refers to the sacrificial lamb of the Old Testament, and at the same time to Jesus as well. Jesus as John the Baptist testified, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” Jesus indeed took away the sins of the world. He shouldered all the sins committed by us in this world. And He was condemned for our sins on the Cross. The sins that we will commit in the future are also part of the sins of the world. Jesus took away all these sins some 1,900 years ago.
John 19:17 says, “And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha.” Jesus was crucified because He had borne all the sins of this world. It’s because of this that He was killed with both his hands and feet nailed to that cruel Cross. As the nails pierced through His arteries, He bled to death with all the blood that was in His heart pouring out. For human beings, the blood is life itself. Yet, because Jesus had borne all the sins of the world, He was crucified in our place, and He shed His precious blood to lay down His life for us. It was for all our sins that Jesus was crucified. In the age of the Old Testament, once a sacrificial animal such as a goat or lamb accepted the sins of the people of Israel through the laying on of hands, it had to shed its blood and be killed. In the same manner, once Jesus took upon all the sins of the world through His baptism, He had to face death on the Cross Himself.
Now then, let’s turn to John 19:28-30 and read the passage together in unity, “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, ‘I thirst!’ Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” The Lord said here, “It is finished!” He said this because He had borne all our sins through His baptism, and was now dying on the Cross to bear the condemnation of these sins in our place. In this way, Jesus paid off all the wages of our sins. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” He meant that He had completed all His work of salvation from the beginning to the end. In other words, Jesus had finished the work of salvation completely, so that there would be no more work ever again.
Let’s now turn to Hebrews chapter 10 and read verses 9-12: “Then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.” The Scripture says clearly here that Christ, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. It says without a trace of doubt that Jesus offered one everlasting sacrifice for all our sins.
Let’s read just one more passage before closing. It’s written in Hebrews 10:17-18, “Then He adds, ‘Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’ Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.” When God said here, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more,” He was telling us that He will no longer condemn or judge us for the sins we commit out of our weaknesses, for Jesus had already borne all our sins and was condemned for them fully. The Scripture also says here, “Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.” This means because Jesus has blotted out all the sins of this world by being baptized and dying on the Cross, there is no longer any need for us human beings to try to be remitted from our sins through our own efforts. This is what Jesus has done for us. He is our Savior. He has fulfilled our salvation completely as our true Savior. Once more, I give all my thanks to our Lord!