The message proclaimed clearly in the book of Romans is that "all are under sin"; "there is none righteous, no not one" (Rom. 3:9-10). Our sins have separated us from God and due to the curse placed on Adam, mankind suffers the consequence of death, "And so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Isaiah 59:1-2; Genesis 3:1-24 & Romans 5:12). Man is in desperate need of redemption and our God, Who is absolutely holy and cannot look upon iniquity, devised a wonderful plan to deal with man's sin (Habakkuk 2:1; 2 Timothy 1:9).

The book of Leviticus emphasizes that sacrifice is the only way redemption may be accomplished. "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul" (Leviticus 17:11).

According the Old Law, the purification of sins took place on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:29-34). After cleansing himself, the High Priest was allowed to enter the most holy place once every year to make atonement for the people (Exodus 30:10). On this day the High Priest would pass through the veil into the most holy place and sprinkle blood from animal sacrifices on the Mercy Seat for atonement. It was from the Mercy Seat, this wonderful symbol of God's forgiveness, that God promised to communicate with His people (Exodus 25:22).

In Hebrews 3, Christians were instructed to consider Christ the Apostle. They were to fix their eyes and minds on the one who was sent by God, Who came from God and Who is God in the flesh. Rather than viewing Jesus as the Apostle sent by God to fulfill the Old Law and forgive their sin, these Christians were slowly turning back to their previous manner of life. They were reverting to things that had no power to forgive their sins (Heb. 10:4). At times we also need this exhortation. We too are guilty of taking our eyes off of Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

We are in need of the Christ (Romans 3:24). The price that was paid for the redemption of the world was His blood (1 Peter 1:18-19). Paul, by inspiration, said that Christ "gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14). Jesus was truly the Lamb of God that would take away the sins of the world (John 1:29). This was all made possible because Christ was sent by God and became flesh.

It was an absolute necessity that Christ be sent to appease the wrath of God, which is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness (Romans 1:18ff.) The role and actions of the Old Testament High Priest become very significant to the Christian when he realizes that God sent Christ to be our High Priest and to make atonement for our sins, (Hebrews 2:16).

While Jesus took the form of man, He was different in that He was sinless. As our High Priest, Jesus has entered into the most holy place not made with hands. He entered into "Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us" (Heb. 9:24). Jesus did not have to offer a sin offering for Himself before doing this because "he put away sin by the sacrifice of himself" (Hebrews 7:27; 9:26). By His perfect sacrifice He atones, not for His own sins, but for ours. We have been redeemed with the precious blood of Christ and we can now draw near to God through the same (Ephesians 2:13). As John stated, "He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (1John 2:2). How thankful we ought to be for Jesus who was sent to bring peace between man and God.

Paul wrote that Jesus "is our peace" (Ephesians 2:14). He died to redeem you from sin and reconcile you to God. Have you been reconciled to God in Christ?

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