I fought the law... and the law won part 3

read part 1, part 2

The third type of law that we see is the ceremonial or cleanliness laws. Examples of this type of law include:

covenant seal -
passover - ex 12
burnt offerings, sin offerings, guilt offerings, peace offerings, grain offerings,festivals - tabernacles etc found throughout the old testament
day of atonement -
lev 16

The people had to make themselves clean/holy before all these sacrifices. All of these laws were to make yourself clean/holy before God. To deal with your sin. the day of atonement is described in detail in Leviticus 16.
  • only Aaron (or later, the high priest) can enter the most holy place at a certain time
  • he puts on the sacred linen garments (after having a bath first)
  • he offers a bull for his own sin
  • he casts lots to decide on the scapegoat and the sacrifice
  • he takes coals and incense and to make smoke that covers the cloud of god's presence, so he wont die!
  • sprinkle the bull's blood around
  • sacrifice the goat
  • sprinkle some more blood
  • lay hands on the scapegoat, confess the people's sin and then send it off
  • take of the sacred clothes, leave them in the most holy place, bathe and put on his normal clothes
  • comes out and does another burnt offering for himself and for the people and burn the fat of the sin offering
  • the man who let the scapegoat go needs to wash his clothes and bathe
  • take the sin offerings hide and guts outside of the camp and burn them, the man who does that needs to wash his clothes and bathe afterwards
Why all the detail? Why all the bloody rituals? Because something needs to take our sin away. Blood needs to be shed for our sin. This sounds bloody and terrible, that's because sin is terrible before God. These accounts of these sacrifices make us feel sick, that's because sin should make us feel sick. But all of that was needed to take away the people's sin. But only for one year, because they had to do it again a year later!

Why don't we do that now? Because of Jesus.

Read Hebrews 9

We don't continually offer sacrifice because Jesus was sacrificed once for all. He fulfilled the law. He completed it.

In conclusion
: what laws do we have to followas Christians today? None of them. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone, not by the law. So are they all pointless? No, the moral laws show us what sin is, the civil laws show us about justice and mercy, and the ceremonial laws show us exactly what is required to make us right with God. A perfect sacrifice. Jesus.