Monday, November 24, 2014

What About Animal Sacrifices? A Review of Chapter 3 of Tim Hegg's "Ten Persistent Questions" (Part 3)

In the previous, I was talking about how it was confusing for Hegg to say that even though the Old Covenant people used animal sacrifices, they were still saved in the same manner as the New Covenant people.

However, Hegg explains that the animal sacrifices removed sin on the basis of a promise to send the Messiah.  And so we can add to the growing list of functions of animal sacrifices:  promisory.

To recap, animal sacrifices were:

(1) Purificatory (in the temporal, not eternal sense);

(2) Revelatory in that they showed the need for an innocent version of Israel to take the punishment for all of Israel's sins;

(3) Promisory in that they remind both G-d and man of the New Covenant promises.

Beyond the Review:  Some Closing Thoughts About Atonement


Now Hegg's chapter on animal sacrifices was great for what it was--an attempt to address a common Christian attack on the relevance of G-d's law.  Hegg did not intend to write a systematic Messianic theory of atonement.  

But I've got three minutes before work so here's my nutshell view on the Messianic theory of atonement.  

Are you ready for this?  It's the same atonement theory as Christianity (for the most part).

Messianics and Christians agree that atonement is breaking down all the barriers that separate us from G-d so that we can have "at-one-ment" with G-d.  The barriers look like this:

  • belonging to a different master
  • possessing an evil inclination
  • bearing guilt as a transgressor of the Law
  • being a recipient of G-d's wrath

Full atonement then does something like this:

  • purchase
  • purify
  • pardon
  • please

So then the animal sacrifices don't really compete with Yeshua.  They offered (temporal) purification, revelation, and a promise.  They complement Yeshua's work!

Shalom,

Peter

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