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
- 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