The most significant doctrine in the Bible is redemption and is presented as an unbroken scarlet thread that flows from Genesis through Revelation. When man chose to disobey God’s commandment in the Garden of Eden he sealed his own death warrant. Without the provision of redemption by a just and holy God, there would be no hope for mankind. God’s very nature demanded that a payment be made for that original sin of disobedience as well as for every sin committed since that time. God’s word is very clear regarding the required payment for sin, any sin; it is death, or eternal separation from God.
“For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23a
My favorite verse in the entire Bible is found in the Old Testament book of Leviticus.
“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 makes atonement for the soul.” Leviticus 17:11
Life is sustained by the flow of blood. And when sufficient blood is lost life ceases. Therefore, God required blood, or the sustenance of life, as payment for sin. That has not changed through the millennia.
Consider the second half of Romans 6:23.
“…but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23b
Notice in the above that eternal life for the sinner, i.e. every human being, is a free gift of God. This free gift is the blood of His Son Jesus Christ that was offered on the cross. We call the day of Jesus’ death ‘Good Friday.’ In the Bible Jesus’ death occurred on the Jewish Holiday called Passover.
“…On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb…your lamb shall be without blemish, a male…you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly…shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses…” Exodus 12:3-7
“Now the blood shall be a sign for you…and when I see the blood, I will pass over you…So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast… an everlasting ordinance” Exodus 12:13-14
The Jewish historian Josephus reported that the customary time to kill the Passover lamb was 3:00 in the afternoon.
In the New Testament John the Baptist immediately recognized Jesus for who He was as soon as he saw him.
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” John 1:29
As Jesus’ earthly ministry was coming to a close He set His face like flint as He journeyed to Jerusalem for His final Passover. Jesus told His disciples:
“You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.” Matthew 26:2
Jesus then shared His last Passover meal with His disciples.
“When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to them, ‘With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer…’ and He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you…’ likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.’” Luke 22:14-20
Then came Gethsemane, mock trials, suffering and death.
“Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.’” Luke 23:44-46
The ninth hour was counting from 6:00 AM which meant that Jesus died at 3:00 PM, the exact time that the traditional Passover lamb was offered. Perfect prophecy, perfect fulfillment.
The Jewish Passover ordinance was a foreshadow of that which was fulfilled on the Cross. The Apostle Paul summarized it for the church.
“…For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.” I Corinthians 5:7
Of course, Christ didn’t remain in the grave. He arose from the grave on the third day just as He had announced to His disciples. The resurrection of Christ was proof that the offering of His blood was sufficient payment to satisfy a just and holy God for the sins of the world!
But the world has not seen the last of the Lamb of God. His blood paid for the redemption of all creation in addition to the souls of all who believe. The Bible reveals that the day will come when He will complete the redemption process. He will break open the seals of the title deed to the earth and reclaim all that He paid for on the cross.
“And I (the Apostle John) saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll…sealed with seven seals…I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open…the scroll…But one of the elders said… ‘Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll…’ and I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne…stood a Lamb as though it had been slain…then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.” Revelation 5:1-7
That event will signal the beginning of the seven year tribulation period after which time Christ will appear as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus, the Lamb of God, paid the redemptive price to remove the curse pronounced in the Garden of Eden and Jesus, King of Kings, will rule over all that He has redeemed.