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    Sacrificial Offerings

    Fallen man, because of his guilt, could no longer come directly before God with his supplications; for his transgression of the divine law had placed an impassable barrier between the holy God and the transgressor. But a plan was devised that the sentence of death should rest upon a Substitute. In the plan of redemption there must be the shedding of blood, for death must come in consequence of man's sin. The beasts for sacrificial offerings were to prefigure Christ. In the slain victim, man was to see the fulfillment for the time being of God's word, “Thou shalt surely die.” And the flowing of the blood from the victim would also signify an atonement. There was no virtue in the blood of animals; but the shedding of the blood of beasts was to point forward to a Redeemer who would one day come to the world and die for the sins of men. And thus Christ would fully vindicate His Father's law.Con 21.3

    Satan watched every event in regard to the sacrificial offerings with intense interest. The devotion and solemnity connected with the shedding of the blood of the victim caused him great uneasiness. To him, this ceremony was clothed with mystery; but he was not a dull scholar, and he soon learned that the sacrificial offerings typified some future atonement for man. He saw that these offerings signified repentance for sin. This did not agree with his purposes, and he at once commenced to work upon the heart of Cain, to lead him to rebellion against the sacrificial offering which prefigured a Redeemer to come.Con 22.1

    Adam's repentance, evidenced by his sorrow for his transgression and his hope of salvation through Christ, shown by his works in the sacrifices offered, were a disappointment to Satan. He hoped forever to gain Adam to unite with him in murmuring against God and in rebelling against His authority. Cain and Abel were representatives of the two great classes. Abel, as priest, in solemn faith offered his sacrifice. Cain was willing to offer the fruit of his ground, but refused to connect with his offering the blood of beasts. His heart refused to show his repentance for sin, and his faith in a Saviour, by offering the blood of beasts. He refused to acknowledge his need of a Redeemer. This, to his proud heart, was dependence and humiliation.Con 22.2

    But Abel, by faith in a future Redeemer, offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain. His offering the blood of beasts signified that he was a sinner and had sins to put away, and that he was penitent and believed in the efficacy of the blood of the future great offering. Satan is the parent of unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion. He filled Cain with doubt and with madness against his innocent brother, and against God because his sacrifice was refused and Abel's was accepted. And he slew his brother in his insane madness.Con 23.1

    The sacrificial offerings were instituted to be a standing pledge to man of God's pardon through the great offering to be made, typified by the blood of beasts. Through this ceremony man signified repentance, obedience, and faith in a Redeemer to come. That which made Cain's offering offensive to God was his lack of submission and obedience to the ordinance of His appointment. He thought that his own plan, in offering to God merely the fruit of the ground, was nobler, and not as humiliating as the offering of the blood of beasts, which showed dependence upon another, thus expressing his own weakness and sinfulness. Cain slighted the blood of the atonement.Con 23.2

    Adam, in transgressing the law of Jehovah, had opened the door for Satan, who had planted his banner in the midst of the first family. He was made to feel, indeed, that the wages of sin was death. Satan designed to gain Eden by deceiving our first parents; but in this he was disappointed. Instead of securing to himself Eden, he now feared that he would lose all he had claimed out of Eden. His sagacity could trace the signification of these offerings, that they pointed man forward to a Redeemer and, for the time being, were a typical atonement for the sin of fallen man, opening a door of hope to the race.Con 23.3

    The rebellion of Satan against God was most determined. He worked, in warring against the kingdom of God, with perseverance and fortitude worthy of a better cause.Con 24.1

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