Sermon #3[i] Leviticus Sermons
Title: “He Shall Kill the Bullock”
Text: Leviticus 1:5
Subject: The Necessity and Benefits of Christ’s Death
It is a sad fact, but it is a fact, that far too many preachers are like Nero, the insane Roman emperor. While the city was burning and multitudes perishing, Nero stood on the roof of his palace fiddling! Many a preacher stands in his pulpit, Sunday after Sunday, playing his fiddle, while the people perish for lack of knowledge. They are trifling with the souls of men when they should be seeking the salvation of their immortal souls. They spend their time and labor upon matters of no importance, and neglect the weighty business of preaching the Gospel.
As I stand before you as God’s ambassador, the realization of my awesome responsibility constrains me to stick to the vital issues of the Gospel, the issues of life and death. There are a good many things I do not know. But there are certain, self-evident truths that lay heavily upon my heart.
1. I know how God saves sinners. God almighty saves sinners by His free and sovereign grace, through faith, upon the merits of Christ’s shed blood.
2. I know that everyone of you will soon stand before God in judgment.
3. I know that, if God the Holy Spirit is pleased to speak through me, what I say to you in the next few minutes will have some eternal affect upon you. Both this preacher and you who hear me will have to give an account of what is said.
You would be wise to hear what I have to say. That which I preach to you is what I believe, what I know to be true, what I know is vital to your soul. I speak without fear of error or hesitation, when I tell you that the death of our Lord Jesus Christ was absolutely essential. The sacrifice for sin must be slain. It is only through the blood, which He shed at Calvary for human guilt, that I can preach this day among men the remission of sins.
What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
This is all my hope and peace –
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
This is all my righteousness –
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Let’s read Leviticus 1:1-5 together and see how the Holy Spirit pictured the necessity of blood atonement by the Lamb of God.
Leviticus 1:1-3 “And the LORD called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, (2) Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock. (3) If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD.”
Now look at verse four. This is a picture of faith in Christ. – “And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.”
Here is a man coming to God with a sin offering, the offering God required. He puts his hands on the same head on which the Lord God laid His hands, symbolically agreeing to all that God has done. –
Š God and the believing sinner meet at the same place.
Š Both are satisfied by the same sacrifice.
Š That blood which satisfies the justice of the thrice-holy God satisfies the conscience of the believing sinner.
The words, “He shall put his hand upon the head,” are even stronger in the original than they appear in our translation. They would be better translated, “He shall lean his hand upon the head.” The very same words are used in Psalm 88:7. — “Thy wrath lieth (leaneth) hard upon me.” Do you see the picture? – Believing sinners lean their souls upon the same Sacrifice that God Almighty leaned His wrath.
Once the sinner had symbolically laid his sins upon the head of the sacrifice, he stepped aside, leaving his sins upon the appointed victim. He has done what God required him to do. Now, he can go home rejoicing, saying, “I have put my hand upon the head of God’s sacrifice. It shall be accepted for me to make atonement for me. – ‘Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin!’”
But there is more, much more than this needed for atonement, forgiveness of sin, and justification before God. Believing God will never atone for sin. The bullock must be killed. Look at verse five.
Leviticus 1:5 “And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.”
“He Shall Kill the Bullock.” — That is my subject. — “He Shall Kill the Bullock.” I want to show you both the necessity and the benefits of Christ’s death upon the cursed tree as our all-glorious Substitute and Savior.
Here we are specifically told that the man who brought the sacrifice was to kill it before the Lord. This is a picture of the execution of Divine wrath. It is proper that the man himself, the sinner kill the animal, because there are many executioners of Divine wrath. Indeed all things shall prove to be executioners of God’s holy wrath upon the damned. As heaven, earth, and hell combined to execute the Lamb of God, so heaven, earth and hell shall together execute the wrath of God upon the unbelieving soul forever.
The man must kill the beast of sacrifice; but only the priest, the priest appointed by God Himself, could make atonement and dispense mercy on the basis of atonement made. Only the priest can bestow pardon in the name of God. – None but the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s great High Priest could make atonement for our sins. None but Christ, God’s great High Priest, can dispense mercy to and bestow pardon upon needy sinners.
The animal must be killed before the Lord. What an awesome sight, solemn and instructive in every detail! The priest catches the blood, the warm blood of life, the blood of the slain bullock in one of the bowls of the altar. All eyes are upon the priest and the blood, as he brings the sacrificed life to God.
Andrew Bonar wrote, “It is as if the living soul of the sinner were carried in its utter helplessness and in all its filthiness and laid down before the Holy One!”
Then the blood is sprinkled. The priest takes the blood of the slain animal and sprinkles it “round about upon the altar.” The life of the sacrifice has been taken away. The sinner stands, as it were, naked before God. There is no covering of his sin. He deserves the death symbolized in the animal’s slaughter, — death by the law of God, — a violent death, — death in the presence of the Lord, — death for the punishment of sin, — death for the satisfaction of holiness, justice, and truth!
As the blood on the door of the house on the night of the Lord’s Passover in Egypt represented the death of the firstborn in the house, so here, the blood on the altar represents the death of the sinner for whom the sacrifice is made. Thus, we are told that the Lord of Glory, the Son of God, our most blessed Christ, “poured out His soul unto death” as our Substitute.
Notice, the blood is poured out and sprinkled both upon and “round about” the altar. It is on all sides, north, south, east, and west, for all to see. Now hear the voice of the Savior’s blood upon the altar. It cries out to sinners everywhere, “Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth!”
Š The Lord Jesus Christ is God’s appointed Sacrifice for sin.
Š He is the only Sacrifice for sin.
Š He is the infinitely meritorious and effectual Sacrifice for sin.
Š He is the Sacrifice for sinners everywhere.
Proposition: In all its details, the slaying of the sacrificial bullock, as it is described in our text, was typical of the death of Christ for us at Calvary.
Divisions: Let me show you four things about the death of Christ as our sacrifice for sin, and I will be done.
1. It was absolutely necessary.
2. It is gloriously infinite and effectual.
3. It gives us the best instruction on the weightiest matters.
4. It is the source of inspiration and the motive of obedience in the believer’s life.
Let me show you this first. This is the most important point – The death of Christ as a sacrifice for sin was absolutely necessary. — Many things were very important about the sacrifices of the Old Testament. But no atonement was made until the victim was slain. Even so, the Lamb of God must be slain in order to make an atonement for sin. “It behooved Him to suffer.” Had He not died, He would not have a people with Him in glory (John 12:24).
John 12:24 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
Atonement and the remission of sins are not in the life of the sacrifice, but in its death (Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22). Why was it necessary and essential for Christ to die?
(Leviticus 17:11) “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”
(Hebrews 9:22) “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”
Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, must die in order to fulfil the types and prophecies of the Old Testament Scriptures. — The Word of God overflows with statements about the death of Christ. It was as much a subject of Old Testament prophecy as it is of New Testament declaration. The most instructive Old Testament type of redemption by Christ is that of the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:13).
Exodus 12:13 “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.”
Hear what God says: – “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” God’s eye resting on the blood is evidence that a substitutionary lamb has been slain and guarantees the life of the sinner. This is atonement.
David prophesied that through His death, and only through His death, Christ would establish His universal kingdom (Psalm 22:1, 22, 25-28).
Psalms 22:1 “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?”
Psalms 22:22 “I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.”
Psalms 22:25-28 “My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him. (26) The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever. (27) All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. (28) For the kingdom is the LORD’S: and he is the governor among the nations.”
Isaiah tells us that it is the death of the Lamb that is the source of His conquest and the cause of His reward (Isaiah 53:12).
Isaiah 53:10-12 “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. (11) He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. (12) Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
As the death of Christ was the subject of the Old Testament types and prophecies, it is the theme of the New Testament as well. — There is no redemption and remission of sins but by the Son of God pouring out His life’s blood as an atoning sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 9:12). Redemption and the remission of sins is not accomplished by –
Sin must be purged away by the blood of Christ. – “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” “The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth us from all sin.”
The death and shed blood of Christ is the center of all true Gospel preaching. The death of Christ and His shed blood is the essential element of the ordinances of the Gospel.
Never forget it, my friends, we are redeemed to God by the blood of Christ. The Sacrifice must be slain. Blood must be shed. The blood of Christ will be the theme of our songs in heaven; and it ought to be here.
Again, I stress this point: — the sacrifice must be slain, or God could never have justified any sinner. No sinner could ever be saved, accepted, forgiven, pardoned, and justified in the sight of God if Jesus Christ had not been slain as the Substitute of sinners (Romans 3:24-26).
Romans 3:24-26 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (26) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
Š Death is the result and penalty of sin.
Š Once Christ had our sins laid upon Him, once He who knew no sin was made sin for us He must die!
Š Nothing could satisfy the law and justice of God but death.
The death of Christ is the only way possible for God to save sinners. Without the shedding of His blood, without the death of God’s darling Son, salvation is not possible. There are some things that even God cannot do.
Š God cannot lie.
Š God cannot forgive sin without satisfaction.
Š And God cannot punish sin again, once satisfaction has been made.
“From whence this fear and unbelief?
Hast Thou, O Father, put to grief
Thy spotless Son for me?
And will the righteous Judge of men
Condemn me for that debt of sin
Which, Lord, was charged on Thee?
Complete atonement Thou hast made
And to the utmost farthing paid
Whate’er Thy people owed;
How then can wrath on me take place
If sheltered in Thy righteousness,
And sprinkled with thy blood?
If Thou hast my discharge procured,
And freely in my room endured
The whole of wrath Divine,
Payment God cannot twice demand,
First at my bleeding Surety’s hand,
And then again at mine.
Turn, then, my soul, unto thy rest;
The merits of thy great High Priest
Speak peace and liberty;
Trust in His efficacious blood,
Nor fear thy banishment from God,
Since Jesus died for thee.”
Once more, the death of Christ was absolutely necessary to give peace to a guilty conscience (Hebrews 9:14). The conscience requires perfection.
Infinite and Effectual
Second, I want you to see that the death of Christ is gloriously infinite in its merit and effectual in its purpose and power. This gives peace and comfort to my heart and soul. Since Jesus Christ has paid the mighty debt I owed to the law of God, I am freed from the debt and justified before the law. “He that is dead is freed from sin” (Romans 6:7). The atoning sacrifice of Christ means complete redemption is fully accomplished.
He bore on the tree the sentence for me,
And now both the Surety and the sinner are free.
Those typical sacrifices of the law we read about in the book of Leviticus could never put away sin. But, when our Lord was fastened to the tree, and cried, “It is finished,” He finished the transgression and made an end of sin, and brought in an everlasting righteousness (Hebrews 10:1-4; Colossians 2:13-14).
Hebrews 10:1-4 “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. (2) For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. (3) But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. (4) For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”
Colossians 2:13-14 “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; (14) Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross.”
“Not all the blood of beasts
On Jewish altars slain,
Could give the guilty conscience peace,
Or wash away the stain.
But Christ the heavenly Lamb,
Takes all our sins away;
A sacrifice of nobler name,
And richer blood than they.”
All that Christ intended to do in His great sacrificial atonement, He has done! How do we know that the death of Christ is effectual? I know that Christ cannot fail in His work, because I know that He is God. His sacrifice is of infinite value. And His sacrifice is effectual in its design. —— I know that the death of Christ is effectual, because he is the perfect man, the God-man Mediator. — “He knew no sin.” — “He shall not fail!” ——I know that the sacrifice of Christ is effectual, because of the substitutionary character of His death.
I know that the sacrificial death of Christ is effectual, because of His covenant engagements. He came to fulfil His own agreements with the Father in the covenant of grace. —— I know that the death of Christ is effectual, because God has testified that it is.
(Hebrews 10:10-14) "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (11) And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: (12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; (13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (14) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."
In the third place, let me show you that the sacrificial death of Christ gives us the best instruction about the weightiest matters. The best school of theology in the world is the school at Mt. Calvary. There is no school like Calvary School! Come to Calvary. Sit down at the foot of the cross. Behold there the Lamb of God, and learn of Him.
Š Here we learn that God is holy.
In the last place, the death of Christ is the great source of inspiration and the motive of obedience in a believer’s life. Did the Son of God die for me? Then I must surely consecrate myself entirely to Him. — His death inspires me to seek His will, His honor, and His glory in every aspect of my life. — Nothing has a greater power to inspire my heart with love for Christ than the realization of His dying love for me. — The only motive needed to constrain a believer to obey the Lord is this – “He died for you.” — Surely the knowledge of Christ’s sacrifice for sin ought to inspire us to seek the salvation of sinners.
Application: This must be my final word to you who believe and to you who believe not – Come now and lay your hands of faith upon the Redeemer’s head and keep them there.
Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com
[i] Danville — Morning — February 25, 2001
Buck Mountain Baptist Church, Roan Mountain, TN — (07/19/11)
Tape # W-29b
Reading: Hosea 14:1-9