Israel and the Law
The Israelites were a chosen people by God for the purpose of revealing God to all the nations of the world. God gave them the Law through Moses so that Israel was set apart from the rest of the world. However, no man could fulfill the law. If you were to break one of the commandments you were guilty of breaking it all. [James 2:10]. The law which itself being good [Romans 7:12], however brought knowledge of sin [Romans 3:20] and through sin brought death [Romans 6:23] to all of Israel. Although, all of mankind understood physical death, however, here we are talking of spiritual death. In other words the spirit of man was separated from God because of sin.
The Israelites tried to keep the Law in its entirety but always failed.
- Thus Israel fell under the curse of the law [Gal 3:10]
The only way Israel could be saved was through God’s plan of salvation which meant a New Covenant was to be established and much before it began, God announced through His prophets that He would be establishing a new covenant which would no longer be like the old covenant [Jeremiah 31:31].
- He made known, His plan to bring the gentiles out of darkness and into His light [Is 60:3].
Thus it was clear that the Gentiles (rest of the world) would also receive salvation as a Covenant right [Is 42:6].This was at a time when Israel was under the Mosaic Law.
But, years before God gave the law……
When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, they had the perfect life which God desired mankind to have. But Satan tempted them and they lost that perfect life. Not only did they lose their spiritual life, but they also lost all of the authority that they had over all the earth to Satan.
- Satan now had dominion over all of the earth through Sin. [Luke 4:6]
The Passover Lamb
God rescued Israel from the Egyptians through the Passover, he told them to slaughter a lamb, apply its blood on the door-posts and eat of the flesh of the lamb [Exodus 12:7-8]. The blood of the lamb on the door-posts of the Israelites was a sign of their deliverance, the body (flesh) of the lamb was to bring them nourishment and health [Psalms 105:37], as they were to immediately start the long journey of their Exodus, and needed to be in extremely good health to undertake the journey to reach the Promised Land. This was the Passover lamb of the old covenant, which, for Israel, represented forgiveness, deliverance (from slavery of Egypt), protection (from their enemies), prosperity (The Egyptians gave the Israelites their gold and silver), healing (health to their overworked bodies).
The Law and the Old Covenant
According to the Law, only sins that were already committed could be forgiven by the sacrifice of an animal. The offender would bring a first-born male animal and offer as a sacrifice. The priest would examine the animal to confirm that it is without fault or blemish. Then the offender would place his hand over the head of the animal [Leviticus 1:3-4], the faultless (sinless) animal bore the sinfulness of the offender, and the animal was slaughtered thereby exchanging the sins of the offender with its faultlessness. This was known as a “Sin-offering”.
Additionally once a year the High priest was allowed to enter into the Most Holy Place of the Temple [Leviticus 16:34], this he did to sprinkle the blood of the animal upon the mercy seat for the forgiveness of sins of himself and the whole of Israel. When this was done, it wasn’t until the High Priest returned from the Most Holy Place to the people that the congregation of Israel were assured of the forgiveness of their sin [Leviticus 16:14-17]. So the people had to wait for the High Priest to come out into the Outer Court of the Temple, and once He came out they rejoiced knowing that their sins were forgiven.