Jesus the Sin Offering and the Priest

Part of this post is an excerpt from my book He Who Bleeds available on amazon.com

Is God angry, raging and vengeful? Animal sacrifice? What a barbaric custom!  Gruesome, even cruel.  No wonder many Christian theologians separate the angry God of the Old Testament from the loving God of the New Testament.   

Who is Who?

There is a gospel in the Old Testament.  Jesus opened the Old Testament scriptures to the disciples on the road to Emmaus after his resurrection.

Beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.  Luke 24:27

What is animal sacrifice?  I mean, what is it all about?   I know it is representative, but who is who?  I mean, who is the animal representing?  Maybe he is representing me, and I should die for my sin, but the innocent animal dies in my place so God can forgive me.  Is this really what is going on?

What if, in the gospel according to the First Covenant, the sacrificial animal takes the representative role of the victim of that sin?  To find the answer we must look into the ceremony of Atonement.

Atonement is a Legal Term

The Hebrew word in the Strong’s concordance is #3722 kaphar[1].  An example of kaphar as a legal term is in Isaiah 28:18 “your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand;” A covenant is a legally binding agreement, like a contract.  Disannulment  brings the contract to a legal end.  Disannulment frees the signers from further contract liability.  Disannulment is atonement, kaphar.

Atonement as referred to in Mosaic Law is the waiving of the required legal punishment.  Sins for which atonement is made are covered.  They are covered from the punishment of the law.  The process of atonement does not negate the need for repentance and restitution.  On the contrary, confession, repentance and making restitution are necessary steps to atonement[2].  According to Leviticus, after these first steps had been accomplished, then the priest shall make an atonement for him.

The Priest is the Acting Intercessor

How did the priest make an atonement for the sinner?  What did the priest do?  

In a case where the sinner confesses and repents to the victim, as long as the victim is satisfied with the repentance, they may declare peace with one another, and the incident is over. Like Jesus said in Matthew 5:25,  Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him.  There is no need for the law to step in and provide an intercessor.   But what if the sinner repents, and still the victim refuses to make peace?  Then there is need for the law to provide an intercessor.  The intercessor acts in the place of the defrauded victim and makes an atonement for the repentant sinner.   

The earthly pattern that God gave Moses for atonement had two parts.  These were two actors, so to speak, in this earthly pre-enactment of the necessary action in the heavens.  The sacrificial animal and the priest both represent the victim of the sin.  The animal loses his life as the victim who has been defrauded of a portion of his life.  The priest, in the place of the victim, makes atonement, in other words, waives the charges against the sinner. 

            Ceremonially, two actors were needed because the animal could lay down his life, but could not intelligently waive the charges.  The priest could waive the charges, but could not die or suffer equal defraudment for every sin he atoned.  So, the priest was required to eat the sin offering[3] to make himself one with the animal who was taking on the position of the victim.  It was imperative upon the priest that he eat the sin offering, and only the priest who offered the sacrifice was allowed to eat it. 

Because the priest representatively becomes the victim of my sin, he has the right to press charges against me or to waive the charges.  

What did he do?  The priest waived the charges in the stead of the victim and atonement was made.

            Jesus was able to be both sin offering and priest.  Jesus was “touched with the feeling of our infirmities[4].  He accepted the weight of pain and grief caused by every sin ever committed bearing it in his own body on the cross.  He is the Victim of all our sin, and He could choose to press charges or to waive the charges against us.  Thank God, he chose to intercede in the proceedings that were against us making atonement for our sins, not pressing the charges.  Only the victim or one who legally stands in the victim’s stead can do that.  Jesus is the True Victim who holds the right to forgive every sin; and he is our High Priest who “ever liveth to make intercession for us”.[5] 

Let’s go back to where we started.  Is this a barbaric picture of animal sacrifice?  Gruesome, even cruel?  Maybe; but who is cruel, God? or the sinner? 

Sin is cruel, and Jesus came to take away sin.

Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
John 1:29  

[1] 3722  kaphar {kaw-far’} From Strong’s Concordance
Meaning:  1) to cover, purge, make an atonement, make reconciliation, cover over with pitch 1a) to coat or cover with pitch  1b1) to cover over, pacify, propitiate 1b2) to cover over, atone for sin, make atonement for 1b3) to cover over, atone for sin and persons by legal rites 1c1) to be covered over 1c2) to make atonement for 1d) to be covered
Origin:  a primitive root
Usage:  AV – atonement 71, purge 7, reconciliation 4, reconcile 3, forgive 3, purge away 2, pacify 2, atonement…made 2, merciful 2, cleansed 1, disannulled 1, appease 1, put off 1, pardon 1, pitch 1; 102

[2] Leviticus 6:4-7  Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found,  5 Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering.  6 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest:  7 And the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD: and it shall be forgiven him for any thing of all that he hath done in trespassing therein.

[3] Leviticus 6:26  The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it: in the holy place shall it be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation.

[4] Hebrews 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

[5] Hebrews 7:25  Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

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Passing the Inheritance to Little Brothers

Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father which art in heaven…” 

God is not only Jesus’ father; He is our father also.  He is Father in many ways.  As the Creator, He is the father of all His creation.   He is the father to all humankind because He created man in His own image, as it says “male and female created he them.”  He is our father because of creation, and in that sense we are his sons.   He is the father of Jesus Christ because Jesus Christ is the only begotten son of God. Now we are getting to the point.  A father gives his inheritance to his children. The inheritance of the Creator is everything that the creator owns, and God is the estate owner of all heaven and earth.  God has given His inheritance to His Firstborn, Jesus Christ.  Jesus by inheritance is the owner all things.

 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth… Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, … And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. … No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. … Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.  … And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.  … Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: …  Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.  … The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,  … He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
 The above quotes are found in order as follows: Genesis 1:1, Exodus 20:11, Genesis 1:31, John 1:18, Hebrews 1:4, Hebrews 9:15, Matthew 25:34, Colossians 3:24, Ephesians 1:18, Revelation 21:7                 

Estate Owners

What happens when an estate owner dies? The executor reads the will and testament of the one who died and must remit the inheritance to the heirs.  Before his death, the estate owner owns all things.  The heirs may not take their inheritance until the death of the owner.  Death is required before the inheritance may be disseminated.

This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. Matthew 17:5 

Jesus is the only begotten son of Father God.  Twice during his life on earth God said, This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.[1] Jesus was the fully matured son, the son who was ready to take over his father’s business.  He owned and had authority over all the estate of God the Father. Because Jesus was the True Firstborn, the only full heir of the Father under the First Covenant, at his death he had the authority to bequeath that same inheritance to his many brethren[2] under his own will and testament, the New Covenant[3].

 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal  inheritance.  For where a testament [a will] is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament [a will] is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. Hebrews 9:15-17

Jesus is the Testator, the Estate Owner, of the Second Covenant who had to die as the son over his own house[4] to bequeath the eternal inheritance to His many brethren. In His death as the Testator of the Second Testament, he bequeathed the promise of eternal inheritance to all who would come to God by him.

 Beloved now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.   1 John 3:23  

He is the firstborn of many brethren,[5] and this is the inheritance bought for us by redemption through His blood.[6]

[1] Matthew 3:17; Matthew 17:5
[2] Romans 8:29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
[3] Hebrews 8:7  For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
[4] Heb.3:6
[5] Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
[6] Colossians 1:14  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Time and the Grand Unified Theory

Elusive intrigue of time travel may have blinded us from the answer to the question in plain sight.

Interstellar the movie who are theyThe x, y and z axes contained in Time

The 3D universe is infinite edges contained within the ever constant acceleration of Time.  Time is the ultimate boundary.  Not even God will break its boundary.  Time moves at a constant never-changing rate, neither changing in direction nor changing in acceleration.

Ever Constant Acceleration of Time

Time Theory of Everything

All heaven and earth; that is, all spiritual and physical universes, each with its own infinite-ness, are yet contained within the ever constant acceleration of Time, like a tunnel with infinite walls.

All movement is necessarily contained within Time.  Without Time there can be no movement; neither of physical objects, nor of energy, nor of thought, nor even of spirit.  If Time could stop, all would freeze in immediate stasis, the definition of ultimate death, even for God.  Time cannot stop because God cannot stop.

There has never been a time without Time.  Had Time ever not existed, it would not exist now because change requires motion, and Time is required for a change from a state of “no Time” to a state of “Time”.

Time in the Theory of Everything pizarra-con-fc3b3rmulas-matemc3a1ticas-clay-shonkwiler[1]

Einstein said Time can bend.  I don’t know about that, but maybe Time has come for The Grand Unified Theory to be discovered.  Make Time the constant, and I predict that the equation can be balanced.

But who am I?  I’m no physicist; I’m just an apologist.

The Watchman -a poem

Before his ear can hear it,

Before his eye can see it,

He perceives the coming.

From lonely heights atop the wall

The watchman waits and scans the sky

For bird or cloud or dust or smoke.

He feels and knows, yet does not see.

He looks below at brick and earth

And gropes the ground for movement there.

There’s something in the air beyond,

A song or distant melody

Beyond the audit of his ears, a most familiar strain.

Perceive he must, and grips his silver trumpet fast.

The blast he may not sound too soon,

Or, “Wolf,” would be the cry.

With trembling hand and firming lip

He lifts the trumpet to his mouth.

The time has come for war.

Mark 13:34-37
For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey,
who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work,
and commanded the porter to watch.
Watch ye therefore:
for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
And what I say unto you I say unto all,
Watch.

A Point of Life -A Philosophical Physics Riddle

Here is a riddle I have composed after many months of a certain line of contemplation.

A Point of Life -The Riddle

by Susan Ector Ward

I occupy a point.

The point is a location on a particular line.

The line is located on a particular plane.

Within the plane, I am occupying a location on an infinite number of other lines.

The location of my point is claimed by an infinite number of other planes each of which incorporates an infinite number of other lines whose path also claims my point.

My point is the center of an infinite sphere.

I may move in any direction along any of the infinite number of lines occupied by my point.

Successively and momentarily as I move, I will be occupying one of an infinite number of other points each one not only located on the line along which I move but also located on an infinite number of other lines and also located on an infinite number of other planes, few of which are occupied by the point at which I began.

As I move, each point whose location I occupy becomes the center of a new infinite sphere.

I may change my direction by choosing to move along any of the infinite lines whose path
claims the point of my new location.

As I move, I find that I have influenced an infinite number of spheres whose center I have occupied.

If I move backward to retrace my path, though I will again pass through the center of every one of the infinite spheres whose center I had occupied before, I cannot influence any sphere in the same way I had influenced it before because I have been influenced by each of the infinite spheres along my path.  The fact of my movement has changed me.  Though I go back, neither I nor my point can ever be the same as we once were.

Who am I?

Finished guessing?  The answer here.

Spoiler to A Point of Life, The Riddle

Clues are underlined, and the spoiler is at the bottom.

A Point of Life -The Riddle
by Susan Ector Ward

I occupy a point.

The point is a location on a particular line.

The line is located on a particular plane.

Within the plane, I am occupying a location on an infinite number of other lines.

The location of my point is claimed by an infinite number of other planes each of which incorporates an infinite number of other lines whose path also claims my point.

My point is the center of an infinite sphere.

I may move in any direction along any of the infinite number of lines occupied by my point.

Successively and momentarily as I move, I will be occupying one of an infinite number of other points each one not only located on the line along which I move but also located on an infinite number of other lines and also located on an infinite number of other planes, few of which are occupied by the point at which I began.

As I move, each point whose location I occupy becomes the center of a new infinite sphere.

I may change my direction by choosing to move along any of the infinite lines whose path claims the point of my new location.

As I move, I find that I have influenced an infinite number of spheres whose center I have occupied.

If I move backward to retrace my path, though I will again pass through the center of every one of the infinite spheres whose center I had occupied before, I cannot influence any sphere in the same way I had influenced it before because I have been influenced by each of the infinite spheres along my path.  The fact of my movement has changed me.  Though I go back, neither I nor my point can ever be the same as we once were.

Who am I?
?
?
?
?
?
?

I am a living soul.

Interstellar the Movie, Who are They?

[Slight Spoiler Alert; so please go see the movie!]
Interstellar Movie PosterChristopher Nolan‘s newest blockbuster movie Interstellar leaves us questioning, “Who is They?”  As with his Inception, Nolan’s brilliance leaves no accidental intimations.  The audience is honored by the Nolan brothers with the expectation that they will think/meditate on their movie experience.  As expected, I have engaged in some deep thinking and discussing since I experienced Interstellar almost a week ago.

There is hope in Nolan’s futuristic sci-fi.  Coop [Matthew McConaughey]  has a daughter named after Murphy’s Law.  Very early in the movie young Murph is angry that she is named after something bad.  The answer her father gives is a twist on the common negative version of Murphy’s Law.  He tells her it is not about something bad, but that whatever can happen will happen.  That is a hint of hope.

Who is “They”?

Interstellar the movie who are theyScientists tell Coop that “they” have opened a wormhole to another galaxy with habitable planets just in time to save mankind from the inhabitable conditions on earth.  Coop asks, “Who is They?”  No one knows, but they are obviously a higher being capable of manipulating dimensions.  And They seem to be trying to help humans.  Possibly, it is speculated, They are multidimensional beings.

Cooper (Coop) is a former NASA pilot who is now trying to survive earth’s environmental deterioration, as everyone else,  by farming corn.  He says, “We used to look up at the sky and wonder at our place in the stars, now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt.”  Coop is clearly named for the proverbial eagle raised in the chicken coop.  The story has numerous variations and goes something like this:

A farmer finds an eagle’s egg and places it under a brooding hen to be raised with the chickens.  He wisely keeps the eagle’s wings clipped so it can’t fly out of the chicken coop, so the eagle scratches in the dirt for food like the chickens.  After a while the farmer forgets to keep the eagle’s wings clipped.  One day a thunderstorm is brewing.  As thunder rolls, the chickens scurry under the coop to huddle together in fear of the storm.  A gust of wind rushes through the eagle’s feathers.  The eagle feels the exhilaration of the approaching storm and hops onto a fence post stretching his wings into the wind.  The next current catches his wings and lifts the eagle to flight.  The same storm that causes the chickens to cower in fear lifts the eagle to soar above the clouds and above the storm.

Yes, Coop is an eagle among chickens.

Are the main characters’ names really meaningful clues? The simplest clue is Anne Hathaway‘s character Amelia Brand.  Using the name “Amelia” is an honest tribute to the brave female aviator Amelia Earhart.

Dr. Amelia’s “Love Soliloquy”  in the very center of the film time also carries the central theme of the story.  She is making her pitch to Coop about which of the remaining habitable planets to choose, when she says,

“Maybe we’ve spent too long trying to figure all this out with theory. … Love is the one thing that transcends time and space.”

In the end love is what saves mankind.

Dr. Brand’s Plan A and Plan B bank on innate human love of family to secure a future for mankind.   Dr. Brand [Michael  Caine] trusts that if humans  believe they can save their families, no sacrifice will be too great.  It is the strongest motivational force in humanity, even above self-preservation.

Another aptly named character seems to be an Adam figure.  This character deceives in order to secure his own rescue and then attempts to take over the plan for the future of the human race. It is he who tells Coop that the last thing one sees before death is the faces of those he loves most.

When all hope is gone and all possibilities for salvation are played out, love in the form of self-sacrifice wins a future for mankind on one of the habitable planets.  Both Dr. Brands were right in different ways.

Interstellar movie Who is They?

Tesseract

Coop enters the black hole to collect data necessary to human survival.  As he is pulled into the singularity, he is sucked into a tesseract that has been created for him by the multidimensional beings.  Nolan has impressively represented the tesseract in which Coop figures out a way to use gravity to communicate with his own past.  Therefore he passes the lifesaving data to his daughter on earth.

But who is They?

In the end the scientists say that “They” are evolved humans of the future who have learned how to manipulate dimensions.   Are we, the audience, required to believe this? Is Interstellar  an atheistic film championing human willpower as the salvation of humanity?   How many times have scientists in this story misinterpreted the data to form wrong conclusions?  Several times.
What data do we have?

  1. “They” opened a wormhole  in time to give mankind a way of salvation from earth.
  2. “They” created a tesseract and put Coop in it so he could communicate with Murph.
  3. All “supernatural” communication is discovered to be actually human to human.
  4. “They” set up the provision for human to human communication across dimensions.
The Paradox

How can humans go back in time to save themselves in their own past unless they have already been saved to be in the future at all?  For humans to have been “They” who opened the wormhole, some humans must have lived through earth’s apocalypse to become multidimensional.  This possibility would be acceptable if we were watching the BBC’s Dr. Who?, but we are not.  The timeline of the film gives no evidence for this possibility.  The same argument holds for the builders of the tesseract.

Are Christopher and Jonathan Nolan expecting us to make this leap of faith to believe without evidence ?  I am not willing to suspend disbelief that far.  I have more respect for Nolan ingenuity than  that.  As they expected me to think, I expect that they thought.

Here sci-fi transcends entertainment and becomes philosophic.   Can we believe in multidimensional beings?  Can we believe that a multidimensional being might want to save mankind?  Might that multidimensional being set up a system of communication to carry ideas across time from human to human?

Hey, it’s just sci-fi!