Let us discuss for a moment the propitiation of the work on the cross – the stauros pendiculum – and its meaning for those of us who gather under it.
Vayiqra (Leviticus) 17:11
For the life (nefesh) of the flesh (basar) is in the blood (dawm): and I have given (natan) it to you upon the altar (mizbeyach) to make an atonement (kaphar) for your souls (nefeshtakiym): for it is the blood (dawm) that makes an atonement (kaphar) for the soul (nefesh).
This use of the term kaphar (atonement) means in its common usage, to cover, to expiate or condone, to placate or cancel, to appease, to make an atonement, to cleanse, to disannul, to forgive, to be merciful, to pacify, to pardon, to purge, to put off, or to make reconciliation.
This concept cuts to the center of the faith. First, the premise is asserted that the soul (nefesh) of the flesh (basar) is in the blood. The question as to when life begins is then answered: it is with the presence of unique blood.
According to this mitzvah (command), blood upon the altar is given to make an atonement for the souls, for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul.
Do we believe this, or not? For the New Testament only crowd, we have a bit of a difficulty; because without this edict, and without our belief in the truth of this edict, there is no realization of this atonement by MASHIACH. This is why MASHIACH himself said:
Yahuchanon (John) 4:22
Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Yahudiym.
Let us now consider how this concept is understood in the writings under the Brit Chadasha (the Renewed Covenant).
Yahuchanon (John) 1:29
The next day Yahuchanon sees YAHUSHA coming unto him, and says, Behold the Lamb of YAHUAH, which takes away the sin of the world.
The Lamb of YAHUAH is what is declared. Why a lamb, and not a bull or goats? Consider the edict of the Day of Atonement:
Vayiqra (Leviticus) 16:29-34
And this shall be a statute forever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict את eth-your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourns among you: 30 For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before YAHUAH. 31 It shall be a Shabbat of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict את eth-your souls, by a statute forever. 32 And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate את eth-to minister in the priest's office in his father's stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on את eth-the linen clothes, even the holy garments: 33 And he shall make an atonement for את eth-the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for את eth-the Tabernacle of the assembly, and for את eth-the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the assembly. 34 And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Yisra’el for all their sins once a year. And he did as YAHUAH commanded את eth-Mosheh.
It is during this day that the priest is to take two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering. (Vayiqra 16:5). Also, the priest was to take a bullock as a sin offering for himself. (Vayiqra 16:6). The priest then is to take the two goats, and cast lots upon them; one lot for YAHUAH, and the other lot for Aza’zel. (Vayiqra 16:7-8). The goat of the sin offering is killed for the sins of the people. (Vayiqra 16:15).
However, the priests second goat is then taken by the priest, lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him את eth-all the iniquities of the children of Yisra’el, and את eth-all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: 22 And the goat shall bear upon him את eth-all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go את eth-the goat in the wilderness. (Vayiqra 16:21-22).
The offerings of atonement are two goats and a bull. How does a lamb become applicable?
Shemot (Exodus) 12:1-7
AND YAHUAH spoke unto El-Mosheh and El-Aharon in the land of Mitsrayim, saying, 2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
3 Speak ye unto all the assembly of Yisra’el, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a house: 4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: 6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole multitude of the assembly of Yisra’el shall kill it in the evening. 7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.
This sacrifice of the lamb for every house in Yisra’el is done that YAHUAH will pass over the house of Yisra’el when he brings judgment.
Shemot (Exodus) 12:12-13
For I will pass through the land of Mitsrayim this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Mitsrayim, both man and beast; and against all the elohiym of Mitsrayim I will execute judgment: I am YAHUAH. 13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see את eth-the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Mitsrayim.
The blood of the lamb then causes the judgment of YAHUAH to pass over, and the plague of the smiting of the firstborn will not be upon those who placed the blood of the lamb upon their doorposts. But there is more to this plague than its summary. For instance, it is the final plague, and it is the judgment that results in the freedom of the house of Yisra’el from the slavery of Mitsrayim.
However, what is the freedom from Mitsrayim and what does it bring?
Shemot (Exodus) 4:22-23
And you shall say unto Pharaoh, Thus says YAHUAH, Yisra’el is my son, even my firstborn:
23 And I say unto you, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if you refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay your son, even your firstborn.
We see, then, that the striking of the door post with the blood of the lamb causes YAH to pass over all of Yisra’el, and the blood of the lamb of YAHUAH accomplishes this Passover for all generations.