Article Index

Page 15 of 16


At the moment when Israel was sanctified and anointed with the blood of the covenant by Moses, the chosen nation consciously took upon themselves the world that was to be blessed by them and their representative (greater Moses). Moses, like Isaac, was to be a sacrifice because the covenant with God could not be valid while the mediator was still alive.

”For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive.” (Heb 9:16,17)

The sacrificial blood of Moses was replaced by the blood of the animal. This is what he said of this replacement blood that represented his life:

“This is the blood of the covenant by which God hath bound you.” (Heb 9:20)

However, the blood of Jesus could not be substituted. Thus, the new covenant was final and lasting.

“For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.” (Heb. 9:15)

Redemption from death is only possible with the release from the transgression committed under the first covenant, which means that only the chosen Israelites were redeemed by Jesus’ death. The other nations were not under this covenant. Their transgressions were covered by entering into the new covenant made with the house of Israel, from which a call was made to other nations.

While they were under the former covenant, the Israelites covered their transgressions by animal sacrifices. However, what was true of Moses, the leader (king), was also true of Aaron, the high priest who also should have died as a sacrifice, but not as a mediator of the covenant but as a sacrifice for the sin of the whole people. Namely, he, as the foremost firstborn in terms of holiness and sin, had the value of the entire nation, so that his death could cover the sin of the whole people. Instead of dying for the people, at God’s request, he had to redeem himself and the people year by year with a substitutionary sacrifice. This was done until the last high priest appeared.

“But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” (Hebrews 9:11,12)

“For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.” (Romans 6:10)

Jesus, as a high priest, was not to die by the substitutionary sacrifice, hence he died once and for all.

As we considered the historical background, we saw that Israel, the Son of God, through his representatives, had gone through what Jesus, the Son of God, had to go through. Namely, God brought his Son, Israel, into existence, so that through him, as Abraham’s offspring, all nations might be blessed. Likewise, God brought Jesus into existence to represent Israel, die for Israel and redeem them from death. Only thus, by Jesus and Israel would the whole world be blessed.

  • The death of Isaac, the beloved son by a substitutionary sacrifice, was supposed to enable for all his descendants to die with him. From then on they would owe their life to God in order to belong to him as his children.
  •  The death of the firstborns of Israel by the substitutionary sacrifice was to set the foundations of the people of God on the principles of the birthright so that they would all become heirs by means of their firstborns, upon whom theocracy would be formed.
  • The death of a leader or king by a substitutionary sacrifice made it possible to establish the covenant and obtain all the blessings based on the rights and responsibilities introduced by the Law.
  • The death of the high priest by the substitutionary sacrifice resulted in sins being covered and all debts discharged.

Hence, the Israelites lived and died as a ‘sacrifice’ that carried a ransom value. Their death was not used to redeem the world, but only one man. They were dying in God by a substitutionary sacrifice as the firstborn Son of God. By the death of that Son, Israel, Jesus was redeemed and was appointed to be the Son of God. Thus, the value of the whole world was reduced to one man whose human sacrifice has replaced the animal sacrifice. Hence, this arrangement was confirmed to times indefinite.

  • Trough Jesus Christ (greater Isaac) as the beloved Son, all who wish to belong to God as his children died and were resurrected.
  • Trough Jesus Christ, as the prominent Firstborn Son of God, all the firstborns who have become the foundation of God’s nation died and were resurrected
  • A new covenant was established through Jesus Christ as king
  • The ransom was given by Jesus Christ as the high priest to cover sins permanently and open the way to life.

In order to make Jesus the leading advocate of salvation, God made a “covenant for the kingdom” with him with new provisions, among which He abolished animal sacrifices, and this implied Jesus’ death. Jesus voluntarily accepted this role and took upon himself the sins of all people who, by baptism, are willing to put their hand on his head, that is, on the head of the Lamb (Son) of God.

The Israelites were first baptized in the name of Moses, who led them through the water. This water meant death for the Egyptians and for the Israelites it meant life. At that moment the Israelites died for themselves. God entrusted them with the responsibility for the whole world that was to be saved through them. In the same way Jesus took over the world and their sins that were cleansed by the water of their baptism into His death, which is also their death. Thus God accepts their death by which he redeemed Jesus.

At the moment of Jesus’ baptism, all who were to be baptised into Christ’s death were actually baptised as well. All of them, even before the foundation of the world, were counted as the atoning sacrifice represented by the ‘firstborns’ of Israel (the world). All of them, by Jesus’ submersion in water, already died to themselves. Similarly, by their death he was already redeemed. Thus their physical death received the atonement value just as Jesus’ did. The apostle Paul said that we are…

“United with him in a death similar to his own” (Romans 6:5)

None of us can bear resemblance to Jesus’ death by which he redeemed the world, but the similarity is that both his and our death have the value of atonement that God uses to carry out his plan of salvation. That’s why Paul said that …

“… it is appointed for men to die once …” (Heb. 9:27)

It seems that, by God’s righteous provision, we all must die. That does not mean that we will all be waiting for the resurrection in the grave, though. When Paul says that the living will be transformed in the blink of an eye, then that includes death, which is likely to be instantaneous (1 Co 15: 51-53). They could simply fall asleep and wake up instantly as if nothing had happened. Even those who have been dead for centuries will have that feeling. In any case, death has its value when we die, in accordance with the will of God, with Christ and for Christ. Although Jesus is redeemed by our representatives who represent the world, each of us as an individual must die through baptism as a ‘living sacrifice’, which was included in the value of the ransom before the world was born. That is the only way we can be redeemed from death and live according to Jesus’ sacrifice. And those who did not die as a sacrifice, after resurrection, must first die to themselves and as a ‘living sacrifice’ submit to the will of God. Consequently, they will be redeemed from the bondage of death, and receive “life in themselves” that will be confirmed in a way that they will experience death through transformation from death and corruption to life and perfection (Romans 6: 3-5).

By baptism in water, each person takes the path that ends in death in which our faith is involved. Baptism has its beginning and end. Even though he was baptised in water, Jesus said that he must be baptised with the baptism assigned to him so that death is the end of baptism or confirmation of that death in water with which God had already taken into account. God considered our death in faith so precious that he could use it to redeem one man. With this ransom, Jesus was given a life in himself that he preserved until the end. His death could redeem humans from the bondage of death because he was destined to be the first to defeat death in his body.

By the death of Jesus, the second Adam, who took over the world, the world died in him and not in the first Adam, so that the death sentence was reversed to life. In Adam, people were dying without the possibility of resurrecting and receiving life. But Jesus took over their death so that they died with him and were resurrected with him into eternal life.

“So we were buried with him by our baptism into his death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, we may also live a new life.” (Romans 6:3,4)

“… because you are buried with him in his baptism, and in fellowship with him you are also raised because of your faith in the effective power of God, who raised him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:12)

“We know that we have passed from death to life…” (1 John 3:14)

These verses describe the moment of atonement and obtaining the pledge of life. The first to experience that were faithful members of God’s chosen people, Israel. Given that at that particular moment in history, many in Israel became separated from God because of their sins, God sent John to return Israel to God through baptism, so that they would continue to be a “living sacrifice, pleasing to God.” In so doing, they confirmed their baptism into death by Moses by baptism in water. It is possible that the two witnesses (prophets) who will be sent close to the end of this world will ask the Israelites (scattered throughout the world) to return to their God and to be baptised into the greater Moses, Jesus Christ, in order that all Israel may be saved through them. It is assumed that many nations in Europe originated from the lose ten tribes of Israel. In any case, God knows His own. Only then will they attach themselves as broken branches to their natural, but restored, ‘olive’. These two prophets will be the last to be killed for the word of God. It is possible that, on the third day, all 144,000 who will take over the kingdom of the world with Jesus will be glorified with them as representatives.