The Great Debate

Did Sacrifices Forgive Sins?

Scene: Jeremiah and Ezekiel are seated at a cozy café on a rainy afternoon, cups of steaming coffee in hand. The café is quiet, the perfect atmosphere for a deep theological discussion.

The rain pattered gently against the windows of the café, creating a soothing backdrop to Jeremiah and Ezekiel’s latest discussion. They sat at a corner table, their Bibles open, ready to dive into another intriguing topic.

Ezekiel took a sip of his coffee. “Jeremiah, have you ever pondered whether the sacrifices in the Old Testament actually forgave sins?”

Jeremiah leaned back, his eyes twinkling with interest. “Ah, that’s a profound question, Ezekiel. It reminds me of a debate I recently heard about, centered around the idea of ‘rolling forward’ sins under the Old Law. Have you read Hebrews 9 and 10?”

Ezekiel nodded. “I have. And Leviticus 4:20 too. It says, ‘the priest shall make atonement for them, and they shall be forgiven.’ It seems to suggest that animal sacrifices did, in fact, forgive sins.”

Jeremiah tapped his Bible. “True, but let’s delve deeper. Hebrews 9 and 10 argue that while these sacrifices were necessary, they weren’t the ultimate solution. They provided a temporary measure until something greater could come.”


Ezekiel furrowed his brow. “So you’re saying these sacrifices were more symbolic, pointing towards a future, perfect sacrifice?”

Jeremiah smiled. “Exactly. Hebrews 9:9-10 says these sacrifices ‘cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience.’ They were regulations until ‘the time of reformation.’ The real issue, Ezekiel, was that the blood of animals could not permanently remove sin. It was like a shadow of what was to come.”

Ezekiel took another sip of his coffee, pondering. “Hebrews 10:4 also states that ‘it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.’ So, these sacrifices were more about obedience and foreshadowing Christ’s ultimate sacrifice?”

Jeremiah nodded. “Yes. When Christ appeared as the High Priest, He didn’t use the blood of animals but His own blood. Hebrews 9:12 says, ‘He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.’ Unlike the old sacrifices, His sacrifice was sufficient for all time.”


Ezekiel’s eyes lit up with understanding. “So, while the Old Law’s sacrifices provided a temporary covering, they were not a permanent solution. They were a foreshadowing, a way to prepare people for the ultimate sacrifice of Christ.”

Jeremiah leaned forward, his voice soft but firm. “Yes, and this is further supported by Hebrews 9:13-14, which argues that if the blood of goats and bulls purified the flesh, how much more will Christ’s blood cleanse our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.”

Ezekiel nodded slowly. “I see. The sacrifices were necessary, but they pointed towards something greater. Jesus’ sacrifice didn’t just cover sins temporarily; it provided a permanent solution, allowing us to be truly cleansed and serve God.”

Jeremiah continued, “And this is why Hebrews 9:15 calls Jesus the mediator of a new covenant. His death covered not only future sins but also those committed under the first covenant, ensuring eternal inheritance for those called.”

Ezekiel smiled. “It all makes sense now. The Old Law was a shadow, a preparatory stage for the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus’ death on the cross was the culmination, the perfect sacrifice that made all other sacrifices obsolete.”

Jeremiah raised his cup. “To understanding the depth of God’s plan and the ultimate sacrifice of Christ.”

Ezekiel clinked his cup against Jeremiah’s. “To the perfect sacrifice and the eternal redemption it brings.”

As they sipped their coffee, the rain continued to fall outside, but inside, the warmth of their discussion illuminated the profound truth of their faith.

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