1. Why did the sacrifices have to be perfect, without blemish or any disfigurements to satisfy God?
  2. What does it mean to satisfy God?

“It is finished,” Jesus said while on the cross just before He died.

The fact that all sin had to be paid for in order for it to be finished as Jesus stated on the cross comes from several different places. One is in Leviticus 16 in the Law for Atonement. Aaron was to take two he-goats, one for sacrifice and the other for confession, and then to illustrate the complete removal of the people’s sin, the scapegoat (goat of Azazel) was led away into the wilderness.

What happened to the goat didn’t matter; the purpose was to show the complete efficacy of the removal of sins: out of sight, out of mind, away from the people. Of course, laying on of hands and confessing the sins of Israel over the goat did not put all the sins on the goat. It was a shadow of what Jesus would do in the future.

The priests could only enter the Holy of Holies one day per year and that was after the goat of Azazel was sent into the wilderness with all the sins of Israel on its head, figuratively speaking. Only the most perfect of perfect goats could be the scapegoat. This was the one day when all sin of Israel was taken away.

Although sacrifices of bulls, sheep, lambs and others continued throughout the year (to take care of sin on an individual basis, and they fed the Levites and those ministering in the Tabernacle). The true Atonement only happened once a year. This foreshadowed Jesus’ once and for all sacrifice. The Old Testament Atonement Day was one priest entering the Holy of Holies. If that priest had one unconfessed sin, or there was one minute thing left undone that priest was struck dead. It’s why that priest had a rope tied around his ankle with a bell attached. If the priest was struck dead, then the other priests could pull him out of the Holy of Holies.

Holiness is perfection, purity, and divine. No lamb, bull, or goat meets that standard, but it does meet the innocence standard. A lamb doesn’t deliberately sin as a human does. No human is ever sin-free. There is always the first time, when faced with a choice, the human chooses to disobey.

Only holiness can cover sin with purity. Sin can never cover sin with purity to be acceptable to God. Sin cannot enter God’s presence, so it can never open the door to Heaven.

Jesus, the perfect, holy, divine Son of God opened the door of Heaven so that believers may go boldly into the throne room of God, sit at His feet or sit on His lap, perhaps only in spirit now. One day we can do it bodily in Heaven. Glory!

Isaiah 53 is another place we must look to see how God is satisfied with the willing sacrifice of the Messiah. Isaiah 53:11a He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.

Then to understand what God means that He is satisfied, we must look at the Law as a whole. For anyone who violates one Law has broken them all. In order for the fullness of sin to be completely covered it had to be the most perfect sacrifice for all.

In order for Jesus to have said, “It is finished,” He had to have paid the full price completely and perfectly. Bulls and goats and sheep and lambs had no power to forgive sin, only Jesus could do that. Hebrews 9:22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. Hebrews 10:18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

Remission of sin meant in the Old Testament a passing over of, not to be confused with overlooking. It meant that penalty was delayed. In the New Testament, it means cancellation of debt, forgiveness. The distinction is because the Old Testament saints looked forward to Jesus’ perfect sacrifice, and the New Testament saints experienced the sacrifice and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus Himself when He sat down at the right hand of the Father.

God was satisfied with the sacrifice that it was perfect enough to cover the sin of the world. The whole Law as set down by Moses was completely adhered to. Not one mistake, not one veering to right or left. Not one misstep or misspoken word. Perfect. That took care of the Law and Sin.

But there was one other legacy that Adam and Eve gave us. Death. Their disobedience brought death into the world. Firstly, God killed animals and used their skins to make clothes for them, and their blood to cover their sin. Secondly, Adam and Eve and everyone after them died physically.

Jesus’ death is sufficient for our Spiritual beings to not suffer Hell. But, God had a greater plan. He foretold Jesus would be the first fruits raised into a magnified and glorified body that is eternally both physical and spiritual. Only then did death have no more sting. It was conquered. Because the Father raised Jesus, we will be raised and be like Him joint heirs with Him to the riches in Heaven.

The only way the sin could be conquered is if it was kept to the tiniest jot and tittle. Jesus did that. The only way death could be conquered is if sin had no hold because the Law was satisfied. The only way the Law could be satisfied is if all sin was covered by the blood of Jesus.

The crux is that God had to be satisfied which is why there must be atonement: The Hebrew word is

  • kâphar כּפר (kaw-far') A primitive root; to cover specifically with bitumen; Mineral pitch; a black, tarry substance, burning with a bright flame; Jew’s pitch. It occurs as an abundant natural product in many places, as on the shores of the Dead and Caspian Seas, etc.
  • A viscous, tar-like oil that requires non-conventional production methods such as mining or steam-assisted gravity drainage.
  • Figuratively to expiate or condone, to placate or cancel: - appease, make (an) atonement, cleanse, forgive, be merciful, pacify, pardon, to pitch, purge (away), put off, (make) reconcile (-liation).

Isn't it interesting that it has to have a gravity drainage system and that it burns with a bright flame? Isn't that exactly what God has promised to do with all who reject Jesus as Savior?

Saying the unsaved person must pay for his sins is wrong because a sinner cannot pay the price. Nothing we do pays for our sins. Burning in Hell does not pay for our sins. It is the result of not believing God, but it does not pay for sins because only a perfect sacrifice can atone, satisfy, appease the perfect and holy God Almighty. Only the perfect can cancel debt and make all signs and symptoms of sin lessen or disappear in the believer’s heart. That is true remission of sin, and it is visible in the fruit of the believer.

Jesus was the only perfect human and willing sacrifice. And scripture states plainly that God was satisfied with Jesus' sacrifice. If any sin was left unpaid for, then Jesus could not have been raised from the dead.

Sin in all its entirety had to be conquered in order for death to have no sting. The wages of sin is death. Therefore, all sin had to be covered for there to be no required wages.

1 John 3:4 Everyone who sins breaks God's law because sin is the same as breaking God's law.

Therefore, the sin of murder was paid for, the sin of lying was paid for, and so on. How could Jesus pay for one man's sin of murder, but not pay for another man's sin of murder? He could not because sin not paid for gives death the upper hand. In order for Jesus to be raised from the dead God had to be satisfied that all sin was paid for, not just the list of sins categorized in the Law, but the individual commission of each sin. That is the only way Jesus was released from the grip of death. And there God is satisfied. Therefore it is finished.