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Without Blemish
by Jim Byrd

   The apostle Peter proclaimed that the people of God were redeemed with "the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (1Peter 1:19). Forty-three times in the Old Testament we read that every sacrifice offered to the Lord had to be "without blemish," or, as the Lord commanded in Leviticus 22:21, "it shall be perfect to be accepted." Any imperfection, even the slightest blemish, rendered an animal unfit to be an offering to God because every sacrifice prefigured and pointed to the perfect Lamb of God and was designed for the honor of that One who is infinitely holy.

    When our Savior laid down His life in the stead of His people, He died "the Just for the unjust to bring us to God" (1 Peter 3:18). Even when He was suffering the wrath of God and rendering full payment for the debt of our sins, He remained "the Just One," (Acts 7:52), the innocent and perfect Sacrifice,"without blemish and without spot." Hebrews 9:14 tells us that Christ "offered Himself without spot unto God." "Christ...hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour" (Ephesians 5:2). "Sweetsmelling"means an offering of delightful fragrance to God (read Genesis 8:20-21). The Father was well pleased with the justice-satisfying sacrifice of His Son. If our Substitute had been contaminated by guilt and sin, His sacrifice would have been anything but "a sweetsmelling savour" unto the Lord.

    Fix your mind and heart upon the Lamb of God and His glorious work of redemption. The sins of God’s elect were charged to the spotless Savior Whose deity and sinless Humanity qualified Him to die as our Substitute. "He is the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 2:2). Christ’s sacrificial death met the demands of divine justice and put our sins away. Our Redeemer was that suitable and successful sacrifice for sin which God would not have accepted or been satisfied with had Christ not been "without blemish and without spot." O what a delightful truth for the children of the Lord to dwell upon. Herein lies our hope and confidence. God accepted the one perfect Sacrifice for sins and all those in whose stead He died and arose are, and always have been, "accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6).

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