Troublesome Topic: Jesus Is Our Sacrifice for Defiant Sins

Lesson 3 of 4

I am convince there was a big hole in the Law; it could not atone for defiant sins, those done with a fist raised toward God (Numb 15:30-31). In the Former Covenant the only remedy for defiant sinning was to throw oneself on the mercy of God.

But Jesus filled that hole! When God’s actual sacrifice for all sin came on the scene, it was obvious that God is an infinitely gracious and merciful God.

Allow me to provide some biblical support of my theory that there was a hole in the law and the New Covenant fixed the problem.

1. Support from the Book of Hebrews

The Book of Hebrews describes Jesus doing what the Law could never do regarding atonement for sins.

Hebrews 9:11


When, by means of the greater and more perfect Tabernacle which is

not made by hand, that is, not part of this creation, and having appeared publicly as High Priest of the good things that have been brought into existence,

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Because He offers a new system which promises greater intimacy with God than the last one because the former system was part of the physical world not the spiritual world, and it was made by human hands rather than by God’s direct intervention, and because He is the chief administrator over all the wholesome and beneficial realities that [God] has brought into existence,

Hebrews 9:12


Christ entered

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once for all into the holy places and thus obtained eternal redemption, He did not do so by means of

the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood.


Christ entered just once into the most sacred place where man is represented before God, and by doing so he purchased our redemption forever, but He did not receive authorization to enter there using the normal means which are physical representations of spiritual realities, rather His authority is based on the fact that He is the reality those physical copies were modeled after, and He proved it when He offered Himself as the only efficacious sacrifice for mankind.

Hebrews 9:13


For if the blood of goats and of bulls and the ashes of a heifer that are sprinkled on those who have become unclean sanctifies them for the purification of the flesh


For if the blood of the sacrificial system of the Former Covenant, used on behalf of those who had become unacceptable to God in some way, was only capable of purifying the outside of the guilty person,

Hebrews 9:14


how much more the blood of CHRIST, who through the eternal Spirit, offered himself to THEOS without blemish, will purify our moral and spiritual consciousness from dead works in order to serve the living THEOS.


Since THE ANOINTED MESSIAH offered himself to THE OWNER AND RULER OF ALL THINGS through the agency of the very Spirit of THAT RULER Himself, and did so in a way that was acceptable to Him, His blood must be capable of fully purifying our inner being and our will from acts that lead to death so we can serve the OWNER AND RULER who is alive.

Hebrews 9:15


On account of this He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, now that death has taken place for the ransom of the sins under the

first covenant, those that have been called might receive the promise, the eternal inheritance.


For this reason He is the one who made the new covenant a reality, so that, since He died as a ransom for the sins done under the first covenant, those who have been called might receive what was promised to them, that is, their eternal inheritance.

The Sacrifice of Jesus Atoned for All Sins, Even Defiant Sins

First of all notice that the emphasis on 9:13 above is on uncleanness, not defiant sins; “the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer that are sprinkled on those who have become unclean.” That is because the Former Covenant did not even attempt to atone for defiant sins. The words “fully purifying even our inner being and our will from acts that lead to death” (paraphrase 9:14) refer to purifying us from defiant sins, which the first covenant could not forgive. While the Former Covenant was incapable of dealing with defiant sins, Jesus is more than capable of doing so. “He died as a ransom for the sins done under the first covenant” (paraphrase 9:15). This is proof that the first covenant did not truly forgive or atone for any sins; it simply placed them in a holding or waiting status until the true sacrifice would come and deal with them properly. Since the sin of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, God planned to send Jesus as the true sacrifice (Gen 3:15).

Hebrews 10:1


For the law, having a shadow of the good things that are coming, not the form of those things themselves, is never able to complete [the work] in those who draw near by means of the same sacrifices which they are continuously and perpetually offering each year.


For the law was just a shadow of the good things that are coming; it was not the real thing which has substance, therefore it was totally incapable of bringing God’s work to completion in those who were in the process of drawing near to Him because it continuously and perpetually offered the same sacrifices each year.

Hebrews 10:2


Otherwise, would  they not have ceased being offered?  For the worshippers, having been cleansed once, none would have any further conscience of sins.


If it could, wouldn’t those sacrifices have ceased? For those offering the sacrifices would have been cleansed once for all and therefore they would have no further consciousness of that sin, right?

Hebrews 10:3


But in these there is a memory of sin every year.


But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins carried out every year.

Hebrews 10:4


For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to remove sins.


For it was impossible for the former system of sacrifices to truly take away sins.

The Weakness of the Law Is Proven

Notice how this passage describes the weakness of the Law and its sacrificial system: “it was totally incapable of bringing God’s work to completion” (paraphrase 10:1); “For it was impossible for the former system of sacrifices to truly take away sins” (paraphrase 10:4). Nowhere was this weakness in the Law more evident than in its lack of ability to deal with defiant sins.   

Hebrews 10:5


Therefore, upon coming into the world, He says,

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“A blood sacrifice and a gift offering you have not desired, but you have prepared a body for me.


When He came into the world, Christ said, “Father, you do not desire sin offerings and gift offerings by themselves, instead you have prepared a body for me to occupy

Hebrews 10:6


Burnt offerings and [things] concerning sin you have not delighted in.


burnt offerings and other such offerings do not satisfy you.

Hebrews 10:7


Then I said, “Look! It is written of me on the little head

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of the book; I have come to do your will, O THEOS.”

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Then I told my Father, “See! In the scroll containing the Law it predicts this event; I have come to do your will, O CREATOR AND OWNER OF ALL THINGS, (Your law [holds the central place in my heart because I have memorized and burned it] into my heart [to guide me] – Ps 40:8). ”

Physical Body, Physical Sacrifice, Complete Fulfillment

In effect Jesus was saying: “The sacrifice of animals was not enough, but here I am; I am able and willing to be effective where they were not.” God prepared a physical body for Jesus so He could be what the sacrificial animals never could be, the true sacrifice for sin. It is obvious that Jesus fulfilled the picture that the sacrificial animals were portraying. In fact, the primary reason Jesus was given a physical body was to fulfill the prophetic pictures painted by all the sacrifices of the first covenant, other reasons exist, but they are secondary.

2. Support from the Book of Romans

The book of Romans describes Jesus doing what the Law could never do regarding atonement for sins.

In Romans 1:18-32 Paul paints a powerful picture of the sinful condition of mankind. Most of what is listed there as examples of the sinful condition are things that the first covenant considered defiant sins, violations for which the first covenant had no solution.

In Romans 3:21-26 Paul clearly demonstrates that Jesus accomplished what the sacrifices of the Law could not.

Romans 3:21


But now, apart from the law, the righteousness of THEOS has been made visible, being testified to by the Law and the Prophets;

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But now, separate from the Law, the righteous holiness which belongs to and comes from THE CREATOR AND OWNER OF ALL THINGS has been made clear, and the books of the Law and the writings of the Prophets are witnesses to it;

Romans 3:22


moreover it is the righteousness of THEOS [that comes] through faith that is connected to JESUS CHRIST

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toward all those that believe. For there is no distinction [between types of people].


specifically, I am referring to the righteousness that comes from THE CREATOR AND OWNER OF ALL THINGS, by connecting our faith to THE SPIRIT-ANOINTED SAVIOR and it comes to all those who believe in Him. This is true because the differences in people that you have focused on are null and void; [the only true distinction has to do with faith in Jesus].

Romans 3:23


For all have missed the mark

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and are falling short of the glory of THEOS,

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That lack of distinction is true because each person has missed God’s mark, and is therefore failing to give glory to THE CREATOR AND OWNER OF ALL THINGS as He deserves,

Romans 3:24


being made righteous freely by his grace through the act of being bought back which is in CHRIST JESUS,


and yet each person can be declared innocent because of a gift which is based on His grace which is available through the act of buying back what was forfeited (i.e. us); that buy-back took place when THE SPIRIT-ANOINTED SAVIOR completed our purchase.

Romans 3:25


whom THEOS set in place before hand as an atoning sacrifice,

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through faith in His blood, as a demonstration of His righteousness, because in the willingness of THEOS to hold back [the punishment due], He overlooked previous sins.


This Spirit-Anointed Savior was prepared before hand by THE CREATOR AND OWNER OF ALL THINGS as the sacrifice that would atone for our sins when we place our faith in His blood. By doing it that way, He proved His righteous holiness, because THE CREATOR AND OWNER OF ALL THINGS, in His willingness to hold back the punishment we deserved, was willing to overlook previous sins.

Romans 3:26


At this present time, at this opportune moment,

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He has done this to demonstrate

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His righteousness in order for Him to be just, and the one who justifies the one who is of the faith of JESUS.


We are alive at the precise time in history to be witnesses of this great moment in which He has done all this to prove His righteousness, justice, and holiness to everyone, and to be proven just, and the one who justifies those who believe in GOD’S SAVIOR.

This passage proves the effectiveness of the sacrifice of Jesus and the ineffectiveness of the sacrifices offered under the First Covenant. Observe the following:

-“apart from the law” v. 21

-“all those who believe” v. 22 (including those defiant sinners described in Rom ch 1)

-“All have missed the mark” v. 23

-Yet they are “being made righteous freely by his grace” and being “bought back” v 24

-God held back the punishment that was due (for defiant sins) v. 25 <proving He is merciful>

-And God overlooked previous sins v. 25 <the law was incapable of atoning for them>

-God has done this to show (to prove) that He is a just God v 26

– And God proves He is capable of justifying everyone and atoning for any sin v 26

– the only requirement for forgiveness is the right kind of faith v. 26

Then Paul gives the example of Abraham’s faith, and how it was counted as righteousness. Rom 5:6-11 tells us that God’s gracious offer was available to us even when we were enemies of God.

Rom 5:10 says: “For if it is true that while we were His enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His son, how much more shall we, since we have been reconciled, be saved by His life?” We were defiant, shaking our puny fists at God, yet God offered His Son as a sacrifice for people like us. This is unlike anything in the Law.

Romans 8 also demonstrates that Jesus accomplished what the Law could not do.

Romans 8:2


For the law of the Spirit of life in CHRIST JESUS has set you free from the law of sin and death.


For the system, principles, power and everything else related to the working of the Spirit that provides life through what THE SPIRIT-ANOINTED SAVIOR did (His death and resurrection) has released you from the system, principles, power and everything else related to the realities of sin and death.

Romans 8:3


THEOS found sin in the flesh to be guilty and sentenced it to punishment, having sent His own Son because of sin, and in a way that resembled sinful flesh,

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because the Law, being totally incapable

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of accomplishing it, was weak on account of the flesh,


THE CREATOR AND OWNER OF ALL THINGS put on trial sin which controlled the twisted natural desires of mankind and proved that it should be sentenced to the punishment of being removed from its position of control over mankind. He did this by sending His own Son as the answer for the sin problem (i.e. the only acceptable sacrifice for sin), and in order to accomplish that, His son needed to be sent in a physical form in order to be a physical sacrifice.  God did this because the system, principles, and everything related to the covenant God established through Moses was totally incapable of accomplishing that sentencing and punishment. It was weak because it had no answer for the twisted desires within mankind.

Romans 8:4


so that the righteousness of the Law could be fulfilled in those of us who walk according to the Spirit, not according to the flesh.


God did all this so that the righteousness which the Law taught and which it aspired to (but could not deliver) could be completed in us, specifically, in those of us who now live controlled by the Holy Spirit, not controlled by twisted human desires.

What Is Meant by “The Righteousness of the Law”?

The Law does have righteousness (v. 4), meaning that it can teach righteousness and it provides a step in the right direction. However, this passage also indicates that the law is incapable and weak (v. 3). Paul demonstrates that Jesus accomplished what the sacrifices of the Law could not accomplish – true atonement for all the sins of all the people who seek it from Him in the right way.

3. References to Forgiveness from All Sins

This forgiveness was available regardless of what type of sin had been committed.

“And in Him (Jesus), everyone who believes is justified from all the things from which you were not able to be justified in the law of Moses” (Acts 13:39). Wow! That’s clear!

See the following as well.

I John 1:7 & 9

Col 2:13

4. References to Forgiveness of All People

This forgiveness is available to all people regardless of who they are or what they have done.

John 3:15,16,17,18,21,36

Rom 3:22

Rom 5:18

Eph 2:3-5

There are many more references in this category.

We do not read such inclusive language in the Law, only in the New Covenant.

5. Examples of People Who Committed Deliberate Sins and Were Forgiven

This list of examples includes, but is not limited to: Saul of Tarsus, Peter, the Samaritan woman, the woman caught in adultery (Jn 8), anyone who had “leprosy” because true leprosy was a direct punishment from God, and anyone who was freed from a demon, including Mary Magdalene.

In the Former Covenant these people would have known that they had no recourse but the trust the mercy of God. In the New Covenant there is provision for deliberate, defiant sins. It still requires repentance, but we know it is available.


We deserve death but God grants us a second chance at life, and He does this many times over. Under the Former Covenant there was nothing prescribed for defiant sinning except punishment, but under the New Covenant, God does indeed forgive all kinds of sins, even blatant and defiant sins, once we repent. God is a merciful God! His high standards are matched only by His great mercy!

The Good News is that Jesus is the one true sacrifice, capable of atoning for all sins, even defiant sins.

The next lesson in all three series on Covenants is: Jesus Terminated All the Old Testament Sacrifices


1: “having been brought into existence”

The participle used here has many uses, but it basically means “having become.” The form used points to the past, but it implies all that God has done and will do in the future.


“entered” is the primary verb of verses 11 and 12 which form one sentence; all of its other verbs or participles are secondary. The Holy of Holies that Christ entered was not the one made by hands but the true place where God meets with man, which can mean people’s hearts, or the system established by God for intimacy between God and man. We know that Jesus established a new system for connecting with God, but He also utilized God’s new system to enter into people’s hearts through the new system God had set up. It is hard to understand because, in the physical world we are accustomed to, one cannot use item A to make item A. The author is giving yet another example of how great Jesus Christ is. He is fulfilling everything about the Old Testament sacrificial system, yet He is replacing it with something better.


What follows is a quote from Ps 40:6-8. The Greek words for sacrifices and offerings are not exact equivalents of the Hebrew terms but the general idea of the passage is adequately conveyed.

4: "little head"

In this case there are a few steps between my translation and my paraphrase. The Greek word used here means “little head” and it was also used of the “knob” at the ends of the wood around which a scroll was wound. The Hebrew word used in Ps 40:7 means “roll,” and the Hebrew phrase means “in a roll of the book.” The Greek wording used here is pointing to the same thing as Ps 40:7. i.e. “the roll of the book,” but I chose to show you what the Greek actually says – “the little head.” David was likely referring to the Law and indicating that He had attempted to be faithful to the entire law. But David’s words refer more to Jesus than to himself because Jesus fulfilled them much more completely. The author of Hebrews was likely referring to the entirety of the Old Testament Scriptures.


The passage Jesus was quoting, Ps 40:6-8, includes a final statement that Jesus did not say in the hypothetical conversation expressed in Heb 10:7. It says “Your law is in the middle of my heart.” I have included it in the paraphrase column because this was a tactic that many Jews used; they would say most of the statement but purposefully leave out part of it. The speaker expected the listener to know the Old Testament well enough to be able to finish the statement on his own. Sometimes the speaker would purposefully leave out the most important part. I figure not all of my readers know Ps 40 by heart, therefore, I considered it justified to add the final statement to the paraphrase. The last part, which Jesus did not say out loud, proves He is qualified to do this work of atonement – He is in full harmony with the Law.


When used together in this way, the Law and the Prophets refer to the sections of the Old Testament known as the Law and the Prophets (the third section was called the writings and it included the historical books and the poetic books). The point is that all the Law and all the writings of the prophets point to Jesus and His cross and empty tomb.


In Greek there is no word between the word “faith” and the name “Jesus Christ.” That is because both the word “faith” and the name “Jesus Christ” are in the Genitive case, a noun form that is used when they intend to describe such things as possession or relationship to something or someone (and a few other situations).  It is the same case that is used in the phrase “the righteousness of God,” meaning that God is the source of that righteousness. Grammatically we could translate it “the faith of Jesus Christ,” but that makes it sound like it is His faith, not our faith. I prefer to render this statement as “the Jesus Christ kind of faith,” or “the faith that is connected to Jesus Christ.” We usually see it written as “faith in Jesus;” this phrase means basically the same thing but expresses the idea differently.


The word for “sin” basically means “to miss the mark, to wander from the right path, to make a mistake, to do wrong.”


“falling short of the glory of God” can mean either failing to give Him glory, or failing to receive and understand whatever part of His glory He wants to show us. I think it is more likely failing to give Him glory; salvation is more about God being God and being given the honor He deserves than it is about us receiving something from God. We think salvation is about us because we are the ones in need, but God sees it differently. He designed us and created us to give Him glory through our lives; when we sin, we bring the process of giving Him glory to a halt.

10: Atoning sacrifice

This word usually has something to do with “the offering of an atoning sacrifice,” sometimes called “propitiation.” The emphasis seems to be on “the victim of the sacrifice,” i.e. “the lamb.” It can also mean “the mercy seat,” which was the cover of the Ark of the Covenant that was placed in the Holy of Holies. According to Lev 16:14, once a year there was blood sprinkled “on the Eastern face of the Mercy Seat” and “seven times before the Mercy Seat.” It sounds like that means on the side of the Ark of the Covenant/Mercy Seat and then on the ground in front of it. I believe the emphasis of this word is the shedding of the blood of the sacrificial animal. The fact that the writer of Hebrews chose to connect it to the Mercy seat in Heb 9:5 has no bearing here. The emphasis is on the atoning sacrifice, regardless of where the blood was sprinkled. To say, as some do, that God chose Jesus before hand to be “the Mercy Seat” takes the meaning of this word at least one step away from what I think this verse intends to communicate, that Jesus was chosen as the sacrifice to take our place.


There are two time-related words here: The first one is an adverb meaning “now, at the present [time],” and the other one is a noun meaning “a season, an opportune season, a pivotal moment.” Greek has another key noun that relates to time; it denotes the passing of the minutes and hours and is the word from which we get English words such as “chronological, and chronology.” That word is not used in this verse. The noun that is used here, which means “a season, an opportune season,” is not about the passage of time itself, but about what is happening during that season or era. It is a big picture perspective. It is used in this verse along side an adverb which points to “right now.” Therefore, I have expressed these two references to time separately in both my translation and my paraphrase.

Do the references to time point to the time of God’s action or to the time of His demonstration of the proof of His righteousness? They go together. The action was the death and resurrection of Jesus, which is also the proof of God’s righteousness.


The Greek says: “toward a demonstration, or toward a proof.”


The word used here means “resemblance, image, likeness.” It does not mean an exact copy. Jesus looked like one of us, but He was without sin. He resembled sinful flesh, but He was not characterized by sin the way we are.


This word also mean “impossible.”