Jesus' death = remission of sin?

Did Jesus' manner of death satisfy the animal atonement sacrifice provisions for remission of sin of the Hebrew Scriptures?


According to the Hebrew Scriptures, the only animals permitted for sacrificial purposes are those that have split hooves and chew their cud. The carcass of an unclean animal deFILEs (Leviticus 11:26). On these grounds alone, human beings are disqualified for sacrificial purposes. Jesus, as a human being, was unfit for sacrificial purposes.

An animal blood atonement offering must be physically unblemished (Leviticus 22:18-25). According to the evangelists, Jesus was physically abused prior to his execution (Matthew 27:26, Mark 15:15, John 19:1; John 20:25; Matthew 27:29, Mark 15:17, John 19:2). According to Paul, Jesus' circumcision constituted "mutilation" (Philippians 3:2) and is likened to "castration" (Galatians 5:12). As a result, Jesus would again be disqualified as a valid sacrifice.

he New Testament's claim that Jesus' death was "one sacrifice for sin for all time" (Hebrews 10:12) is not supported by the Hebrew Scriptures. Mere death, no matter what was the extent of the preceding violence or pain, does not satisfy the biblical requirements for those times when a blood atonement sacrifice is offered. In a blood atonement offering the animal (clean species and unblemished) must actually die as a result of blood loss. That is why it is called "a blood atonement sacrifice."

Jesus (unclean human species and blemished) did not die within the Temple precinct, at the hands of an Aaronic priest, or through the shedding of blood. Jesus' blood was not sprinkled on the altar by the Aaronic high priest (Leviticus 16:18-19). Animal sacrifice, offered as a blood atonement, must conform to the biblical guidelines set down in Leviticus 17:11: (a) Bloodshed (by means of shechitah--Deuteronomy 12:21), (b) Given solely to the Jewish people, (c) Blood sprinkled upon the Temple altar.

Jesus' humanity, the physical state of his body, and the manner of his death (crucifixion) do not satisfy any blood atonement provisions found in the Hebrew Scriptures.

© Gerald Sigal