Jesus = Perfect Sacrifice?

Didn't Jesus' death mark the culmination of his perfect observance of the Mosaic Law and the institution of the perfect and continuous sacrifice for all time? Let's find out.

The claim that one person's perfect observance of the Mosaic Law makes it unnecessary for others to observe it is not found in the Jewish Scriptures. The notion of a one time perfect sacrifice is also alien to the Jewish Scriptures.

The New Testament states that included in Jesus' earthly task was the mission to completely fulfill the commandments as literally decreed by God in the Jewish Scriptures (Matthew 5:17-18). According to the New Testament, the Mosaic Law was in effect until Jesus fulfilled all, in all its exactness.

Jesus was to fulfill the Mosaic Law to perfection. For the New Testament's god-man, Jesus, there could be no exceptions to fulfillment that were outside the limitations of the Mosaic Law.

Jesus' supposed sacrificial death took place while the Mosaic Law was still in effect. Any sacrificial offering made prior to the Mosaic Law's end would have to be in full compliance with that Law. Prior to the moment of Jesus' death, the proper procedures and location for a blood atonement sacrifice would be biblically fixed and immutable. The crucifixion of Jesus meets none of these criteria.

If the Mosaic Law was in effect until the exact moment of Jesus' death, or for any length of time afterwards, that act cannot be considered as an atoning blood sacrifice bringing remission of sin. The cause of Jesus' death (even if one imagines that a human sacrifice is permissible) would, if he fulfilled the Law, have had to satisfy the Mosaic Law's requirements in order to be a valid atonement sacrifice.

Jesus' death was alleged to be an essential part of his fulfillment of the Law. Therefore, it was at the exact moment of his death that the requirements of the Mosaic Law were supposedly fulfilled in their entirety. Yet, the death of the New Testament's Jesus does not conform to the Mosaic Law's requirements for offering a blood atonement sacrifice.

According to the New Testament: (1) Jesus supposed atoning death for sin was the culmination of his fulfillment of the Law (Colossians 2:14-17), (2) Jesus' death was the final atoning sacrifice under the Mosaic Law (Hebrews 7:27; 10:10, 12). Thus, only after the exact moment of death would the requirements of the Mosaic Law be nullified.

According to the New Testament's own information, Jesus' death cannot be considered as an atonement sacrifice. Generally, he did not fulfill the requirement of Matthew 5:17-18. There is no indication that he fulfilled the Torah's commandments in their entirety. Furthermore, even if he did, this would not have any bearing on anyone else's obligation to fulfill the Law. Specifically, Jesus' death did not fulfill the New Testament contention that under the Mosaic Law "without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness" (Hebrews 9:22). Jesus did not shed his blood to the extent that it would constitute a blood sacrifice.

Following the New Testament conditions for the nullification of the Law through perfect fulfillment and sacrifice it is obvious that Jesus changed nothing; the Mosaic Law is still in effect.


© Gerald Sigal