Awareness, Devotional, Spirituality

“In the Similitude of My Only Begotten Son”

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Understanding the Old Testament Sacrificial System as a Messianic Prophecy

This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth.

~ Moses 5:4-12~

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

~John 1:29~

But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

~ 1 Peter 1:19-20~

In the premortal councils of heaven, God had promised Adam and Eve (and all the rest of us) that help would come from His pure, unblemished Firstborn Son, the Lamb of God “slain from the foundation of the world,” as the Apostle John would later describe Him. By offering their own little symbolic lambs in mortality, Adam and his posterity were expressing their understanding of and their dependence upon the atoning sacrifice of Jesus the Anointed One. Later, the wilderness tabernacle would become the setting for this ordinance and, after that, the temple that Solomon would build.

~ Elder Jeffrey R. Holland – Behold the Lamb of God – April 2019 General Conference ~

In Word: Genesis records a day when the two sons of Adam and Eve brought forth their sacrifices. Abel brings forth the firstlings of his flock. Cain brought forth his crops. How did the sons of Adam understand and provide a sacrifice unto God? By the hand of modern-day revelation, we learn that Adam walked in obedience and provided a sacrifice unto God (Moses 5:5). We also learn that this sacrifice is in the similitude of the Only Begotten Son of God. This is confirmed in the teachings of the Savior himself and the New Testament. It is also confirmed in the Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price.

Later, we learn that this sacrificial system will become part of the covenant God makes with Abraham. It is also the covenant God makes to the nation of Israel and will become part of the Ancient Temple Worship. All of which points to the coming messiah who will take upon himself mortality and minister, preach the gospel, bring healing unto all who seek after him, face death, and to rise with a glorified body of flesh and bone. The sacrificial system is the messianic prophecy of Christ who will come and take away the sins of humanity and conquer death.

In Deed: Today we do not present an unblemished lamb on the altar as a sacrifice. The Savior has fulfilled the ends of the law (2 Nephi 25:24-26; Matthew 5:17-20). What we do present is ourselves as living sacrifices…holy and acceptable unto God for good works (Romans 12:1). Our spiritual worship is to walk in obedience to those things that our Savior has commanded us. Obedience merely means we are placing our faith and trust in God’s will and desire for us and our own lives. We walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). It is by this faith that Adam and Eve offered up sacrifices unto God as they worshipped and called upon His name. To this end – the Angel came and revealed unto them that this was in similitude of the sacrifice Jesus Christ will provide to answer the ends of the Law and fulfill the plan of salvation.

Take a Moment and Ponder: True Christian discipleship means we are to live a crucified life. It is a life where we put to death our natural sense of self and are made alive in Christ. The Infinite Atonement does not merely save us from sin and death. It brings us into an intimate relationship where we are one with Christ and the Father. What sacrifices does our Heavenly Father desire from you? How does the understanding that the sacrificial system points us toward the fulfillment of Christ’s sacrifice? In what way does this mean for you today? Our sacrifice unto God is one of willingness, love, and devotion to our Heavenly Father. It is this devoted worship where such sacrifice will be acceptable before God.