Why exactly did Christ die on the cross and what exactly is the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament? I’m glad you asked.
We find the answer best described in the New Testament book of Hebrews. But first, let me explain a couple things in the way we might converse in 2013.
In the Old Testament, priests had to come and go into a special Sanctuary to offer up blood once a year with a spotless bull or goat, sprinkle blood all over, and light incense and other smelly stuff, and say all these fancy sayings for the remission of sins -for both the priest themselves and anyone else who came to the super cool tent so as they might feel good and sinless for the rest of the year. This worked for a while, but only a little while…probably not even the whole year.
You see, every year when people came to the tent they would have to remember their sins as they would basically ask for forgiveness all over again for those same sins. Then, after a while, people would just come and go, light up a calf, and never ever feel really and truly forgiven. God himself was getting bored with it all. Vain repetition it was…as it was not from the heart! This wasn’t working for ANYBODY!! (even though God knew from the beginning it wouldn’t but that’s a whole deeper subject).
So God says, in essence, What am I going to do about it? Yeah, I’m gonna send my son (a spin-off of me)….spotless and blameless and sinless…to be a final sacrifice for everyone’s sins once and for all and we can forget about these robot-like motions they go through each year. I can’t have tents everywhere and incense burning everywhere and whatnot, as I have to have these guys down there forgiven – TRULY FORGIVEN – because I love them and I don’t want to see them in pain! I have to have my commandments written in their hearts not just on those stone tablets (as wonderful as they were) because, after all, commandments aren’t made to hurt they are made to help..just like discipline for a child.
Then He sends down his son (remember, a mini-Him), born to a very nice young woman, Mary, who was just about as close to perfect (although wasn’t) as He could find down on earth. He comes down and is born as a human baby (weird but true) so He can live and die as a human and conquer sins and death once and for all. He then grows up and learns all about what it’s like to be human (even though he already knows) and eats and drinks and washes his hands and plays ball and everything! And as soon as he reaches about 13 he starts speaking in churches and synagogues but then things started getting bad. People started hating him. He was making too much sense! People almost couldn’t handle it. But I’m not going to go off on that, I’m going to stay on why there was/is a Christ.
While everybody was so busy with the Law (the Commandments) no one was really forgiving and living like God wanted them to, they were just going through the motions. So when Christ finally died on the cross and the temple veil (representing His flesh) was split in two (representing His flesh leaving the earth), the Holy Spirit (His Law and a comforter and friend to all of us) came to live in OUR HEARTS! PERMANENTLY! We don’t need tents anymore!! YAY!! This is good. REAL good. Thank you, God!!
Hebrews 9:14 – How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works (sin) to serve the living God? 15 – And for this cause He is the mediator of the New Testament that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament (Old), they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance (Heaven).
Hebrews 9:28 – So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many..
Hebrews 10:1 – For the Law (Commandments) having a shadow of good things to come…can never with those things continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2 – For then would they not have ceased to be offered?.. 3 – But in those sacrifices (the Old Testament ones) there is a remembrance again made of sins every year..
Hebrews 10:6 – In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin, Thou hast had no pleasure.
Hebrews 10:12 – But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God..
Hebrews 10:16 – This is the covenant (testament/NEW testament) that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.