God gave Moses the pattern for building a tabernacle, and established the sacrificial system of worship. This meant that a sinner could bring a required blood sacrifice and have his sins covered.
The one way into the tabernacle—the only door to the courtyard of the place of meeting with God—opened onto the altar of sacrifice. The blood offering for man’s sins was offer up to God as sacrifices for sin. There was no other way for a sinner to approach God. Only blood on the altar could cover human sin.
To fully understand the sacrificial system, we will look at both, the Old and the New Testament, systems of blood sacrifice.
The Old Testament system consisted of a sanctuary that was designed by God. The inner sanctuary, representing the very presence of God, was entered only by the high priest. Even then, he entered only once a year and always carried the blood of a sacrifice he had offered “for himself and for the sins the people had committed” (Hebrews 9:7). The veil covered the inner sanctuary at all times and was pulled aside briefly to accept the animal sacrifice. It was clear that the repeated sacrifices, which never succeeded in removing the veil, “were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper” (Hebrews 9:9). Sins were merely “covered.”
This is the meaning of the Hebrew word kaphar—“atonement.” But sin had not been removed, and so the guilt remained.
“Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand, the table and the consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron's staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.
When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper.”
The New Testament embodies the sacrifice of Jesus Christ through the shedding of His blood on the cross of Calvary. We are able to understand the sacrifice of Jesus through all the animal sacrifices described in the Old Testament. All of these sacrifices pointed toward Christ’s death on the cross. His death was the perfect sacrifice. We no longer have to offer animals, Jesus,the Son of God, is the perfect sacrifice.
And it was only right that God—who made everything and for whom everything was made—should bring his many children into glory. Through the suffering of Jesus, God made him a perfect leader, one fit to bring them into their salvation.
Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to be in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. He then could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since he himself has gone through suffering and temptation, he is able to help us when we are being tempted.
“When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance--now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.”
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot (1 Peter 1:18-19).”
The suffering of Jesus on the cross was culminated by the shedding of His blood. When He died on the cross, His blood atoned, or paid for, all of our sins. From that atonement we receive salvation and all of its benefits –justification, reconciliation, redemption, remission of sins, and more importantly, peace. Christ’s shedding His blood on the cross was God’s absolute atonement for our sins. He was the perfect and ultimate sacrifice.
“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God (Romans 3:25).”
“Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him” (Romans 5:9).
“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven (Col. 1:20).
“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission (Hebrews 9:22).”
“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all (Hebrews 10:10).”
"If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).
We find in the teaching of Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:23-25 that we are to commemorate and share Christ’s death by partaking of His communion on a regularly. His blood saved us from sin and provided us with eternal life in Him.
“ For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me (1 Cor. 11:23-25).