Sacrifice and offering you did not desire; my ears have you opened: burnt offering and sin offering have you not required.…
Among the many irrefragable proofs that we belong to a fallen race, is the misconstruction which men have put upon the clearest revelations of the Divine will. The Lord had appointed that, in their approaches to Him, the Israelites should offer sacrifices as an acknowledgment that their sins could not be remitted without the shedding of blood. The sacrifices both made clear expression of the fearful guilt of sin, and foreshadowed the atonement Christ should make for the transgressions of His people. But the Jews, as a nation, were not impressed with horror of sin, neither were their thoughts led forward to the promised Redeemer. In their shameful misconceptions of the Divine character, they often impiously imagined that, if any of them committed a trespass, he had no more to do than to kill a bullock or a sheep, in sacrifice, and his guilt would be forgiven him.
I. WHAT KIND OF ATONEMENT is required. It must be costly, for man's guilt is great. Hence —
1. It must be equivalent in value to the souls of the redeemed. Such is the stern doom of justice: else man cannot be saved.
2. There must be a connection between those for whom the atonement is offered and the party who suffers.
3. He who was to die for man must be innocent. No halt or maimed victim could be accepted in the ancient sacrifices: it must be perfect. But how could man furnish a perfect sacrifice for sin?
4. The victim must be willing. An involuntary, forced sacrifice would be cruel tyranny.
II. How ALL THE QUALITIES REQUISITE FOR A PERFECT ATONEMENT HAVE MET IN CHRIST.
1. There was sufficiency in value, for Christ was the Son of God.
2. He had connection with these for whom He died; for He was man as well as God.
3. He was perfectly innocent — "He did no sin."
4. He was a willing victim.
Parallel VersesKJV: Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.