|"He is the fire that consumed the sacrifice. Jesus is the sacrifice."
FOR THE LEVITICAL burnt sacrifice, we see the High Priest, the altar, the animal laid on the altar, and the fire which consumed it. God’s presence was upon the altar to receive the offering. The blood of the animal covered the sin the sacrifice represented. God did not turn aside from the blood nor from the fire nor from the smoke. Except in Isaiah 1, where the sacrifices were offered without sorrow for sin. God said He was “full of” their sacrifices, to bring no more “vain oblations.” He required repentance first.
The Holy Spirit is not a decoration around the throne nor simply the power of God sent to provide us with information. He is not just the promise of the Father proving our full redemption will come (Eph 1:14). Nor is He only the power which comes upon us and provides a heavenly language. He is the fire of Acts 2 which fell on those in the upper room, empowering them to go from there in the dunamis of God. But what we have overlooked of Him – He is the fire that consumed the sacrifice. Jesus is the sacrifice.
HE ANOINTED JESUS AS HIGH PRIEST. HE CONSUMED HIS SACRIFICE ON THE ALTAR. HE RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD.
The Holy Spirit, the Breath of the Father, was the presence of the Father with Jesus while on the earth. At every point, in every step, from His birth to His death and recreated human spirit, the Father was with Him. Jesus was persecuted, but the fire on the altar, which consumed the sacrifice, was God’s and not the work of the people. Though they put Him there and the Pharisaical priests led Him to the altar, just as in the Old Covenant symbolism, Jesus’ blood was split and His body broken so that a sacrifice without blemish, which He was (2 Corinthians 5:21), would be accepted through the burning of Holy Ghost fire.
The Holy Spirit is the fire of God. In Revelation, where it mentions the lake of fire and brimstone, this is the Holy Spirit’s fire consuming death for good. The re-creation of the earth into the new heavens and the new earth is a work of the Holy Spirit. Where His holiness consumed the sacrifice for sin under the Old Covenant, and sin could not stand in His presence, where He hovered over the earth and brought light at the words of Genesis, He will cleanse and reform that earth and present it brand new, just as we are made new at salvation.
The Father never abandoned Jesus on Calvary. The purpose of Jesus laying down His life as the sacrifice was so that the Holy Spirit could consume sin. The consuming of sin required the Spirit to be present. Jesus spoke the words of the 22nd psalm because they were familiar to those listening and prophetic of His suffering. But when He passed, He gave His spirit into His Father’s hands (Luke 23:46). And was made alive in the Spirit. His words to the thief assure of this. He said, “To day will you be with me in Paradise (Luk 23:43).” Today, meaning that day after His death, and so in Jesus’ sacrifice, the fire of God did the work He was pictured to do through generations of priests in the tabernacle and the temple.
As Elijah called fire down on the sodden sacrifice in front of the prophets of Baal, and the sacrifice and all the water was consumed, so was the Living Water consumed and all the idols of the enemy proven foolish. Because after the fire, what remained of the sacrifice was the life of the Spirit, and upon Jesus’ Resurrection, what became of His body was something glorious and undefeated. Free of death forever, which God’s intention before ever the earth was formed. There is no more death in Him because of the life of the Spirit. There will be no more death one day for all redeemed men because, before death came to the earth, God would not have threat of death remain on the earth He created in the people made in His image, after His likeness, and its defeat on the cross made that final.
“So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:54-57)
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Suzanne D. Williams, Author