Why a perfect, first-born male sacrifice-requirement?

Perhaps it never made it onto your radar screen before... this unusual sacrifice-requirement God demanded of his followers for the atonement of sin: a perfect, first-born male. Why did the sacrifice have to be perfect (without blemish or defect)? What was the significance of the first-born male? Why not the second or third? Why not a female?

The request would make little sense to anyone outside of the faith. After all, a sacrifice is a sacrifice, isn't it? Does one sacrifice mean more than another to God? According to Scripture, God is adamant about adherence to this sacrifice-requirement. So what does it mean to us, now?

In the context of Scripture, the story all began in God's experimental laboratory called the Garden of Eden. In the book of Genesis, we hear God speaking and creating simultaneously. God says it and it appears: Light, Sun, day, night, land, seas, plants, and animals. God is pleased with everything He has created and called the finished product "good."

But in the final act of creating, God did something really imaginative. He created a being from dust and breathed life into him. The being was a perfect male. God named the man, Adam. Into this being, God bestowed a likeness of Himself, so that the man stood out above all other created things. God was pleased with His new created being and declared this particular creation was "very good."

From this human male prototype, God created a partner (a perfect woman) for Adam, called Eve. God spent time (eternity) with the two of them. Sometime later, Satan entered Eden as a serpent and tempted Eve, then Adam, to disobey God. Both fell from God's grace into sin and death. Through Adam sin and death entered future offspring and the entire world. God's perfect, first-born male being sacrificed his own perfection to enter into sin, through disobedience.

So it would appear the law of God required the sacrifice of perfection through obedience, through a perfect, first-born male in order to undo what had been done by Adam at the beginning. And since man was completely corrupted by sin, only God (being perfect) could fulfill the requirement of a perfect male for the sacrifice. Thus, Jesus, being the first-born, perfect Son of God, was the only possible sacrifice that could fulfill God's law of atonement forever. Jesus overcame the impossible barrier of the sinful nature and neutralized the consequence of death, through eternal life.

Praise God for the unusual, atoning sacrifice-requirement that saves!

His Name is Jesus.

The Gadfly
(copyright 2008, Gregory Allen Doyle)

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