He must bring to the LORD a young bull without defect as a sin offering for the sin he has committed. - Leviticus 4:3
God made him who had no sin to be a sin offering for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. - 2 Corinthians 5:21
There are a variety of pictures in the Old Testament history of Israel‘s life with God that say things about sacrifice, and particularly the Passover lamb – a lamb was that was ‘without defect.’ Why ‘without defect’? Possibly for various reasons. The first reason is so that the giving of this lamb for God’s purposes would not be done casually. The owner would have to take care in choosing.
The second reason is that having taken care, he now has to commit his very best to the Lord. The third reason is that this sacrifice has no need to be put to death – there is nothing defective about it that should warrant its death. Fourthly, there is a sense whereby we might say that it had no sin to deserve its death, so its perfection highlights the awfulness of what is happening to it – a totally blameless creature taking the sin of completely guilty people.
Apply these reasons to Jesus, and we see something wonderful. His coming as The Lamb was carefully decided in heaven, the very best that heaven could commit to the task, and there was nothing about him that was defective, nothing that warranted his death. Hebrews 7:26 tells us that Jesus was ‘holy, blameless, pure.’ Peter tells us that he came as this lamb, ‘without blemish or defect’ (1 Pet 1:19). You and I are redeemed by a perfect being. He didn’t deserve it, but we did. If we imagine him as a cup, he was empty of sin, so would take all our sin, every single drop of it. There was no element of our sin that he didn’t die for.
Come worship the Lamb of God with us this Sunday at 10:45, and learn more about his perfect sacrifice on your behalf.