You're here: » Articles Home » John Bunyan » The Doctrine of the Law and Grace Unfolded » Chapter 11 - Christ the Sacrifice of the New Covenant

The Doctrine of the Law and Grace Unfolded: Chapter 11 - Christ the Sacrifice of the New Covenant

By John Bunyan

      THIRD. [A third office of Christ, in reference to the new covenant, was His becoming the sacrifice]. As touching the sacrifice; you find that it was not to be offered up of all kind of beasts, as of lions, bears, wolves, tigers, dragons, serpents, or such like; to signify, that not all kind of creatures that had sinned, as devils, the fallen angels, should be saved; but the sacrifice was to be taken out of some kind of beasts and birds, to signify, that some of God's creatures that had sinned He would be pleased to reconcile them to Himself again; as poor fallen man and woman, those miserable creatures, God, the God of Heaven, had a good look for after their fall; but not for the cruel devils, though more noble creatures by creation than we. Here is grace.

      Now though these sacrifices were offered, yet they were not offered to the end they should make the comers to, or offerers thereof, perfect; but the things were to represent to the world what God had in after ages for to do, which was even the salvation of His creatures by that offering of the body of Jesus Christ, of which these were a shadow and a type for the accomplishing of the second covenant. For Christ was by covenant to offer a sacrifice, and that an effectual one too, if He intended the salvation of sinners-"A body hast Thou prepared for Me; I am come to do Thy will" (Heb 10:5). I shall therefore show you, First. What was expected by God in the sacrifice in the type, and then show you how it was answered in the antitype. Second. I shall show you the manner of the offering of the type, and so answerable thereto to show you the fitness of the sacrifice of the body of Christ, by way of answering some questions.

      First. For the first of these, [What was expected by God in the sacrifice in the type, and how answered in the antitype]-1. God did expect that sacrifice which He Himself had appointed, and not another, to signify, that none would serve His turn but the body and soul of His appointed Christ, the Mediator of the new covenant (John 1:29). 2. This sacrifice must not be lame nor deformed; it must have no scar, spot, or blemish; to signify, that Jesus Christ was to be a complete sacrifice by covenant (1 Peter 1:19). 3. This sacrifice was to be taken out of the flock or herd; to signify, that Jesus Christ was to come out of the race of mankind, according to covenant (Heb 10:5). But,

      Second. As to the manner of it [The offering of the types, and so answerable thereto, to show the fitness of the sacrifice of the body of Christ]-1. The sacrifice, before it was offered, was to have all the sins of the children of Israel confessed over it; to signify, that Jesus Christ must bear the sins of all His children by covenant (Isa 53:4-7; 1 Peter 2:24). "As for Thee also, by the blood of Thy covenant," in His own body on the tree (Zech 9:11). 2. It must be had to the place appointed-namely, without the camp of Israel; to signify, that Jesus Christ must be led to the Mount Calvary (Luke 23:33). 3. The sacrifice was to be killed there; to signify, that Jesus Christ must and did suffer without the city of Jerusalem for our salvation. 4. The sacrifice must not only have its life taken away, but also some of its flesh burned upon the altar; to signify, that Jesus Christ was not only to die a natural death, but also that He should undergo the pains and torments of the damned in Hell. 5. Sometimes there must be a living offering and a dead offering, as the goat that was killed, and the scape-goat, the dead bird and the living bird, to signify, that Jesus Christ must die, and come to life again (Lev 19:4-6).

      6. The goat that was to die was to be the sin-offering; that is, to be offered as the rest of the sin-offerings, to make an atonement as a type; and the other goat was to have all the sins of the children of Israel confessed over him, and then let go into the wilderness, never to be catched again (Lev 16:7-22). To signify, that Christ's death was to make satisfaction for sin, and His coming to life again was to bring in everlasting justification from the power, curse, and destroying nature of sin (Rom 4:25). 7. The scape-goat was to be carried by a fit man into the wilderness; to signify that Jesus Christ should both be fit and able to carry our sins quite a way from us, so as they should never be laid to our charge again. Here is grace. 8. The sacrifices under the law, commonly part of them must be eaten; to signify, that they that are saved should spiritually feed on the body and blood of Jesus Christ, or else they have no life by Him (Exo 12:5-11; John 6:51-53). 9. This sacrifice must be eaten with unleavened bread; to signify, that they which love their sins, that devilish leaven of wickedness, they do not feed upon Jesus Christ. [8]

      Now of what hath been spoken this is the sum, that there is a sacrifice under the new covenant, as there were sacrifices under the old; and that this sacrifice did every way answer that, or those; indeed, they did but suffer for sin in show, but He in reality; they are the shadow, but He as the substance. O! when Jesus Christ did come to make Himself a sacrifice, or to offer Himself for sin, you may understand that our sins were indeed charged to purpose upon Him. O! how they scarred his soul, how they brake His body, insomuch that they made the blood run down His blessed face and from His precious side; therefore thou must understand these following things-First, that Jesus Christ by covenant did die for sin. Secondly, that His death was not a mere natural death, but a "cursed death," even such an one as men do undergo from God for their sins, though He Himself had none, even such a death as to endure the very pains and torments of Hell. O sad pains and inexpressible torments that this our Sacrifice for sin went under! The pains of His body were not all; no, but the pains of His soul; for His soul was made an offering as well as His body, yet all but one sacrifice (Isa 53).

      [As Christ did not suffer in His body without suffering in soul, nor yet in soul without His suffering in body; it was because not the body without the soul, but both the body and soul of the saints should be for ever saved]. To signify, that the suffering of Christ was not only a bodily suffering, but a soul suffering; not only to suffer what man could inflict upon Him, but also to suffer soul torments that none but God can inflict, or suffer to be inflicted upon Him. O, the torments of His soul! they were the torments indeed; His soul was that that felt the wrath of God. "My soul," saith He, "is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death" (Matt 26:38). "Now is My soul troubled, and what shall I say?" (John 12:27). The rock was not so rent as was His precious soul; there was not such a terrible darkness on the face of the earth then as there was on His precious soul. O! the torments of Hell and the eclipsings of the Divine smiles of God were both upon Him at once; the devils assailing of Him, and God forsaking of Him, and all at once! "My God, My God," saith He, "why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Matt 27:46). Now in my greatest extremity; now sin is laid upon Me, the curse takes hold of Me, the pains of Hell are clasped about Me, and Thou hast forsaken Me. O sad! Sinners, this was not done in pretence, but in reality; not in show, but in very deed; otherwise Christ had dissembled, and had not spoken the truth; but the truth of it His bloody sweat declares, His mighty cries declare, the things which and for what He suffered declare. Nay, I must say thus much, that all the damned souls in Hell, with all their damnations, did never yet feel that torment and pain that did this blessed Jesus in a little time. Sinner, canst thou read that Jesus Christ was made an offering for sin, and yet go in sin? Canst thou hear that the load of thy sins did break the very heart of Christ, and spill His precious blood? and canst thou find in thy heart to labour to lay more sins upon His back? Canst thou hear that He suffered the pains, the fiery flames of Hell, and canst thou find in thy heart to add to His groans by slighting of His sufferings? O hard-hearted wretch! how canst thou deal so unkindly with such a sweet Lord Jesus?

      Quest. But why did Christ offer Himself in sacrifice?

      Answ. That thou shouldst not be thrown to the very devils.

      Quest. But why did He spill His precious blood?

      Answ. That thou mightest enjoy the joys of Heaven.

      Quest. But why did He suffer the pains of Hell?

      Answ. That thou mightest not fry with the devil and damned souls.

      Quest. But could not we have been saved if Christ had not died?

      Answ. No; for without the shedding of blood there is no remission; and besides, there was no death that could satisfy God's justice but His, which is evident, because there was none in a capacity to die, or that was able to answer an infinite God by His so suffering but He. [9]

      Quest. But why did God let Him die?

      Answ. He standing in the room of sinners, and that in their names and natures, God's justice must fall upon Him; for justice takes vengeance for sin wheresoever it finds it, though it be on His dear Son. Nay, God favoured His Son no more, finding our sins upon Him, than He would have favoured any of us; for, should we have died? so did He. Should we have been made a curse? so was He. Should we have undergone the pains of Hell? so did He.

      Quest. But did He indeed suffer the torments of Hell?

      Answ. Yea, and that in such a horrible way too, that it is unspeakable.

      Quest. Could He not have suffered without His so suffering? Would not His dying only of a natural death have served the turn?

      Answ. No, in nowise. 1. The sins for which He suffered called for the torments of Hell; the conditions upon which He died did call for the torments of Hell; for Christ did not die the death of a saint, but the death of a sinner, of a cursed and damned sinner; because He stood in their room, the law to which He was subjected called for the torments of Hell; the nature of God's justice could not bate Him anything; the death which He was to suffer had not lost its sting; all these being put together do irresistibly declare unto us that He, as a sacrifice, did suffer the torments of Hell (Gal 3:13). But, 2. Had He not died and suffered the cursed death, the covenant had been made void, and His Suretyship would have been forfeited, and, besides this, the world damned in the flames of Hell-fire; therefore, His being a sacrifice was one part of the covenant; for the terms of the covenant were that He should spill His blood. O blessed Jesus! O blessed grace! (Zech 9:10,11).

      Quest. But why, then, is His death so slighted by some?

      Answ. Because they are enemies to Him, either through ignorance or presumption; either for want of knowledge or out of malice; for surely did they love or believe Him, they could not choose but break and bleed at heart to consider and to think of Him (Zech 12:10,11).


      [8] These nine particulars are very methodically arranged, and are all deeply interesting. Very few of those who read the scriptural law of sacrifices see how clearly they pointed as types to Christ the great Antitype.-ED.

      [9] It is a mark of prying and dangerous, if not wicked curiosity to inquire whether God could have found any other way of salvation than by the atoning death of our blessed Lord. Instead of such vain researches, how much more consistent would it be to call upon our souls, and all that is within us, to bless His name, who hath thus provided abundant pardon, full remission, even to the chief of sinners.-ED.

Back to John Bunyan index.

See Also:
   The Epistle To The Reader
   Chapter 1 - The Words Opened
   Chapter 2 - What the Covenant of Works Is
   Chapter 3 - Under the Covenant of Works
   Chapter 4 - Who is Under the Covenant of Works
   Chapter 5 - What Men May Attain To
   Chapter 6 - The Doctrine Proved
   Chapter 7 - Free and Unchangeable
   Chapter 8 - The Conditions of the New Covenant
   Chapter 9 - Christ is the Surety of the New Covenant
   Chapter 10 - Christ the Messenger of the New Covenant
   Chapter 11 - Christ the Sacrifice of the New Covenant
   Chapter 12 - Christ the High Priest of the New Covenant
   Chapter 13 - Conditions Fulfilled
   Chapter 14 - Covenant of Grace Unchangeable
   Chapter 15 - Brought into the New Covenant
   Chapter 16 - A Word of Experience
   Chapter 17 - The Privileges of the New Covenant
   Chapter 18 - Two Hell-Bred Objections Answered
   Chapter 19 - Use and Application
   Chapter 20 - A Legal Spirit
   Chapter 21 - The Use of the New Covenant
   Chapter 22 - The Unpardonable Sin
   Chapter 23 - Objections Answered


Like This Page?

© 1999-2019, All rights reserved.