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Legitimate, not in the fact that He died, but in how specifically his blood was shed. It is said that Jesus' death was the final fulfillment of the old testament requirements. If this is true, then shouldn't the blood of Jesus, along with water, be sprinkled onto the ark of the covenant?

If Jesus' blood was not sprinkled onto the ark, how did it fulfill the very specific sacrificial requirement of God?

Leviticus 16:15 (NKJV)

15 “Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil, do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat.

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5 Answers 5

You are conflating, I think, the manner and location of the shedding of the blood with the fact of the shedding of the blood. Put simply, Jesus was the perfect spotless Lamb of God whose blood is shed for the remission of sins; there was no requirement that his blood be shed on the Jewish altar.

Consider the archetype of this sacrifice in God's command to Abraham to sacrifice his son. That was to be valid, even though there was no temple or altar.

Gen 22

2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love — Isaac — and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

...

13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”

15 The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

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Hebrews 10:1 (KJV)
For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

I think you can say from Hebrews 10 that the Old Testament sacrifices were a picture of Christ's sacrifice more than that his death was a fulfillment of Old Testament requirements.

Edit: Here are the verses I wanted (emphasis on verse 23):

Hebrews 9:19-24 (KJV) For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

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Jesus says that he came to fulfill the law. Only a man can be righteous by fulfilling the law, which Jesus did. But what about this sacrifice? How did it fulfill the law. –  Jonathon Byrd Sep 9 '11 at 1:05
    
See my edit above, I think it clarifies what I originally wrote. –  Brian Koser Sep 9 '11 at 1:38
    
Any way to connect this with sin? –  Jonathon Byrd Sep 9 '11 at 1:51
    
Verse 22 uses the word remission which means "pardon; forgiveness, as of sins or offenses." –  Brian Koser Sep 9 '11 at 2:01
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As some others have noted, I think you are taking "fulfilling the law" a little far: Jesus was also not a goat or a bull, there was no incense, His fat was not burned on the altar, etc. –  Brian Koser Sep 9 '11 at 23:08
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Also keep in mind that,

In 586 BC, the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and Solomon's Temple. There is no record of what became of the Ark. [source]

So most likely in Jesus' day the ark was not in the temple.

Revelations 11:19 Then, in heaven, the Temple of God was opened and the Ark of his covenant could be seen inside the Temple

I'm not trying to solve the mystery of the ark here but merely point out that it's entirely possible that the law could have been fulfilled with the ark in heaven after Jesus arose and ascended.

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At least your thinking along the lines that I am. –  Jonathon Byrd Sep 9 '11 at 1:58
    
well in the end, regardless of whether or not the blood was sprinkled God's word seems to be pretty clear that God accepted Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins, it's His desire to fulfill his word and save us so I'm sure he worked it out somehow. ;) –  Andrew Sep 9 '11 at 2:04
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Archaeologist Ron Wyatt claimed before his death to have discovered the Ark of the Covenant buried under several meters of rock and dirt, just outside the city of Jerusalem. He believed the Ark had somehow been buried directly under the site of the crucifixion. Part of his discovery was the presence of a dark substance that had dripped onto the mercy seat, and which appeared to be blood.

It was at this time, as Ron recalls, as the instant realization of what had happened here dawned on him, that he passed out. When he realized that the crack in the ceiling was the end of the crack he had found in the elevated cross-hole many feet above him, and the black substance was blood which had fallen through the crack and into the stone case.

Ron then knew that the Ark of the Covenant was in the stone case: But the most overwhelming realization was that Christ's Blood had actually fallen onto the Mercy Seat.

Source

It is widely rumored that the nation of Israel has the Ark of the Covenant in its possession in an undisclosed location, awaiting the rebuilding of the temple.

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Note that Ron Wyatt's claims have been disputed by several critics. –  hammar Oct 8 '11 at 2:15
    
@hammar That's true, but he did garner some supporters, including the late Ekrem Akurgal, known for his research on the Hittite empire. –  Bob Black Oct 8 '11 at 2:39
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+1 - Hard to believe, but amazingly cool!!! –  Click Ok Oct 17 '11 at 15:13
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Christ Himself seems to be the new mercy seat, according to Romans 3:25, wherein Christ is referred to (in the original Greek) as the One "Whom God hath set forth to be an hilasterion through faith in His blood." Hilasterion refers clearly to the mercy seat of old in Hebrews 9:5.

It may also be edifying to note that upon the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, the veil into the Holy of Holies in the temple was rent.

EDIT: User @Ray has correctly pointed out that the interpretation of the word hilasterion in Romans 3:25 is debatable. Indeed, a quick search of the word yields multiple forum questions. At least one PhD dissertation is focused on this tricky word (cf. here). My apologies for not realizing the deep hermeneutical territory into which I have transgressed.

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you seem to be suggesting that hilasterion is referring to the mercy seat in Romans 3:5 just as it is in Hebrews 9:5. Is that what you're getting it, and if so, do you have any support for that statement? –  Ray Oct 15 '11 at 3:04
    
I have no experience in ancient Greek, and am essentially parroting an Orthodox webpage making this assertion, removing potentially caustic remarks about Protestant interpretations. –  Robert Haraway Oct 17 '11 at 14:15
    
However, even at my low level of understanding of the Greek, one may check the Rahlfs LXX text at ccat.sas.upenn.edu/gopher/text/religion/biblical/lxxmorph/… and search for the ASCII Greek word "I(LASTH/RION," and it pops up under Lev. 16:15. –  Robert Haraway Oct 17 '11 at 14:18
    
I see--I didn't mean to require more knowledge of you than what you were claiming to have. My understanding is that hilasterion more directly means "propotiation" (the turning aside of God's wrath) and that the mercy seat is referred to with that word because the function of the mercy seat is to turn aside God's wrath. –  Ray Oct 17 '11 at 14:24
    
The Blue Letter Bible reads ἱλαστήριον in the Rahlfs LXX text, and mercy seat in the KJV, as well. –  Robert Haraway Oct 17 '11 at 14:27
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