“Do not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep that has any defect or flaw in it, for that would be detestable to him.” Deuteronomy 17:1 (NIV)
When we farmed in Minnesota, we used to go to a lot of cattle auctions. We would watch as cow after cow was brought into the sale ring. Typically, we were there to buy calves. We would closely examine each calf to make sure it was not sick, it didn’t have any major deformities, and that overall it seemed like a healthy calf. In my experience, if a calf even sniffles, you might as well call it because so often they die, even when given expensive doses of medication.
When the Israelites needed to sacrifice an animal, they first needed to examine it to see if it had any flaw or defect in it. They could not just grab any animal out of the lot. They needed to take the time to look at it, examine each part of it, and decide if this animal was without fault. Then, once they had chosen an animal without defect or flaw, they would sacrifice the animal as an offering to the Lord.
We see Jesus fulfill this step of the sacrifice before he was crucified. After he was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, he was brought first to the Sanhedrin: the high priest, all the chief priests, elders and teachers of the law. Technically he was brought before Annas, the father-in-law of the chief priest, Caiaphas. Annas had previously been the high priest, and his son-in-law was the current high priest. However, Annas still carried a good amount of authority, including the title of “high priest” even though he wasn’t serving as high priest at that time.
After Jesus was examined by the Sanhedrin, he was brought before Pilate, the Roman governor of the region. Pilate then examined Jesus. Jesus remained silent during most of the accusations. He did answer that he was the King of the Jews; however, he stated his kingdom is not of this world. After the examination, Pilate announced to the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man” (Luke 22:4).
In the book of John, Pilate says three different times, “I find no guilt in him.” The King James Version says it this way, “I find in him no fault at all.” (John 18:38, 19:4, 19:6)
Jesus was thoroughly examined and no fault was found in him. There was no flaw. There was no defect. There was no sin or guilt. Jesus was the perfect Lamb. He was the perfect sacrifice.
Personal Reflection: Thank God for sending His perfect Lamb to be the sacrifice for your sins!