Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
To fulfill all righteousness, Jesus also had to become the atonement sacrifice. This was the sacrifice offered to the Lord once a year that made it possible people to ask for forgiveness of their sins. We already talked about the Passover Lamb and this was for the personal sin of the people. However, before our personal sins can be forgiven, first there must be a sacrifice that makes it even possible for unholy people to be forgiven. This was the atonement sacrifice. It was the ‘whosoever’ sacrifice so that no matter how bad someone’s sins were, they could still be forgiven.
This sacrifice could only be offered up by the High Priest. He was slaughter the lamb, then go behind the curtain of the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood all over the Ark of the Covenant where the Spirit of God remained. The Temple of God in the Old Testament was a model and symbol of Heaven and the Ark of the Covenant symbolized the throne of Heaven. Who is on the throne in Heaven? Revelation 4 tells us that it is Jesus. The Ark was a wooden box that had gold on the inside of the wood and the outside. This too is a representation of Jesus who came from the golden glory of Heaven down to earth to die on the wood, then returned to the golden glory again.
When they drove the nails into Jesus’ hands and feet, His blood splattered all over. His body was covered just as the Ark of the Covenant would have been when the priest sprinkled the blood of the lamb.
The atonement sacrifice was honored by God. His Spirit remained with Israel even though they were full of sin and even though the High Priest was also human and full of sin. So that at any time if one of the persons in the nation of Israel came to the Temple to repent of their sins, it was possible because of the atonement sacrifice. When Jesus died on the cross, the Bible says now that ‘whosoever’ believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. If God honored the atonement sacrifice of Israel, though it was a dirty sheep offered by a sinful man by accepting anyone who would repent of their sin and forgiving them, how much more will He forgiven ANYONE no matter what they have done by the sacrifice of Jesus, the perfect atonement for the sins of all the world.