Here is the clearest passage on the perpetuity of Israel’s nationhood: “If those ordinances [sun, moon and stars, etc] depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever. Thus saith the LORD: if heaven above can be measured and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD” (Jer 31:36-37).

That seems clear: the state of Israel, as a political entity, is under the eternal blessing of God, and will always be a nation. But we should notice a few things. First, what does the text mean by nation? The Hebrew word is goy, the plural of which, goyim, means the Gentiles. A nation would appear to be a distinct people with a head, or a people with a king. Second, how did God keep this promise in a way to satisfy the most literalistic premillennial dispensationalist? Israel only became a nation at Mount Sinai in Exodus 19. God declared Israel to be a peculiar treasure (Hebrew: segulah; Greek: laos periousios) and a kingdom of priests and an holy nation (Hebrew: goy qadosh; Greek: ethnos hagion) (vv. 5-6). Was Israel a nation when the 10 tribes were carried away into captivity; was Israel a nation when the remaining 2 tribes were carried into Babylon for 70 years; was Israel a nation when she existed as a  plaything for the nations from the return to the time of the Roman empire, and when no Davidic king ever sat on the earthly throne in Jerusalem again; was Israel a nation when she was destroyed in AD 70; and was Israel a nation from AD 70 to AD 1948/1967; and is Israel today a nation? Third, the promise of Jeremiah 31:36-37 is made explicitly to the seed of Israel, and not to the corporate entity known as Israel. The seed of Israel includes all those, whether ethnic Jew or ethnic Gentile, who believe in Jesus Christ, and excludes all ethnic Jews (and all ethnic Gentiles) who reject Jesus Christ. Since the Jews who returned to Israel in AD 1948 were unbelievers, Jeremiah 31 has nothing to do with them.

But what of the nationhood of Israel? In which people is this promise fulfilled if not in the unbelieving Jewish state in the Middle East?   And is there a king to sit on David’s throne? The New Testament tells us that Jesus is the son or seed of David and that He sits on David’s throne: “the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32-33). Premillennial Dispensationalists are fond of asserting that this prophecy will be fulfilled in a future millennial reign. First, 1.000 years is not forever, and Luke 1 demands that Jesus rule forever over the house of Jacob. And, second, Acts 2 teaches that Jesus is already sitting on the throne of David in heaven (vv. 30, 33-36).

Rev Martyn McGeown, Pastor Limerick Reformed Fellowship.

Link to full articles

The Cup


You HAVE to listen to this sermon on the cup Christ drank!

LINK to CPRC sermon Sunday 30th March 2014.

Reading John 18:1-24. Text John 18:11.

Our cup of blessing (I Cor.10:16), signified by the cup we drink from in the Lord’s Supper, depends totally on the cup Christ drank.

The cup he drank was the suffering of his life and death. He sipped it, as it were in his early life but ended up gulping it down and draining it dry when he said “it is finished.”

It was the cup of the pure wrath of God unmixed, a cup of judgment referred to numerous times in the Old Testament by the major prophets e.g., Isaiah 51:17, Jeremiah 25:15 and Ezekiel 23:31. It was a cup, which to drink it, brought horror and ultimately death.

It was a cup given him by his father but taken willingly.


It was a cup that brings to his disciples likewise suffering and blessing; and the two go together! (Matthew 5:11).

What struck me in reading the passage was this: When Christ confessed I AM he did so unashamedly and courageously and this led to his ignominious but yet glorious death for sinners. When Peter was asked if he was associated with Christ he said thrice I AM NOT, thus disassociating himself from his master and denying his true identity as a believer. All sin when you think of it, is a denial of who we really are in Christ, his blood-bought Spirit-indwelt people.

“Blest substitute from God

Wrath’s awful cup he drained…”

Isaiah 54:9-10,” For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.”


Christ in all Scripture

Gill on Leviticus 1 (part 4)
But the inwards and his legs shall he wash in water,…. This was first done in a room in the court of the temple, “the room of the washers,” or the washing room, where they washed the inwards of the holy things;  and after that they washed them upon the marble tables between the pillars, the washing of the inwards and legs denoted the internal purity of Christ’s heart, and the external holiness of his life and conversation, and the saints’ purification by him both in heart and life: with Philo the Jew these things had a mystical meaning; by the washing of the inwards was signified that lusts were to be washed away.

A sweet savour unto the Lord: he accepting of it, and smelling a sweet savour of rest in it, as an atonement for sin, typical of the sacrifice of Christ, which is to God for a sweet smelling savour, Ephesians 5:2 .

And if the burnt sacrifice for his offering to the Lord be of fowls,…. As it might be for the poorer sort, who could not offer a bullock, nor a sheep, or a lamb, Leviticus 5:7: then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves. These creatures were proper emblems of Christ, and therefore used in sacrifice, whose voice is compared to the turtle’s, and his eyes to the eyes of doves, Song of Solomon 2:12 and who is fitly represented by them for his meekness and humility, for his chaste and strong affection to his church, as the turtledove to its mate, and for those dove like graces of the Spirit which are in him.

Aflame yet unconsumed

Faith in the fire.

bush   imagesZXIB7NCZ

In Daniel 3:17-18 we read, “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”

The church, in the case of all Presbyterian and many Reformed churches has chosen as an emblem the burning bush which was aflame yet unconsumed. Why? The bush represented the presence of Jehovah God as he revealed himself to Moses as the great I AM, the unchanging covenant God of his people. The church is his representative upon earth which is persecuted by the godless world but never quenched−that is why.



The three Hebrews were accompanied by the Son of God in a theophany (a pre-incarnate appearance). They came through unscathed even though their persecutors died in the flames. This is how God has always worked─he redeems his people through the judgement of their oppressors.

 Did they know the promise of Isaiah 43:2?──I think so. “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”

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Fire is a picture of two things. First God’s holiness and second his wrath and the two are intimately connected. He is a consuming fire (Heb.12:29) and in the end he will consume this sin-cursed universe and in his holiness renew it to be his home and that of his people. His fire meantime purifies his people through affliction and persecution as spelled out in I Peter 1:5-7.” Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” He brings us through the fire by his Spirit’s power victorious and beautified preparing us to be his magnificent bride.

I Peter 4:12-19 speaks of fiery trial-like the bush aflame yet unconsumed!

Persecution is a powerful gift of God. It is His way to awaken us in our setting of relative ease and comfort to the truth of the antithesis. It drives us into His presence, to seek His strength for His persecuted saints, and to hope for the coming again of Christ with His saints, for the joy of everlasting redemption from all enemies through their final judgement.

Rev M VanderWal

Prayer for the persecuted


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Virtue has gone out of me

Luke8:46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.

Can virtue ever go out of Christ? Can he lose any of his infinite grace, virtue or power. No! But the word for “virtue” (KJV) in the Greek is DUNAMIS meaning power. It took almighty power to stem the flow of this woman’s issue of blood. This power issued from him yet his omnipotence was never diminished. This issue of blood made her unclean (Lev.15:25) so there is a spiritual lesson here for all of us who are similarly polluted by iniquity and sin.

Luke 8:45 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?

8:46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.

8:47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.

8:48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.

Come to him with your need today.

Christ in all Scripture

John Gill on Leviticus 1 (part 3)

And he shall flay the burnt offering. Take off its skin; this was the only part of it that was not burnt, and was the property of the priest, Lev 7:8 but who this was done by is not so manifest, since it is in the singular number “he,” and seems to be the bringer of the offering; for Aaron’s sons, the priests that sprinkled the blood, are spoken of plurally;  the flaying of the burnt offering and cutting it in pieces were lawful to be done by a stranger; (and) this was the work of the priests, and who were sometimes helped in it by their brethren, the Levites, 2 Chronicles 29:34 and as this follows upon the sprinkling of the blood, it was never done till that was; the rule is, they do not flay them (the sacrifices) until the blood is sprinkled, except the sin offerings, which are burnt, for they do not flay them at all . The flaying of the burnt offering may denote the very great sufferings of Christ, when he was stripped of his clothes, and his back was given to the smiters, and his cheeks to them that plucked off the hair;
And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar. The fire of the altar originally came down from heaven, and consumed the sacrifice, and which was a token of God’s acceptance of it, see Leviticus 9:24 and this fire was kept burning continually upon the altar, Leviticus 6:12 and yet the Jewish writers say, it was the command of God, according to this passage, that fire should be brought from another place and put here; this was not done by any but a priest in the time of his priesthood, or when clothed with his priestly garments; and so in the Talmud it is said, that the putting fire upon the altar belonged to the priesthood, but not flaying or cutting in pieces : this fire denoted the wrath of God, revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness and ungodliness of men, and which is the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels, and all the workers of iniquity; and which Christ endured for his people in human nature, when he bore their sins, and became a whole burnt offering for them:

Christ in all Scripture.


John Gill on Leviticus 1 (part 2)


“And he shall kill the bullock before the Lord. That is, the man that brings the burnt offering, for no other is yet spoken of; and according to the traditions of the elders, killing of the sacrifice was right when done by strangers, by women, and by servants, and by unclean persons, even in the most holy things so be it that the unclean did not touch the flesh. And the blood collected in basins was to be sprinkled round about upon the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation; which was the altar of burnt offering, and not the altar of incense, as appears by the situation of it, see Exodus 40:5 and the blood was sprinkled all around the altar with two sprinklings; that those two should include the four sides, and the two opposite horns were the northeast and the southwest, when the priest took the blood in the basin, he sprinkled out of it in the basin, two sprinklings upon the two corners of the altar opposite from it; and he ordered it so to sprinkle the blood upon the horn, so that the blood of the two sprinklings might be found upon the four sides of the altar; because it is said of the burnt offerings, and of the peace offerings “round about”; and this is the law for the trespass offering, and the rest of the blood was poured out at the bottom southward: now this was always done by a priest, for though the bullock might be killed by a stranger, yet its blood must be sprinkled by a priest; and therefore it is said, the “priests, Aaron’s sons,” when the slaying of it was only by one. The “altar” on which the blood was sprinkled typified the divinity of Christ, which gave virtue to his blood, whereby it made atonement for sin; and in allusion to this rite Christ’s blood is called “the blood of sprinkling,” 1 Peter 1:2, Hebrews 12:24 which being sprinkled on the heart by the Spirit of God clears it from an evil conscience, and purges the conscience from dead works, and speaks peace and pardon there, Hebrews 10:22.” All these sprinklings or washings were baptisms that sanctified as in the Greek of Hebrews 9-JK










Consider the Creation



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Moving water seems to fascinate human beings, whether it be a flowing river, a cascading waterfall, or a stormy sea. Witness those many brave or foolhardy folk who ventured out to see the giant waves in recent storms around the coasts of the U.K.  Most waves are caused by wind blowing over the sea or a lake. Tsunamis are rarer massive waves caused by an undersea earthquake or volcanic eruption (see below)

BBC Documentary


Swimming or tubing in a flat calm is fine but who doesn’t like waves to jump over, splash in, or even if they are big enough, to surf ?  Waves are powerful creations of God and often when they encounter land their power leads to coastal erosion, with undercutting of cliffs, the production of caves, arches and stacks and the drifting of sand into bars and spits. However, by providence, God has to set bounds to limit the sea–he says “thus far and no further!” (Job 38:11 and Jer. 5:22).

The word waves occurs 26 times in Scripture and wave, once. The Hebrew has 4 different words, GAL meaning a heap which is used 14 times, MISHBAR meaning breaker or billow used 4 times, HAMAH meaning height used once and DOKIY which means dashing surf also used once.

The fearful thing about waves, and anyone who has swum in them will agree, is their propensity to cover you and drive you under the water, and if possible drown you. If you have sailed the ocean it is quite fearful to look out upon that vast expanse of sea rising and falling, and realise you would not last long if you were to fall overboard. Think of Jonah!



It is important to mention that the sea in Scripture often stands for the world of the ungodly, “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt” (Isa. 57:20). The first mention we have of waves in Scripture is II Samuel 22:5 where David speaks of waves and floods threatening his death and these waves took the form of his human enemies. Similar language is used in Psalm 93:3-4 where both crashing surf and rolling waves conspire in their noise to engulf David, but he knows God is mightier than the waves, whether these be literal or figurative. Figuratively they stand for persecution or affliction. Just as God sovereignly raises up the waves (Ps. 107:25), so he also stills them (Ps. 107:29). If we encounter waves of persecution or affliction, God  is not only the author and finisher of our faith but also of what tests our faith, namely the affliction or persecution.

Psalm 42:7 says, “ Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me”. This should make us think of two men other than the Psalmist. In the first place the prophet Jonah who for his disobedience ended up thrown overboard a ship in the Mediterranean and were it not for a fish prepared by God, would certainly have drowned. Incidentally the words he uses in the belly of the fish are almost identical to the Psalmist and I suspect he was quoting that verse which he had learnt earlier in his life. Secondly these words would have been spoken by Christ himself who in much of his life and especially in the garden of Gethsemane must have felt and expressed that emotion, as the wrath of God was his lifelong portion. However the key point here is the repeated adjective “thy”. These waves are God’s waves and God’s billows! He promises to keep us afloat (Isaiah 43:2).

      Again the sea’s noise and billows are used as a picture of restless, godless humanity in Psalm 65:7,”Which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people.” Here God is supreme over the political and often violent unrest of nations and people, saying to them, at his appointed time, to be quiet, just as the Lord said “Peace be still” on the Sea of Galilee. In Psalm 88:7 we read, “Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.” Here the Psalmist equates the waves with God’s wrath suggesting he has fallen grievously into sin and contracted some serious physical ailment, perhaps a contagious disease that has afflicted him and driven friends and relatives away.

     When we come to Isaiah we see a different picture, ” O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea: (Isa. 48:18). It appears here that God is saying that obedience to his commands brings a continuous flow of peace and the steady wavelike rhythm of righteousness into a life. In Isaiah 51:15 we are reminded of one of the greatest redemptive miracles in all of Scripture when God divide the roaring waves of the Red Sea to allow his people to pass through on dry ground. The path, called a baptism into Moses in  I Corinthians 10:2-4  is actually typical of Christ who is our miraculous path out of Pharaoh (Satan’s) clutches into the promised land of heaven. Note also that Christ was the Rock that followed them, to whom we shall refer later.

      In Ezekiel 26:3,7 the prophet foresees the proud commercial city of Tyre being overthrown by Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon. Similarly Jeremiah in his prophecy chapter 51:42 has waves of judgement covering and destroying Babylon who had taken the Israelites captive after destroying Jerusalem in 587 BC. I take this to mean the overthrow of Babylon by Darius the Mede in the days of Belteshazzar, which at the same time,  is a type of the destruction of the false church and it’s head on the last day (Rev. 18:10). In the last Old Testament use of waves in Zechariah 10:11, we have prophecy concerning the gathering of the church in the midst of judgment on the nations,”  And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away.” Here what John Gill has to say about this in his commentary,” (they) shall pass through the sea; the nations, which are many as the sea…and so may design that hour of temptation that shall come upon all the earth, in which the kingdom of the beast, who rose up out of the sea, and consists of many waters, people, tongues, and nations, will be afflicted, which the Lord shall pass through and smite; or it may in general denote the sea of this world, and the afflictions of it, which the Lord causes his people to pass through, and brings them out of them: and shall smite the waves in the sea: that is, the Lord shall smite them; repress afflictions, which are like the proud waves, not suffering them to proceed further than is for his glory and his people’s good, and remove all obstacles in their way; (see Isaiah 11:15) or destroy their enemies, which are like the proud waters, that otherwise would go over their souls, and overwhelm them; and particularly the antichristian states, at the pouring out of the vials, signified by the sea, and by fountains and rivers in Revelation 16:3.”

So, to sum up so far: we have learned that waves in Scripture are afflictions brought about by God in the lives of his people which may be a form of discipline or refining, may take the form of illness or persecution by the ungodly, but in them all, God is sovereign and sets a limit to them  to accomplish his purpose. In the case of the ungodly, whether they be an individual or a whole empire, they are the waves of destruction.




Now let us see if these lessons are built upon in the newer testament. There are 6 instances in the New Testament. The New Testament words for waves  in 5 instances is KUMA which means billows and once SALOS meaning a vibration (a very scientific definition!) First mention is Matthew 8:24 (Mark 4:37) the passage where the disciples are nearly swamped on the Sea of Galilee. They cry to him in despair to save them and after rebuking the boisterous sea, he rebukes their fearful lack of faith. Had he not said, “Let us go over unto the other side of the lake” (Luke 8:22)? So they failed the test but it was the occasion of a wonderful demonstration of Christ’s divinity, akin to his raising Lazarus from the dead. He planned the waves, and indeed the death of Lazarus to teach his people about his perfect timing and omnipotence and thus glorify his father God. Who is this man that even the wind and the waves, and death itself obey him?   Job 9:8 is an interesting verse where God is said to tread upon the waves of the sea and mind you these are the high waves! Is it not fascinating and awesome that God incarnate, Christ Jesus, did exactly that, on the Sea of Galilee in front of his amazed disciples (Matthew 14:24). He came walking on the sea, suspending his own rules of gravity, and causing a calm after Peter had learned first to trust him and then in a cry of need, to save him! In this context we must remember that Christ calmed those waves sovereignly and the verse in Job shows that God is indeed lord of all those waves (see also Ps. 89:9).

The last instance of the use of the word waves in the gospels is Luke 21:25 when in relation to the very last days of planet earth as we know it there will be cosmic upsets affecting sun, moon and stars, distress of nations and “the sea and the waves roaring”, suggesting worsening of weather and destruction of coastal settlements as we have seen recently on a smaller scale in tsunamis and cyclones.

In Acts 27:41 we read of the power of the waves breaking up the hinder parts of the ship that had carried Paul and another 276 people from Caesarea to Malta where they suffered shipwreck. This is the last time the noun describes the real physical, powerful waves of moving water.

The last two instances are very instructive and different from all previous.  Firstly in James 1:6 (KLUDON Gr. =surge) where he describes a double-minded man as unstable and wind-tossed as a wave, because he doubts that God will answer his prayer and hence wavers with uncertainty. The final use of the word in Jude 13 describes false teachers who are ungodly men, despise authority, are lascivious and greedy, fruitless and  like “raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame;” One gets the picture here again of destructiveness, noise, bluster and froth which is the result of wave after wave crashing onto rocks. These wicked tools of Satan are the product of the godless sea of the world, that endlessly churns and casts up mire and produces nothing of any value. The foam that blows away is just like the chaff of Psalm 1:4 and Matthew 3:12. They are but the stooges and forerunners of the arch deceiver who will arise as a beast from the sea, namely Antichrist.

So our New Testament study reinforces previous teaching that the Lord is sovereign over the waves of the sea and hence also the billows of life. We are exhorted not to be like waves tossed about by every wind of doctrine (Eph.4:14) or by being unbelieving in our requests to God for wisdom. We are warned against false teachers who will rage and foam and have nothing substantial to say, but lead men to destruction with them. In our Reformed Creeds we have rock-like stability!

Finally we are told that before the great and terrible day of the Lord earth’s weather will become extreme and fierce, which alongside signs in the heavens will be the final harbingers of the imminent return of Christ. As we approach the end of the ages it is vital to remember that whatever waves the Lord brings upon us in terms of personal grief or the wicked world’s persecution , he promises never to tempt us beyond our strength (I Cor.10:13), that his grace will be sufficient , that we will persevere and be more than conquerors through him that loved us. The reason being, and the basis of our assurance is, that he for our sakes suffered all the Father’s waves to crash down upon himself and drown him as it were, but he was then raised by the Spirit’s power  into life everlasting and hence  vindicated by his Father. We, in him, united inseparably to him, cannot fail to be victorious too. This is where the picture of Christ as the Rock comes in. The Rock that followed the wandering Israelites was Christ (I Cor.10:4). On this rock (PETRA),that he is the Christ, he says he will build his church (Luke 6:48). The wise man built his house on the rock, which meant he heard Christ’s words and obeyed them (Matthew 7:24). Putting these pictures together we get the picture of the Christian who is convinced his Lord is his divine rock. His whole purpose is only to do the will of God, as recorded in the Scriptures and the result is he stands undaunted, safe and unmoved as the storm waves of life crash against him.




But of ourselves we are weak. Think of self-confident Peter!  We must, like Peter, Jonah and David depend upon God’s  help in prayer, and like Christ be resigned to the Father’s  good and perfect will, even though it may be viewed with foreboding and involve pain.

Hear Belgic Confession Article 13. “This doctrine (of providence) affords us unspeakable consolation, since we are taught thereby that nothing can befall us by chance, but by the direction of our most gracious and heavenly Father; who watches over us with a paternal care, keeping all creatures so under his power, that not a hair of our head (for they are all numbered), nor a sparrow, can fall to the ground, without the will of our Father, in whom we do entirely trust; being persuaded, that he so restrains the devil and all our enemies, that without his will and permission, they cannot hurt us .” Also Heidelberg Catechism LD 9. “He will provide me with all things necessary  for soul and body: and further, that he will make whatever evils he sends upon me, in this valley of tears turn out to my advantage; for he is able to do it, being Almighty  God, and willing, being a  faithful Father.”

Dr Julian Kennedy, CPRC, Ballymena.

Imputation of sin

John Gill on Leviticus 1 (part 2)


And  he that lays on (the head of the beast) his hands ought to lay on with all his strength (Maimonides), with both his hands upon the head of the beast, as it is said, “upon the head of the burnt offering”:  and there should be nothing between his hands and the beast:  it must be his own hand, and not the hand of his wife, nor the hand of his servant, nor his messenger;and who also observes, that at the same time he made confession over the burnt offering both of his sins committed against affirmative and negative precepts: and indeed by this action he owned that he had sinned, and deserved to die as that creature he brought was about to do, and that he expected pardon of his sin through the death of the great sacrifice that (this) was a type of (namely Christ’s). Moreover, this action signified the transferring of his sins from
himself to this sacrifice, which was to be offered up to make atonement for them; see Leviticus 16:21*. This denotes the translation of our sins from us, and the
imputation of them to Christ, who was offered up in our room and stead, to make atonement for them, as follows: and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him: that is, the burnt offering should be accepted in his room and stead, and hereby an atonement of his sins should be made for him, typical of that true,
real, and full atonement made by the sacrifice of Christ, which this led his faith unto.
* This was the day of atonement.

Christ in all Scripture

John Gill on Leviticus 1 (part 1)


“Ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, [even] of the herd, and of the flock; that is, of oxen, and of sheep or goats. The Targum of Jonathan is, “of a clean beast, of oxen, and of sheep, but not of wild beasts shall ye bring your offerings.” These were appointed, Ben Gersom says, for these two reasons, partly because the most excellent, and partly because most easy to be found and come at, as wild creatures are not: but the true reason is, because they were very fit to represent the great sacrifice Christ, which all sacrifices were typical of; the ox or bullock was a proper emblem of him for his strength and laboriousness, and the sheep for his harmlessness, innocence, and patience, and the goat, as he was not in himself, but as he was thought to be, a sinner, being sent in the likeness of sinful flesh, and being traduced as such, and having the sins of his people imputed to him.

If his offering [be] a burnt sacrifice of the herd,…. So called, because consumed by fire, (named) from a word which signifies to “ascend” or “go up,” because not only it was carried up to the altar by the priest, which was common to other sacrifices, but being burnt upon it, it ascended upwards in smoke and vapour; it was typical of Christ’s dolorous sufferings and death, who therein sustained the fire of divine wrath, and his strength was dried up like a potsherd with it. Jarchi  says, there were in the burnt offerings mysteries of future things:
let him offer a male; and not a female, pointing at the Messiah’s sex, and his strength and excellency, the child that was to be born, and the Son to be given, whose name should be Immanuel: without blemish; or [perfect], having no part wanting, nor any part superfluous, nor any spot upon it, denoting the perfection of Christ as man, being in all things made like unto his brethren, and his having not the least stain or blemish of sin upon him, either original or actual, and so could, as he did, offer up himself without spot to God, Heb.2:17.
And he shall offer it of his own voluntary will; not forced or compelled to it, or with any reluctancy, but as a pure freewill offering; so our Lord Jesus Christ laid down his life of himself, and freely gave himself an offering and a sacrifice, and became cheerfully and readily obedient unto death:
At the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, before the Lord; it was to be done openly and publicly, and in the presence of the Lord, to whom it was offered up; showing, that Christ’s sacrifice would be offered up to God, against whom we have sinned, by which his law would be fulfilled, his justice satisfied, and wrath appeased, and that his death would be public and notorious; see Luke 24:18.