Q. My question concerns the second paragraph in your answer to “The Best of Our Best”. How does your answer deal with the concept of “without blemish” as depicted in Exodus 13, Leviticus 21-22, Deuteronomy 15 and 17, Malachi 1, Hebrews 9 and 1 Peter 1?
A. Jesus is the perfect example of a man. In 1 Peter 1:19 He was called a Lamb without blemish. This tells us the Old Testament sacrifices that called for a lamb without blemish were intended to be a type or model of Jesus. Being without blemish made them the perfect example of their kind, just as Jesus is the perfect example of ours, and therefore suitable for sacrifice. To summarize, the lamb without blemish symbolized the man without sin.
In Ephesians 5:25-27 Paul wrote that Jesus gave Himself up for the church to make made us a radiant bride without blemish. The perfect sacrifice has made us perfect (Hebr. 10:12-14). We don’t have to bring a perfect offering. We are a perfect offering.
But I repeat. Cain’s problem in Genesis 4:4-7 was that he didn’t present the proper sacrifice. Even the very best of his produce (and Genesis 4 does not say they weren’t his best) would not have been accepted because the sin offering required the shedding of innocent blood, not the fruit of man’s labor.
This is the first and most important lesson in the Bible on what God requires of us in payment for our sins.