Aren’t you glad that Jesus didn’t listen to his disciples’ advice on how to carry out his mission? It seems that every time he described his coming suffering, death, and resurrection, they protested. “No, Jesus!” they would say. “This shall never happen to you!”
They showed that they didn’t understand the entire point of the ceremonial animal sacrifices that had been going on since the human race’s beginning. “He [Jesus] said to them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.’ And the disciples were filled with grief” (Matthew 17:22,23). They should have been encouraging him. Instead, their protests were just that much more drag on his willpower, just that much more of an opportunity for Satan to try to deflect him from the cross.
Every one of the sin offerings of sacrificial animals was a stand-in for the Lamb of God who willingly went to his cross for us. Not a one of those slain animals would ever have done anyone a bit of good unless they were linked with the spilling of the blood of the Lamb. It was Christ who authenticated the priests’ announcements of the cleansing of Old Testament believers. It is Christ who alone gives us the confidence of our forgiveness today.