Bible passage: Leviticus 16:27
Written: As early as 1400 BC
In the New Testament of the Bible, the Gospel writers Matthew, in Matthew 27:33-35, and John, in John 19:16-18, describe how Jesus was taken outside of Jerusalem's city gates to be executed by crucifixion.
The location of his crucifixion was a place called Golgotha, which in the Aramaic language, which was widely spoken during that time, means the "place of the skull."
The fact that it was described as being outside of the gates of city of Jerusalem is significant, because it is in keeping with Judaism's rules for preparing animals for sacrifice. They were to be killed outside of the camp:
27 The bull and the goat for the sin offerings, whose blood was brought into the Most Holy Place to make atonement, must be taken outside the camp; their hides, flesh and intestines are to be burned up. (Leviticus 16:27, NIV)
Jesus is presented in the New Testament as being the perfect and final sacrifice for the atonement of sin, for all who believe in him, bringing an end for the need for the animal sacrifices prescribed in the Old Testament. As such, some of the New Testament writers were quick to relate details of Jesus' execution to details about how animal sacrifices in Judaism were to be prepared and carried out.
In the New Testament book of Hebrews, the writer, who is believed to have been Paul the Evangelist, wrote:
11 The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. (Hebrews 13:11-13, NIV)
The writer of the book of Hebrews is referring to the requirement in Leviticus 16:27, that the body for sacrifice is to be killed outside of the camp, or in this case, outside of the gates of Jerusalem. The writer is viewing the manner of Jesus' death as being the ultimate fulfillment of Leviticus 16:27.