But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:7
He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. Hebrews 9:12
Our problem, all of our problems for all of humanity of every time and every place and every race is sin, which separates us from God. Our solution is what God has given-His Law. We could say to God instead of punishing and killing me can you take my precious item, animal, or offering instead? and He could said yes. But, it would not work, not because it is flawed; no, it is perfect and if you dare live by it, you would be healthy, wealthy, and wise with great relationships with God and others. But, you can't do it; no one could. The Bible tells us the reason-our sins and iniquities, being people of lawless deeds, and being unconcerned for Truth and Righteousness block the process of our redemption. We could not do it by the Law. Therefore, Christ says, I will pay the price for you by my Blood; so now we can. When we are in Christ, we are freed from our sin and indebtedness to God and our relationship is healed; we are even concerned about Truth, which is what concerns Him.
This is what the Gospel message is about! So God, sacrificially, has given to us-by no means or work on our part, only the willingness to receive, by faith, His Son and the blood that was spilt for this incredible, redemptive solution of our forgiveness. He brought us back, in perfect harmony, to God the Father for the present and for eternity. Thus, this new covenant, paid by the blood of Christ, assures us that our sins will be effectively and completely forgiven; problem solved. The curse of the Law has been removed; but, do not forget that we still have responsibilities (John 14:15; Rom. 1:18-32).
Hebrews tells us that it was impossible for the blood of bulls to pay the price that God demanded. The Law was frustrated by the disobedience of its priests and observers. It only worked when the people did what they were supposed to do. But, who does what they are supposed to do? Yet, the Law did do one, great, emphatic service to all-it pointed to Christ who would come to fulfill it, and He did. Now, we just receive this free gift that once took so much time and effort and resources on man's part; now, it is on His part, His Blood. For the Law, animal sacrifices were merely symbols pointing to Christ's coming redemptive work that we now have. True repentance no longer comes from the farm animal; now, it comes from Christ, once and for all. We just respond from our willingness to do so, as it can't be forced or coerced; yet, repentance was then and is now necessary for the forgiveness of sins. Thus, the point is the Law; animal sacrifices do not fulfill our need to be cleansed of sin and are inadequate for our redemption because an animal cannot substitute for a person made in God's image; Christ is needed. (By the way, the idea that the Temple must be rebuilt and the sacrificial system to be reinstated for Christ to come back, as some so-called Bible teachers proclaim, is heresy. It is unbiblical, repulsive, and an insult to God and His work. Even if the Jews do rebuild it, it has nothing to do with Christ's redemptive work and His second coming. Such thinking cheapens His work and nullifies our responsibility to seek redemption by our trust in Him.) (1 Sam. 15:22; Psalm 51:16; Prov. 21:3; Isa. 1:10-17; Jer. 11:15; Hosea 6:6; Amos 5:21-27; Micah 6:6-8; Rom. 8:3-4; Heb. 8:8-12; 10:1-18).
The first covenant that God gave the Jews was His witness to humanity; these were specific precepts on how to come before Him. The Old Covenant was all ritual and compulsion; its regulations were meant to point to God's holiness. However, it had one major fallacy when detached from a heart that wanted to know God, the Jewish "shema" the prime Jewish confession and declaration of faith that God is one and we are to love Him: it did not call to the heart of humanity. Hearts could not be changed; there was no gratitude, only obligation and duty. The priests and system only dealt with the external-the surface that constantly needed purification, coming from unwilling people bringing their unwilling animals. Jesus, the willing sacrifice, became our redemption. He laid His own life down on our behalf. The Great Purifier dealt with our inward consciences, minds, and hearts. Christ compels us to be grateful and wondrous of His Person and work, so we will have love and a genuine response of the heart that builds. We are drawn in-our heart to His-because He is the Better Sacrifice! Trust Him! Allow Jesus to draw you deeper into His recesses of Fruit and Love so they flow in you and also from you (Deut. 6:4-9, 11:13-21, Num. 15:37-41; John 10:14-18; Gal. 5).
This is about the externals versus the internals; the previous covenant system can only take care of our outside, whereas Jesus deals with our inside so it affects our outside-inside out, not outside in. Just dealing with the outside rarely affects the inside-as the Pharisees demonstrated in Jesus' day. To truly love and serve God and not repeat the betrayals of our past or our ancestors, God had to do a radical change from drawing us to Him to conforming to Him. Now, He goes inside of us so we conform; our gratitude and desire is to know Him, for He first loved and saved us (Matt. 23).
Christ's Blood Changes us
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace. Ephesians 1:7
This old covenant was a shadow of the Person and Word that Christ would do and now has done. All of this ritual was to be done continually, the offering of sacrifices to God as well as the giving of atonement from God, but they were limited in that they had to be persistently repeated. The Great News of the Gospel is it is finished; we have the once and for all sacrifice of Christ. This old system was a ceremony of cleansing pointing to the One who would truly cleanse. It was limited, but Christ is not; He is everlasting power.
The Law and priestly roles only dealt with one's appearances and presentations, that outside and not inside stuff. Jesus gets into our hearts and minds so we are transformed and renewed in Him, inside out. He purifies us so we can know Him more deeply, and in so doing, become our best for His glory. This is the quintessential element in our spiritual growth. We have to be formed in Christ, and He has to have a deep impact on us so our life is changed. We no longer rely on our feelings and experiences; rather, we seek Him and His Word for all of our life and decisions so we are people of maturity not tossed by the winds of society and pride or seeking to create a façade rather than being a real person whose heart is growing in Him. This comes from trusting in His redeeming power, in His blood that saved. He is the Spotless Lamb who saves; we respond by our trust in Him. Christ's blood was shed in our place to please God's price and wrath so we could be forgiven and have eternal life.
The One, True God made it plain that knowing Him and His customs, and that He is Holy are necessary to receiving atonement for one's sins. These regulations had to be performed for a Holy God in order for us to receive forgiveness and to point to the sufficient work and power of Christ to fulfill them all, once and for all. Christ did not have to keep going to the altar to die; He is sufficient.
In the church today, we may not have to drag the goat or the cat or the car to the altar, or give up a valuable item, but we need to know that all things belong to God, and He provides for us. Christ is our point, our perfect, flawless sacrifice who took our place to appease God's wrath and atone for our sins. Thus, He is the essential sacrificial Lamb, whose blood was shed for us. This is the covenant, that God now forgives our sins based on the Person and Work of the Son; no more using rituals and sacrifices for atonement when Christ is sufficient and fulfills it all. This is the crux of the argument to the Jewish Christian audience of the book of Hebrews who wanted to leave Christianity and go back to the old system. That would have been foolish because there is so much more now in Christ; it is better beyond any situation or thinking (Isa. 53; Ezek. 40:39; 42:13; 43:18-27; 44:29; Heb. 8:6-13).
Christ comes before the Father as our Advocate to mediate on our behalf. He becomes The Great Sanctuary, by His own blood, for our salvation and rest. He becomes the perfect Temple of God, not of man, securing our eternal deliverance. He purifies forever; where animals and ritual only made temporary coverings, He is the eternal, atoning cover. He is the true Sacrifice who has come to us, to you. He is real and here for us now, and we are cleansed by His deed and love. God demanded blood for payment of sins in order to give us forgiveness, and it was His blood that paid the price that God demanded, that we could not pay, and confirms His new covenant with us in the age of grace. He purifies our dead works so we can become servants of the Living God. He wills Himself to us as His death makes us alive. Christ's blood was shed to please God's price so we could be forgiven. The Tent and then the Temple of old were just copies and shadows of He who was to come-He who now has come; Christ is here with us now and forevermore. His work was once and for all; there is no longer a need for the repeated priestly acts. His one-time offering was good enough for all who eagerly waited for Him. Are you eagerly waiting and in Him?
The Blood of Christ Cleanses us
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus... Romans 8:1
Christ's blood was shed in our place to please God's price and wrath so we could be forgiven and cleansed of sin and have eternal life (Lev. 16:32-33; Psalm 49:7-15; Isa. 53:12; Ezek. 18:21-32; Rom. 5:12; 8:29-30; Phil. 1:23; 3:20-21; 1 Thess. 1:10;1 Tim. 3:16; 2 Tim. 4:8; Tit. 2:13; Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1; 3:2-3)!
Many Christians forget the impact of our sinful nature and what it took for God to redeem us. We are used to cheap sermons and watered-down messages that do not show our sin or the incredible work Christ did for us. We see Jesus just as the result of a quick prayer and the offer of a friend. Thus, many do not realize how marvelously we are saved and what we are saved from. By His blood, we obtain His Grace, His Peace. The blessing is that when we are in relationship with Christ our Redeemer, we are right with God, no matter what happens (Isa. 44:6; Jonah 4:2; John 14:27; 20:19; Rom. 5:1-2; Gal. 1:3; Eph. 1:2)!
Consider that the entire goal of history, time, and the climax and point of God's plan was the person and Work of Christ. Christ had to offer Himself only once, since He is perfect. This is the same term as last days or the period of Christ's Kingdom and/or the age of grace, until He comes back, returns everything to perfection, and declares judgment on the wicked (Heb. 1:1-2; 9:11-28; 1 Pet. 1:20).
Consider that the entirety of the Tent and Temple, all of its sacred furnishings and all its rituals were meant to expiate (make amends to) God's just wrath by appeasing Him by the substitution of bloodshed by animal sacrifices. This, in its entirety, also pointed to Christ and showed us His work; He is the better Sanctuary and sacrifice for our service. His blood is what purchased our redemption and gave us our salvation. Previously, the work of sacrifice was never finished; with Christ, it is finished! God's holiness, justness, and pureness cannot be contaminated by our sin. Yet, He allowed mankind the provision to know Him and be temporarily cleansed, as He pointed to the One who would permanently cleanse-Christ. These earthly representations were mere copies of the Heavenly one where God resides (1 Kings 6:22).
By His atonement, we can have and build upon the transforming change and renewal of our hearts and minds when we receive Christ's work and gift of grace and are thus released from a guilty conscience. This is about who Christ is and what He has done, and that we have freedom because of His once-for-all sacrifice (Rom. 1:8-15; 1 Cor. 11:4; Phil. 1:3; Col. 1:3; 1 Thess. 1:2; 2 Thess. 1:3; 2 Tim. 3:1; Philemon 4).
Now for the Christian, it is worship and our personal relationship with Christ. This means we have clear, uninhibited access to God because of Christ (Gen. 4:2-15; Psalm 15; 73:28; Jer. 30:18-22; Matt. 27:51; Rom. 5:1-2; Eph. 2:13-22; Heb. 4:16; 7:19-25; 12:28; 3:15-16; 1 Pet. 2:4-10).
The Blood of Jesus Atones us
For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance-now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. Hebrews 9:15
The part one of this article explains the atonement. But, that blood is demanded may not make sense to a postmodern person in the twenty-first century, living in a big city with a plush life. The sacrifice of blood was the only way to receive forgiveness, and Christ fulfilled this (Ex. 24:4-8; 29:37; Lev. 5:11-13; 8:5-30; 14:6; 16:16-20; 17:7; Num. 18:9; 19:6; Rom. 3:23-25).
Hebrews tells us that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. God demands a payment for sin; its cost is something we do not fully understand because we are sinful and He is Holy. But, its cost is so enormous that we could never ever pay it, so Christ paid it for us as our suffering servant. Then, we receive His forgiveness, the remission of our sins. This means God lets us go, lets us off the hook of our debt from our sin and His just wrath. God cancels our debt, and thus we receive pardon because of Christ and are released from our captivity of sin and guilt. We have God's eternal redemption. Now, we have everlasting deliverance by one sacrifice: Christ's. He purchased our salvation, paid our ransom, and gave us abundant life for real living (Lev. 16:11-16; Dan. 9:24; Isa. 53:12; Heb, 9:11-28; 10:2-14).
Now, because of Christ sacrificial shedding of His blood, we have everlasting deliverance by one sacrifice: Christ's. He purchased our salvation, paid our ransom, and gave us abundant life for real living (Lev. 16:11-16; Dan. 9:24; Heb. 10:2-14). This means we receive a deep, spiritual cleansing. In biblical times, only the priests who went through the cleansing rituals could enter God's presence. Now, we are cleansed before God's sight even more so than the High Priest that only had it once a year. One person, once a year; now, we have so much more. What an animal sacrifice did in the Old Testament Law, now Christ has done permanently for us, and we are washed so we can enter God's presence. (Ex. 24:8; 29:4; Lev. 16:4; Rom. 12:1-3; Heb. 9:13-14; 1 Pet. 1:2). This is now symbolized in our baptism and confessions in our initiation into our new life as we become identified in and with Christ by His work, and practiced and grown by our faith, love, trust, and obedience. In the Old Testament Law, this also prepared one to come before and worship God, one's sins being temporarily hidden. Now in Christ, we are cleansed by the new covenant and we can praise Him boldly and profoundly (Ex. 30:19-21; Lev. 8:6; 14:7-9; Ezek. 36:25-29; Eph. 5:26)
What does this do for our day-to-day lives? We now have the ability and duty to have a God-centered life versus a self-centered life. God forgives us because of His love and desire that we grow, not just be saved and do nothing. We are to be worshippers and doers in His Kingdom. When one's heart is not right toward God, no ritual can save him from the need for real salvation in Christ. Our wicked deeds are rightly cursed and condemned by God. This shows our need for forgiveness so we can become God-centered in our outlook rather than self-willed or selfish. In this way, we can love Christ and serve Him righteously, faithfully, and truly, and thus be entitled to know and worship Him (1 Sam. 24:5; Gal. 3:1-4; Heb. 6:1; 9:11-28; 12:28; 13:15-21).
To truly love and serve God and not repeat the betrayals of our past or our ancestors, God had to do a radical change from drawing and conforming us to Him. Now, He goes inside of us so we do conform; our gratitude and desire is to know Him, for He first loved and saved us (Psalm 49:7-15; Isa. 53:12; Ezek. 18:21-32; Rom. 5:12; 8:29-30; Phil. 1:23; 3:20-21; 1 Tim. 3:16; 2 Tim. 4:8; 1 Thess. 1:10; 1 John 3:2-3).
We are Forgiven by the Blood
"Come now, let us settle the matter," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool..." Isaiah 1:18
So, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. God demands a payment for sin; its cost is something we do not fully understand because we are sinful and He is Holy. But, its cost is so enormous that we could never, ever pay it, so Christ paid it for us as our suffering servant. In other words, God lets us go, lets us off the hook of our debt from our sin and His just wrath. God cancels our debt, and thus we receive pardon because of Christ and are released from our captivity of sin and guilt. Christ pacified God's righteous hostility toward humanity. He became the sacrificial Lamb that brought us together with God (Isa. 53:12; John 3:16-20; 15:18-25; Heb. 9:22).
God effectually takes the initiative in our forgiveness as we are adopted by the Blood. He seeks us, He motivates us, He picks us up; but, we still have to reach out and grab His Hand and respond! It is about our portrayal and obedience just as a child obeys and portrays a father, we portray God's the character He calls us too and His Message. As we are adopted into God's family, we are made new. So, because of what Christ has done, we should be willing to be obedient (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 5:1; Col. 3:1-4, 1 Pet. 1:2-3, 22). Obedience means that, as Christians, we are to submit to what God requires of us; we are to follow His precepts regardless of the circumstances (Deut.13: 4; 1 Sam. 15:22; Prov. 19:16; Acts 5:29; John 14:14; 15:14; 2 Cor. 10:5; Heb. 13:17; 1 John 1:7).
Life is not about our wants, needs, and/or comforts; it is about Christ working in us more powerfully and triumphantly. The key to turn on this engine of our spiritual formation is our willingness to pursue, endure, and grow. Allow the holiness of our Lord, His grace, His patience, understanding, faith, loyalty, goodness, and love to be exhibited in you-not just by imitation, but with gratitude and submission, saved by His blood, kept by His power (1 Cor. 1:30; Col. 1:27; Gal. 5:21-23; 1 Pet. 1:5)!
We are Empowered by the Blood of Christ!
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:2
The Blood of our Lord is about the sufficiency and importance of Christ; His sacrifice is all that is needed and it is complete. Christ is our purpose, hope, reason, faith, life, our all in all, and He is perfect. Heaven and the Temple in Heaven are perfect. The Jewish Temple was a mere copy and representation as the writer of Hebrews stated. Now he gives hope that our true home is heaven, as we were not made for this world. While we are here, we have a duty to learn and grow, but our true home is still to come. We are to make the most of life now as we wait either for His return or for our homecoming into eternity before He comes and all of its rewards because of or our trust in Christ.
Once saved, now what? We are called to get our minds lined up with God-His Way, His precepts, and His plan. We still have the old sinful nature residing within us. God declares us clean, but we do not become completely clean. Perhaps, the reason for this is that if we were "scrubbed clean," we would not face the struggles in life that produce depth and holiness. We would never struggle with thoughts, desires, sin, and life; therefore, we would not learn, grow, or respond to God within the realities of life. We would be robots, preprogrammed to respond-and such mechanisms do not produce real fruit or love.
The Scriptural power to back up the author of Hebrew's point of a distinction of what God really wanted and what it took to cover our sin because we did not honor His request took the ultimate obedience and sinless nature of Christ and His sacrifice to atone for our imperfect humanity. He covers our sin by His sinlessness; this is what atonement is all about. So, now we are complete, we are a "holistic person," all of us. Christ was fully obedient and submitted to the Father so we could have life and live. This is an expression meaning that God will open our ears and heart to His Word and prepare us to do His will. Our part is our response; thus, the question is not do we know? because we do. The question is will we do what He has given us to do? It is our sinful nature that picks and chooses what we will do, then rationalizes it, thus giving in to apathy or disobedience (Psalm 40:6-8; Isa. 10:5).
We Live for Christ by His Blood
Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Revelation 22:14
Do you live a life worthy? Do you walk worthy of the Lord? This means we are to live in the manner of what we know and believe-and do it consistently. We do this when we are pursuing God and His righteousness, and believing His precepts, so He is more and we are less in our will. This is our "walk with God," meaning living out the daily Christian life thinking as He has called, behaving as we believe, and thus acting in response to His shed Blood and His Work in us. It is also being empowered by the Holy Spirit. It is never just the talk or the walk in our own will and strength; such a thing is prideful, and reveals disobedience to our loving Lord (Lev. 26:3; Ezek. 36:27; Mark 10:29-31; John 3:30; Gal. 2:20-21; 5:16; Eph. 4:1; 5:1; Phil. 3:10-14).
Being worthy means to behave as the One we represent, as the name Christian means to be like Christ in His character. It refers to being an "appropriate" or acceptable offering so we "deserve" our reward-but we do not earn it. This is what is fully pleasing Him is all about. It is not just what we may talk or preach about; it is how we then live by His love and character. This means to be a friend of God with gratitude; seeking Him first is to glorify Him. (Deut. 10:17-19; 2 Chron. 20:7; Psalm 69:30-31; Matt. 5:16; 6:33; mark 12:29-30; 1 Thess. 2:4).
The question that the Blood demands is this: Do we fully understand that we have been rescued from sin and darkness and from hopeless despair? Has that hit home? Are you filled with gratitude because of what Christ has done? To venture further in the faith beyond our saving faith, we have to take heed and be encouraged that God is our rescuer! Therefore, we are to respond in gratitude for His provision and gifts (Col. 2:7; 3:17; 4:2)!
God was pleased to have His Fullness live and dwell in Christ, and by this, all things were reconciled to the Father. Thus, His blood that was shed on the cross made peace for everything in heaven and earth. So, anyone who was far away from God now has the opportunity to know God. All of us were His enemies and now He can call us His friends. All of humanity were strangers and separated by sin from God the Father, but now through Christ's sacrifice, this torn relationship is mended and we have newness of life in God. Our evil thoughts and actions separated us, but now we are reconciled. Christ's death on the cross was the incredible act that made all this possible-our salvation, our place in eternity, and our contentment here and now-all because of what Christ did as a result of His shed blood. He has brought us into the presence of God; we, who had no right or ability to come before God, can now approach Him! We are holy and blameless because of Christ, so God now sees us clean and pure and without fault. But, for this to happen, we have to receive His work; we have to believe who Christ is and what He did for us. We must stand firmly in Him and never drift away from His Good News. Now we, as His servants, can preach this Good News and Hope, heralding to all, just as Paul did.
Our Covenant is in Blood
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. Luke 22:20The Blood of Christ, PI What does the Blood of Christ mean?
© 1998, 2011, R.J. Krejcir Ph.D., Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org/