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The blood of Jesus Christ

August 2009 | by John Thornbury

The blood of Jesus Christ

 

‘Without the shedding of blood’, says Hebrews 9:22, ‘there is no remission’ of sin. From the earliest days of human history God sought to impress upon people that his way of salvation involved blood redemption.

The first blood shed on earth (when God provided animal skins for the covering of Adam and Eve) pointed to Jesus’ death on Calvary. God rejected Cain’s offering and accepted Abel’s because Abel, the youngest son, brought a blood sacrifice to the altar.

Blood sacrifices were a part of God’s covenant with Noah and of Abraham’s family worship. It was in connection with the slaying of a lamb that Israel was delivered from Pharaoh’s bondage.

Perhaps one reason so little is said about the blood of Christ in many religious circles today is that many have rejected the concept of God’s holy, retributive justice.

Much emphasis today is being put on the love of God, but we must never forget that God’s love is not bestowed in a manner contradictory to his righteousness. The cross of Jesus shows that God demonstrates his love to man and at the same time does not endorse sin.

According to the Bible, God’s hatred for sin is so great that it demands his eternal displeasure, or eternal separation from him – which is eternal death. At the cross of Christ God paid man’s sin debt so that the repentant sinner can be forgiven in a righteous way.

 

Righteous forgiveness

 

A sceptic may ask: how can the blood of a man who lived 2000 years ago be sufficient to cleanse people today from sin? The answer is found in the fact that the blood of Jesus was the blood of the Son of God; in fact, in Acts 20:28 it is called God’s ‘own blood’. Because Jesus was the eternal Son of God, one with the Father and Spirit, his blood is sufficient to cleanse the sins of men.

We have only two alternatives, either accept God’s atonement in Jesus Christ for our sins or face eternal hell. Only the blood of Christ can cleanse our consciences and give us peace (see Hebrews 9:14).

People may ask: how can I have guilt removed from my conscience? There is only one answer: look to the cross of Jesus; that is, trust in his shed blood as a basis for the forgiveness of your sins.

It is through the blood of Jesus that we have reconciliation and peace with God (Colossians 1:20). God told Israel in the days of the tabernacle that he would meet them only at the mercy seat (Exodus 25:22). So God will only meet us at the cross of Jesus Christ.

John Thornbury