Tuesday, April 7, 2015

What's so important about the blood of Jesus?

Lots of old-time hymns mention "the Blood". Just what is so special about the blood of Jesus? Let's take a look.

First off, the background on how it was back in the old days:

[Leviticus 4:3 KJV] "If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering."
[Leviticus 4:4 KJV] "And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD; and shall lay his hand upon the bullock's head, and kill the bullock before the LORD."
[Leviticus 4:5 KJV] "And the priest that is anointed shall take of the bullock's blood, and bring it to the tabernacle of the congregation:"
[Leviticus 4:6 KJV] "And the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the LORD, before the vail of the sanctuary."
[Leviticus 4:7 KJV] "And the priest shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the LORD, which is in the tabernacle of the congregation; and shall pour all the blood of the bullock at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation."

This is how it worked back in the days of Moses; the days of the Old Testament. When you sinned, an animal sacrifice would be required to cover that sin. This is what was called a "sin offering". You needed a priest, a sacrifice, the death of that sacrifice, the blood from the sacrifice, and an altar. The priest killed the sacrifice and the blood was put on the altar. God saw this as a payment of the debt for that sin.

[Leviticus 6:25 KJV] "Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the LORD: it is most holy."

If you read the Book of Leviticus, you will find a variety of sin offerings throughout it, but they all have one thing in common; they require a sacrifice to be taken to the priest, and the priest offers that sacrifice on the altar.

The forgiveness of sin required a priest, an altar, and a sacrifice. Sin is evil. But the sacrifice to pay for that sin is most holy.

Now with that in mind, let us look at Jesus, who fulfills those requirements once and for all:

[Matthew 26:1 KJV] "And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples,"
[Matthew 26:2 KJV] "Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified."

Jesus gives the disciples instructions to prepare a room for them to eat the Passover, a feast celebrating an annual sacrifice to forgive the sins of the people. At that last Passover feast Jesus ate before His death on the cross, Jesus said this:

[Matthew 26:1 KJV] "And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples,"
[Matthew 26:2 KJV] "Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified."
[Matthew 26:26 KJV] "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body."
[Matthew 26:27 KJV] "And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;"
[Matthew 26:28 KJV] "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."

Jesus would be that sacrifice.

You should be familiar with the crucifixion of Jesus. If not, please read Matthew 27, or one of the other Gospel accounts of the crucifixion. Jesus was nailed on that cross of wood, His blood was spilled out, and He died there. Priest, blood sacrifice, and an altar.

Let us see how all this comes together. Turn to the Book of Hebrews.

[Hebrews 9:11 KJV] "But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;"
[Hebrews 9:12 KJV] "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."
[Hebrews 9:13 KJV] "For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:"
[Hebrews 9:14 KJV] "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"

So if the blood of a goat is good enough to pay for a one-time forgiveness, how much more the blood of Jesus?

Jump down to verse 22 of Hebrews 9.

[Hebrews 9:22 KJV] "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission."

"Remission" is another word for "forgiveness". Even today, if somebody says a cancer has gone into "remission", that means the cancer has gone away and cannot be found.

[Hebrews 9:23 KJV] "It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these."

The old priests back in Moses' day knew the sacrifices were given as a model, and some day the Messiah would come and no more sacrifices would be needed.

[Hebrews 9:24 KJV] "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:"
[Hebrews 9:25 KJV] "Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;"
[Hebrews 9:26 KJV] "For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."
[Hebrews 9:27 KJV] "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"
[Hebrews 9:28 KJV] "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."

Jesus is reaching out to you today. Will you reach out to Him? He is going to return for those who are looking for Him.

[Hebrews 10:1 KJV] "For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect."
[Hebrews 10:2 KJV] "For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins."

Would you keep sending in car payments each month if you paid off the car? Of course not.

[Hebrews 10:3 KJV] "But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year."
[Hebrews 10:4 KJV] "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins."

Your sin is not like a car payment. A few hundred dollars will not cover your sin or mine. All the money on the planet, piled up in a giant mountain, would not cover it. This is not a debt paid with cash, it is a debt paid in blood.

[Hebrews 10:5 KJV] "Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:"
[Hebrews 10:6 KJV] "In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure."
[Hebrews 10:7 KJV] "Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God."

God is not seeking your sacrifices, He is seeking your obedience.

[Hebrews 10:8 KJV] "Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;"
[Hebrews 10:9 KJV] "Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second."
[Hebrews 10:11 KJV] "And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:"
[Hebrews 10:12 KJV] "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;"
[Hebrews 10:13 KJV] "From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool."
[Hebrews 10:14 KJV] "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."

Jesus took on the roles of both priest and sacrifice. A perfect transaction. A perfect priest, a perfect sacrifice.This is what makes the blood of Jesus so special. Not the quantity of it, but the value. So priceless was this blood sacrifice that it paid the price for your sins, thousands of years before you were even born! All that is asked of you is that you believe and receive.

Let's take a look at that blood in action.

[Matthew 26:28 KJV] "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."

[Luke 24:47 KJV] "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."

Let me be clear. The blood of Jesus is not a "get out of jail free" card, so you can continue on in wickedness. Jesus calls us to repentance as well. Turn from your sin, and let Jesus wash you clean.

[Acts 10:43 KJV] "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins."

[Romans 3:25 KJV] "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;"

So you have seen how the blood of Jesus has been poured out once and for all, for those willing to receive it. How do you receive this? How do you cover your sins, which you personally never could possibly cover? Here is how:

[Romans 10:9 KJV] "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
[Romans 10:10 KJV] "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

Today is that day. You choose today. Will you be washed clean? Will you choose Jesus?