We are blessed again to have Jim from The Domain for Truth post a special Word of Life. Thank you, Jim. You are a precious example and a great teacher of the Life we have in Christ.
(All Bible verses are from the NASB with Strong’s definitions)
How rich is the theme that leads us to the blood of Christ – the blood of the everlasting covenant through which His people are united in Him for eternity.
A study of the meaning of blood shows the wonderful grace of God through Jesus Christ.
The Old Testament lays the foundation. Starting with the book of Genesis, we see the early use of the term blood testifies of the seriousness of sin.
Old Testament H1818
םדָּ dâm, dawm; from H1826; blood (as that which when shed causes death) of man or an animal; by analogy, the juice of the grape; figuratively (especially in the plural) bloodshed (i.e. drops of blood):—blood(-y, -guiltiness), (-thirsty), + innocent
In Genesis 4:10-11 we find what God says the blood of the innocent did after the matter with Cain murdering Abel:
“He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground.
Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.“
In the Noahic covenant, God established the penalty of blood for blood.
“Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.” Genesis 9:6
Then there is the extended discussion in the Laws of the Old Testament about the sacrificial system which involves blood. Why is it a bloody matter?
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” Leviticus 17:11
That is the Old Testament reference from Leviticus the writer of Hebrews uses:
“And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” Hebrews 9:22
This verse states that without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. It is fitting imagery given to show blood is needed for physical life – so in the spiritual realm, the blood of Christ is needed for spiritual life.
The blood of Christ is sufficient for the forgiveness of sins; an accomplishment that is multi-faceted. We will survey some of these aspects below. We can learn much about the order of salvation from tracing the theme of the blood of Christ.
New Testament G129
αἷμα haîma, hah’-ee-mah; blood, literally (of men or animals), figuratively (the juice of grapes) or specially (the atoning blood of Christ); by implication, bloodshed, also kindred:—blood.
The Blood of Christ Justifies
God is a Holy and Just Judge. In order for us to be saved from hell, Jesus Christ had to pay the penalty for our sins. Justification is to be declared legally righteous on the basis of what Christ has done. Yet Romans 5:8-9 teaches that justification is accomplished by the blood of Christ:
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.”
Verse 8 reveals that God has shown His love to sinners. The means is stated in the second half of the verse – Christ died for us. Verse 9 unpacks this truth by revealing to us that believers have been justified by His blood. The effect of being justified by His blood means we are saved from God’s wrath and judgment. What wonder – that the blood of Christ can declare us legally righteous!
The Blood of Christ Provides Propitiation
Remember Romans 5:9 – the blood of Christ justifies us and therefore we shall be saved from the wrath of God. To appease the wrath of God against sinners, that is, to have the wrath of God against us satisfied, requires the blood of Christ (Romans 5:9). This is called the doctrine of propitiation.
Those who trust in the atoning work of Christ live in gratitude for His work of grace to and in us.
The Blood of Christ Redeems
The Bible reveals that as nonbelievers we were at one time slaves to sin.
“For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.” Romans 6:20
In the New Testament era, the purchase of slaves by a new master was called redemption. God uses this motif to say He has paid the cost to make us His people that we may be servants of righteousness (Romans 8:6).
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” Ephesians 1:7
Redemption is only through Christ’s blood. This is not because we deserved it. No – the verse makes it clear – it is because of the riches of God’s grace.
This doctrine has implications and practical application for church members.
“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” Acts 20:28
The Blood of Christ Provides Communion with God
When I say the blood of Christ provides communion with God, I mean that the blood of Christ brings us close to God.
“Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:12-13
Verse 12 explains our condition before we became believers – we were separated and far from God. But in verse 13 we see the opposite for us as believers. How are we brought near to God?
By what means? – by the blood of Christ. Knowing what it cost should change how we view our time with God and our worship.
The Blood of Christ Sanctifies
The blood of Christ also washes us and changes us in a practical and ethical way.
“Therefore, Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.” Hebrews 13:12
Christ sanctifies us. That’s amazing, since Christians often think of the Holy Spirit’s sanctification. The truth is that it is both Christ and the Spirit! Yet what is the means by which Christ sanctifies us? The verse here says, through His own blood. This is associated with the crucifixion of Christ as the verse references His suffering outside the gate of Jerusalem.
This should change the way we view holiness and sanctification. It is a privilege to pursue godliness to please God and Christ in light of what Christ has done for us.
The shedding of the blood of Christ is the means God has provided to save us. Tracing the theme of the blood of Christ reveals the beautiful jewels of Christ’s work of salvation. His blood has justified us, provided propitiation, redeemed us, draws us near to God, and sanctifies us in Christ, making us His – here, now, and forever.
Have you appreciated these treasured truths of the Gospel to such a point that you are motivated to serve and live for Christ? Let this be our prayer.
“And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb
and because of the word of their testimony,
and they did not love their life even [when faced with death.”
Related Article: A Bloody Crown, A Bloody Cross, A Bloody Sacrifice