Shelby G. Floyd
The author of the book of Hebrews has stated that, “Almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9: 22). The power and efficacy of the shedding of blood is seen from the fact that for four thousand years the blood of bulls and goats was shed and sacrificed on alters in obedience to the will of God. We are informed that Abel, by faith, offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than did his brother Cain. God respected his offering because it was a blood sac-rifice, and it was by faith (Hebrews 11: 14). The patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all offered animal sacrifices which involved the shedding of blood.
Without the Shedding of Blood There is No Remission
On the night that the children of Israel were preparing to leave the land of Egypt, God commanded them to select a perfect lamb without spot or blemish, and to sacrifice that lamb, taking the blood and applying it to the doorpost and lintels of their houses. This sacrificial lamb has commonly been designated as the Passover lamb. In this connection, God reminded them of the significance of the blood of the lamb: “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt” (Exodus 12: 13).
The Old Testament Was Dedicated With the Blood of Calves and Goats
Later, when the children of Israel were encamped around the base of smoking, shaking Mt. Sinai, Moses ascended to the top of the mountain and received the law which was consecrated and dedicated by the shedding of blood. “Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood, For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you, Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry” (Hebrews 9: 18-21).
The Blood of Animals Was a Type of the Blood of Christ
This continued for four thousand years, notwithstanding the fact that it was not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins (Heb. 10: 14). What then was the purpose of all this shedding of blood? It was a type of the shedding of the blood of Christ. “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 corners thereunto perfect” (Hebrews 10: 1). Since it was impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins, those worshippers under that age were continually conscious of their sins (Hebrews 10: 2). Each year God brought those sins into remembrance again (Hebrews 10: 3). But what could not be accomplished under the Law of Moses has been accomplished under the law of Christ (Romans 8: 2-3).
The New Testament Was Validated With the Blood of Christ
Christ gave a new testament that was validated and made alive by his death. A testament is of no force until after the death of the testator. Where a testament is of force, there must of necessity be the death of the testator. Christ sealed his testament by his death upon the cross, and by the shedding of his blood (Hebrews 9: 15-17). One of the prominent features of the testament of Christ, sealed by his blood, is that God will remember sins no more. Under the Law of Moses, and the blood of bulls and goats, he did remember sins once each year. Under the new covenant, and the blood of Christ, God has promised: “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (Hebrews 8: 12).
Christ is the Lamb of God
No one can be saved without the blood of Christ, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world (John 1: 29). When Jesus was crucified upon the cross between two thieves, later, those who were responsible for his execution came to investigate and see if they were all dead. To insure the death of those who were crucified with him, the soldiers broke their legs. But when they came to Christ and found that he had already expired upon the cross, they did not break his legs, but a soldier cast a spear and pierced his side and there immediately came forth blood and water (John 19: 32-34). Therefore, Christ shed his blood in his death.
Baptized Into the Benefits of Christ Death
How can one come in contact with the blood of Christ? How can one receive the benefits of his blood which he shed in his death? The apostle Paul writing to the Romans answers that question. “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4 NKJV). One receives the benefits of that shed blood when one is buried by baptism into his death. In instituting the Lord’s Supper, Jesus, indicated that the fruit of the vine was a memorial of the blood shed for the remission of sins (Matthew 26: 28).
On the day of Pentecost, those who cried out and wanted to know what to do to escape their condemnation were told to repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins (Acts 2: 38). Repentance and baptism then are conditions upon which one receives the benefits of the blood of Christ. We also learn that Christ loved us and washed us from our sins in his blood (Revelation 1: 5). How does the blood of Christ wash us from our sins? The blood of Christ washes away sins when a person will arise and be baptized to wash away his sins, such as did Saul of Tarsus (Acts 22: 16). Christ purchased the church with his own blood (Acts 20: 28).
The Church Was Purchased With the Blood of Christ
Every drop of the blood of Christ went to purchase his church. How do we receive the benefits of the blood of Christ relative to the church? On the day of Pentecost when a great multitude were told what to do to be saved, at least three thousands of them received the instructions of Peter with gladness and were baptized, and that same day the Lord added them to the church (Acts 2: 41-47). The benefits of the shed blood of Christ then are appropriated when a person hears the gospel, believes with all the heart, repents of sin and is baptized according to the commandment of the will of God. There is power in the blood of Christ to wash away our sins.
Copyright © 2014 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved
Shelby G. Floyd