The Message of the Blood of Jesus
KEY PASSAGE: 1 Peter 1:17-21
SUPPORTING SCRIPTURES: Genesis 3:20-21 | Leviticus 17:11 | Ezekiel 18:4 | Romans 5:8-11 | Romans 6:23 | Colossians 1:19-22 | Hebrews 13:12 | 1 John 1:7-9
The blood of Christ is not a subject we hear much about, even though it affects every one of us—the way we live and the way we die.
Although many people may shun this topic, and some denominations have removed any mention of blood from their music, the necessity for Christ’s blood for salvation remains. Whether or not it is applied to our lives will determine our eternal destiny.
The heart of the gospel is recorded in 1 Peter 1:18-19: “You were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”
The Seriousness of Sin
Before we can appreciate the greatness of our redemption, we must understand the seriousness of our sin. If we belong to Christ and repeatedly sin against God, we can expect His chastisement. But if we are not saved, we face His judgment. Because God hates sin, we cannot take it lightly, joke about it, or rationalize and excuse it. Sin comes in many forms, but it is always an act of disobedience to God that separates us from Him and brings all kinds of painful consequences.
The Nature of Sin
- It deceives. If we keep sinning while telling ourselves that God loves us and understands, then we have been deceived, thinking that we are the exception to sin’s consequences.
- It disappoints. Sin always promises to satisfy, but the pleasure is only temporary. In the end it will always disappoint.
- It disables. People who sin against God lose opportunities and sometimes even their health and relationships. Furthermore, a believer who lives in sin will never become the person God desires or accomplish what He’s planned.
- It’s a depressor. If a person continually lives in sin, it will have a depressing effect. Even going to church or taking a prescription medication will not help depression that is caused by sin. Although the sadness may be hidden with a cheerful expression, it continues to sap the life and vitality out of the one who refuses to forsake sin.
- It’s demonic. True to his nature, the devil will do his best to entrap us in sin.
- It’s destructive. Although sin takes many pathways, they all ultimately lead to the destruction of people, families, marriages, children, jobs, and the future.
- It brings death. Sometimes it’s a gradual death, or maybe it comes in an instant. But it’s the Bible says that those who sin will die (Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 6:23).
What is the saving power that brings forgiveness of sins?
When Adam and Eve first sinned, the Lord made garments of skin to clothe them (Gen. 3:21). In this way, He demonstrated that the death of an animal and the shedding of its blood was the cost of covering or atoning for their sin. Later in the book of Leviticus, the Lord taught the Israelites that the life of the flesh is in the blood, and that they were to offer the blood on the altar to make atonement for their sins (v. 17:11). Without it, there was no forgiveness.
The thousands of sacrifices offered throughout Jewish history pointed to the final sacrifice, the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, whose blood would be shed for the forgiveness of sins once for all time. Jesus came into the world to die, and as He spent His last night with His disciples at the Last Supper, He told them that His blood would be shed to bring about salvation. To this day, we meet for the Lord’s Supper to remember His blood shed for us.
There are four words that describe the work of Christ’s blood in God’s plan of salvation.
- Redemption. We were redeemed with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, the unblemished, spotless Lamb of God (1 Pet. 1:18-19). To redeem means to purchase something back. We had been sold into bondage to sin because of the fall of Adam and Eve, but Christ bought us back for God with His own blood
- Reconciliation. It was the Father’s good pleasure to reconcile us through the blood of Christ’s death on the cross in order to present us before Him holy, blameless, and beyond reproach (Col. 1:22). To reconcile means to bring two people who are alienated back together again. In our case, it was sin that separated us from God. But when we trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior and in His sacrifice for us, we are brought back into a loving relationship with the Father.
- Justification. “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” (Rom. 5:8-9). To justify means to declare no longer guilty, and the only way this is accomplished by God is through Christ’s blood applied to those who believe in Him. If a person rejects Jesus, he will remain guilty of all his sin.
- Sanctification. Jesus sanctified people through His own blood (Heb. 13:12). To sanctify means to set apart for God. When we believe in Christ for salvation, we are immediately sanctified. But even though it happens in a moment in time, it’s also a process whereby God continually sets us apart for Himself and transforms us into the likeness of His Son.
Christ’s blood keeps on cleansing us from sin.
Although we have been redeemed, reconciled, justified, and sanctified through Christ’s blood, we still have sin dwelling in us because of our humanness or sin nature. Even though it is no longer dominant, we still stumble now and then and are in need of fresh cleansing. This is part of our ongoing sanctification.
According to 1 John 1:7, “The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” The verb tense signifies the continuing process of cleansing that accompanies
sanctification. We also have God’s promise in verse 9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This promise restores intimacy with God. It is not an invitation to live in sin as we please, thinking all we have to do is confess before going to bed. That is not taking sin and the cost of Christ’s sacrifice seriously.
- Have you ever taken your sin seriously, recognizing it for what it truly is? What jokes, excuses, or rationalizations have you used in the past to downplay your sin?
- Are you trusting in the blood of Christ for the forgiveness of your sins? If not, on what or whom are you planning to rely when you stand before God to be judged?