BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
“For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:13-14 NKJV).
The blood of Jesus Christ is very central to the Easter message because after Jesus had given up His spirit on the cross, His blood was shed. John 19:34 says one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. This blood of Jesus is very significant in Christianity and the celebration of his death and resurrection. It is not something to play with or something you only scream when threatened by something, as some people do.
The Bible uses different phrases to refer to the blood of Jesus. The phrase “the blood of Jesus” is used once in the New King James Version of the Bible (Hebrews 10:19), “the blood of Christ” three times (1 Corinthians 10:16; Ephesians 2:13; Hebrews 9:14), “the precious blood of Christ” once (1 Peter 1:19), and “the blood of Jesus Christ” twice (1Peter 1:2; 1 John 1:7). The four phrases refer to the same thing.
Leviticus 17:11 says, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul” (NKJV). The blood referred to in this scripture is the blood of animals used for sacrifice to atone for the sin of the Israelites. But the life of humans is also in the blood.
The blood of animals under the old covenant was efficacious in atoning for sin. God gave this power to the blood of animals, not that it has such power on its own. But it was just a shadow of the reality to come – the blood of Jesus. If the blood of animals could atone for people’s sins in the Old Testament, how much more the blood of Jesus? If the blood of animals had been adequate or perfect, there would not have been the need for the shedding of the blood of Jesus. Hebrews 10:4 says it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.
In this message, we shall look at the significance of the blood of Jesus Christ. The issues to be discussed overlap, but it is important to understand them.
The significance of the blood of Jesus
1. We receive forgiveness through the blood of Jesus. We receive forgiveness through faith in the blood of Jesus. “God sent him to die in our place to take away our sins. We receive forgiveness through faith in the blood of Jesus’ death” (Romans 3:25a NCV). Most Bible translations use the word propitiation instead of forgiveness. Others use atoning sacrifice or sacrifice of atonement.
Without the blood of Jesus, there is no forgiveness, remission, or pardon of sin. Hebrews 9:22 says, “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission” (NKJV).
While instituting the Lord’s Supper, Jesus gave to His disciples the cup of wine and said, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:27-28 NKJV). Most translations use forgiveness of sins in place of remission of sins. And according to Hebrews 10:18, “Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin” (NKJV). Remission, in this context, means forgiveness. In other words, when sins have been forgiven, offering any sacrifice is no more necessary. Jesus died on the cross for your forgiveness. You must have faith in the blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins.
2. We are justified by the blood of Jesus. We are justified by the blood of Jesus and delivered from God’s judgment. To be justified means to be made right, declared free of the guilt of sin, or declared righteous. Romans 5:9 says, “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (NKJV). We have been made right or justified by the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross. We are righteous before God because of the blood of Jesus. No more condemnation. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1 NKJV).
3. We have redemption through the blood of Jesus. Redemption is deliverance by paying a price (Nelson’s Bible Dictionary). We are purchased or redeemed by the blood of Jesus. Ephesians 1:7 says, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (NKJV). In other words, we were set free from our sins at the cost of the precious blood of Jesus.
Sin sold us to the devil but the blood of Jesus bought us back or redeemed us. Revelation 5:9 says Jesus was slain and had redeemed us to God by His blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation. As 1 Peter 1:18-19 says, we were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold from the empty life we inherited from our ancestors but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and spot. Acts 20:28 also tells us that Jesus purchased the church of God with His blood. The price you’re willing to pay for something shows how much you value it. Jesus redeemed us with His blood.
4. The blood of Jesus cleanses us from our sins. The blood of Jesus is called the blood of sprinkling which means the blood of cleansing. The apostle Peter, writing to the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, says they were the elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:1-2). The phrase “sprinkling of the blood” means cleansed by the blood of Jesus or purified by His blood.
Hebrews 9:19-22a refers to the sprinkling of blood by Moses in the Old Testament thus: “For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, ‘This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.’ Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood” (NKJV).
What does the blood of Jesus cleanse us from? “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7 NKJV). Sin is defilement. Therefore, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from it. In Revelation 1:5, Jesus Christ is rightly described, among other things, as He, who loved us and washed us from our sins in His blood.
Charles Spurgeon said, “There may be some sins of which a man cannot speak, but there is no sin which the blood of Christ cannot wash away.” Spurgeon’s words amplify Isaiah 1:18, which says “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ Says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool’” (NKJV).
The hymn “There is a fountain filled with blood” says, “There is a fountain filled with blood. Drawn from Immanuel’s veins; And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, Lose all their guilty stains: Lose all their guilty stains, Lose all their guilty stains; And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, Lose all their guilty stains.”
The blood of Jesus also cleanses our consciences of dead works or sin. Hebrews 9:13-14 says, “For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (NKJV).
This means that the blood of Jesus purifies our hearts as the New Living Translation puts it in verse 14: “Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.” Given this, you can confess that the blood of Jesus purifies or cleanses your heart of any defilement of sin.
5. The blood of Jesus grants us access to the presence of God. Through the blood of Jesus, believers secure access to the presence of God. We enter the holiest place by the blood of Jesus. “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh” (Hebrews 10:19-20 NKJV).
The most holy place or the holy of holies is the most sacred part of the Tabernacle and Temple where the power of God resided. It was a room with a sacred veil separating it from the rest of the area where people worshipped and in the room was the Ark of the Covenant with the mercy seat covering it (Exodus 25:10-22).
When Jesus died on the cross, the curtain covering the holiest place in the Temple was torn from top to bottom, symbolizing access for everyone who believes in Jesus to the place which hitherto only the high priest could enter only once a year. He would enter with the sacrificial blood and make atonement before God for the sins of the people. Mark 15:38 says, “Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom” (NKJV). Matthew 27:51 also records the tearing of the Temple curtain or veil.
Because of access by the blood of Jesus, we don’t have to depend on any human high priest again to approach God or the high priest to go to God on our behalf once a year. We can have access personally and always. Hallelujah!
6. The blood of Jesus gives us eternal life. We receive eternal life through the blood of Jesus. In John 6, Jesus took on very tough teaching, which many of His disciples found difficult to understand and left Him. He said He was the bread of life from heaven which gave eternal life to everyone who ate it. In verse 51, He said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world” (NKJV).
Jesus went further to declare in verses 53-54: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (NKJV). He wasn’t talking about eating His body or drinking His blood literally. He was referring to believing in the sacrifice of His body and blood on the cross through which He would offer salvation to humanity. You must believe in the finished work of Christ on the cross to have eternal life. Do you?
7. The blood of Jesus Christ gives us victory over Satan. Colossians 2:15 says Jesus disarmed principalities and powers and made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. Those who believe in Jesus Christ have victory over Satan by the blood of Jesus. In Revelation 12:10, Satan is called the accuser of the brethren who accused them before God day and night but has been cast down. In the Old Testament, he accused Job and Joshua the high priest (Job 1:6-12; Zechariah 3:1-5).
Satan always brings accusations against Christians before God, telling Him our sins and seeking our condemnation. But because of the shedding of the blood of Jesus for our sins, His accusations can never work. God cannot condemn us because Jesus died for our sins, was raised from the dead, and is making intercession for us. “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us” (Romans 8:33-34 NKJV). Hebrews 7:25 says Jesus is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Whereas Satan is the accuser of the brethren before God, Jesus Christ is our advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1). He is the propitiation or sacrifice for our sins (verse 2). Revelation 12:11 says, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death’” (NKJV).
The blood of Jesus Christ nullifies Satan’s accusations against Christians. God has forgiven us our sins and remembers them no more. We are no longer slaves of sin (Romans 6:6, 17). Although we still sin, if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
We have victory over Satan by faith in the blood of Jesus and by the word of our testimony, which is the sword of the Spirit. We defeat Satan’s accusation by faith in the redemptive work of Christ and the courageous preaching of the gospel and obedience to it.
8. The shedding of the blood of Jesus establishes the new covenant. The blood of Jesus ushers us into a new covenant. Because Jesus had not died, He fulfilled His ministry under the old covenant even though the records of His ministry are in the New Testament of the Bible.
The Bible says, “For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives” (Hebrews 9:16-17 NKJV). The new covenant began after Jesus died on the cross and His blood was shed. Hebrews 12:24 refers to Jesus as the Mediator of the new covenant and His blood as the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. Hebrews 8:6 says Jesus is the Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
Conclusion: Easter is the commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the tomb on the third day following His crucifixion. Jesus died on the cross and His blood was shed. There is power in the blood of Jesus. What the blood of animals could not do in the Old Testament, God has accomplished it through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, once and for all. There is no more need for repeated animal sacrifice. As you celebrate Easter, you must accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and believe in the work of the cross to enjoy what the blood of Jesus Christ has accomplished for humanity.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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