In Hebrews 9:22 we are given an explanation as to why Jesus had to die. We are told the reason why Jesus’ death had to be a bloody sacrifice. In this verse we read “…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”
The reason why Jesus had to die was so that sins could be forgiven.
The reason why Jesus’ death had to be a bloody sacrifice was so that sins could be forgiven.
Without it being this way there could be no forgiveness.
It was principle established In the Old Testament when God said in Leviticus 17:11: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.”
But while the blood of bulls and goats and lambs that were sacrificed in the place of the Israelites enabled them to have a relationship with God. These sacrifices never fully dealt with the problem of their sin. As a result they needed to be repeated again and again.
What was needed was a better sacrifice:
- A shedding of blood that would never need to be repeated.
- A shedding of blood that can bring complete and final forgiveness of sins for all of God’s people.
And that is what Jesus’ bloody death was!
As we reflect on Jesus’ death and His blood which was shed so that we can be forgiven, there are two things I want us to do:
Firstly, I want us to…
1. See the Blood
We begin by watching a man in agony under the twisting moonlit branches of Gethsemane’s olive grove. Drops of blood are streaming down His face and onto the ground. Such was the intensity of what He was going through as He looks forward to the reality of His suffering and death that it causes Him to sweat blood.
The scene switches and the man is now being flogged. With His hands chained up above His head, His back and legs are exposed to the whips of the Pilate’s soldiers. Blood flows down His back with each lash of these whips of long leather straps with metal balls and hooks of bone at the end of them.
After this a scarlet robe is put on Him and a crown of thorns is pressed into His head. Blood begins to flow down His cheeks. His eyes burn as He strains to see through His own sweat and blood.
The final scene has five to seven inch, rough, metal spikes being driven into His hands and feet, nailing Him to the cross which is then hoisted up into the air.
Jesus’ death was a violent death. It’s a bloody death. His blood which is infinitely more precious and valuable than the blood of bulls and goats and lambs was shed. He was a sacrifice for sins, but this sacrifice would not need to be repeated.
Through the shedding of Jesus’ blood there is full and complete forgiveness of sins for all who would trust in Him.
Through the shedding of Jesus’ blood this along with all the other New Covenant promises comes into effect.
See the blood.
Gaze upon Jesus’ death in our place taking the punishment we deserve so that our sins can be forgiven.
But also secondly,
2. Savour the Blood
Delight in it. Without it there is no forgiveness. This is the only way that you can be forgiven of your sins.
When it comes to being forgiven:
- Being a good person is USELESS.
- Being super intelligent and have lots of letters after your name is USELESS.
- Being from a well to do family is USELESS.
- Being in this or that profession is USELESS.
- Being religious: reading the Bible every day, praying three times a day, giving 10% of your income, your baptism, your service is USELESS.
Blood needs to be shed and blood has been shed so that you can be forgiven. So savour it!
In His kindness Jesus has given us a meal to help us do this. On the night He was betrayed, during the Passover meal He shared with His disciples, Jesus takes a cup, and “when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.””
Each time we share the Lord’s Supper, as we see the cup, we have an opportunity to remember the glorious truth that with Christ’s blood, shed on our behalf, there is forgiveness.
Each time we share the Lord’s Supper we have an opportunity to affirm our faith that we are forgiven because of Christ’s blood shed for us, as we take the cup and drink.
Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. But with the shedding of Christ’s blood in death for us there is forgiveness of sins.
See the blood and savour it.