Identity Found in God
The High Priest and the Forgiven
The High Priest
The Blood of Christ
The Living Bread
The Dwelling Place of God
Living Confidently as the Forgiven
The Blood of Christ
How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! Hebrews 9:14
We are to take communion to remember Jesus. I have to put myself in the shoes of the disciples as Jesus talked about this new covenant in His blood. First of all, the concept of blood makes me a little woozy. When I list the various jobs and skills I have, anything that has to do with blood and needles would never make it on that list. When I think of blood, sorry, I’m just being honest here, my first thought is, “Ew! Gross!” and I try and change the subject. However, I really want to understand the concepts of blood sacrifice and the blood of Christ as it was “back in the day”.
Blood signifies life. It is the flow of life within our bodies. Another symbol of blood is guilt. The blood of animals was a very common and important substance that was required as a sacrifice of sin. A sacrifice is an offering to God as worship or payment for sin. So as a payment for sin, an animal had to die so that it’s blood could be used. It was poured into bowls, smeared on top of door frames. Fingers were dipped into it. It was sprinkled. It was put on the horns of the altar. It was poured out. There was a great significance and plan in blood. When the Israelites were being protected from the plagues, they were asked to put lamb’s blood over the door frames so that Death would pass over them.
Today, though, we do not have this same interaction with blood. We don’t have to perform sacrifices, and because of farmers and industry, we do not have to go out and butcher our own meat. We are exempt from the experience of killing something, observing its blood and preparing the animal to eat or for any other reason. At the start of creation, God’s people took care of things in such a way to prepare the sacrifices out of their relationship with God. The concept of blood had a whole different perspective and meaning.
We hear the phrase “the blood of Christ, we sing songs like, “Nothing but the blood of Jesus…” But let’s pause and recognize and identify the significance of the blood of Christ.
Hebrews 9:12-14 & 15-28 sums up the importance:
He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood.
You will find a comparison to a will. When you create a will, you are revealing what will happen when you die. But it will not take effect until you are dead. The old covenant which was based on sacrifices, forgiveness came out of the blood sacrifice of the death of an animal. But ultimately, the blood of goats and bulls were not enough. To continually seek atonement, they had to regularly offer these sacrifices. But Jesus took Himself to the altar. He was the One sacrifice needed. It was His blood because of the death of His unblemished being, that was poured out on behalf of the people for forgiveness once and for all. He didn’t sacrifice some animal, but took Himself to the cross.
As we look beyond our limited experience of blood, and consider the great significance of the blood of Christ, may we realize and take time to remember what Christ did for us – on our behalf. Because He died, we are now “willed” eternal life with God. May “the blood of Christ” not be another rote, cliché we say without embracing it’s full important meaning. Take some time to ponder – NOTHING but the blood of Jesus! Meditate on the deep meaning of the blood of Christ.