When Cain murdered his righteous brother Abel, his blood cried out to God (Gen 4:10). If from Abel came righteous blood, far greater is the blood of Jesus that cries out (Mt 23:35; Lk 11:51; Heb 12:24). Cain was cursed for despising the blood of His brother, and when Jesus was crucified on the Cross of Calvary, His blood was on the hands of those who murdered Him, and upon their children (Mt 27:25). Therefore, a consequence exists for how one handles the blood of Christ. To despise it, is to invite a curse upon oneself, but for those who are sprinkled with His blood (1 Pet 1:2), there are many benefits. One group has caused His blood to spill, and another group has been sprinkled with it.
The death of Christ carries the same meaning as the blood of Christ. Blood and water flowed from His side (Jn 19:34). That was the physical reality on that dark Friday that is now called, “Good.” What is so good about the blood of Christ? Why should Christians always be talking about His blood? At first, it sounds a bit morbid, but this is why I am writing about the blood of Christ because there is more to it than the physical draught from His pierced appendages. Let us consider some of the things accomplished by the death of Christ, the shedding of His blood at Golgotha.
The church of God was purchased with His own blood (Acts 20:28). With His precious blood as the currency of redeeming a people for Himself (1 Pet 1:19), we must see His redemption as an eternal act, for through His own blood He entered the holy place of heaven once for all (Heb 9:12). “All” means all of His people, for whom He has made peace with God, on their behalf, through the blood of His Cross (Col 1:20). God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself (2 Cor 5:19). Through Christ all things are reconciled to God (Col 1:20). Reconciliation between enemies, God and man, occurred at the Cross (Eph 2:16; Col 1:22), in the body of Christ, who is fully God and fully man.
It was a costly purchase, for Christ suffered outside the gate (Heb 13:12). This is an allusion to an Old Testament type, where an animal was sacrificed outside of the city (Lev 16:8, 10, 26). The blood of the sacrificial animal was placed on a second animal, the scapegoat, which was set free in the wilderness. The symbolism is of a substitute. Christ is our Passover sacrifice (1 Cor 5:7), a substitute for His people, resulting in atonement for us. Through His blood, sprinkled upon our heads (Ex 24:8; Heb 9:19), He intends to set us free (Gal 5:1) that He might sanctify a people (Heb 13:12) for His own possession (Titus 2:14). Christ died for the ungodly (Rom 5:6), that is, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8), for our sins (1 Cor 15:3).
The blood of Christ gives His church some definite benefits. First, the blood of Jesus, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin (1 Jn 1:7). All sin means all sin. There is no notion here of a past forgiveness and an unknown future. The blood of Christ has released us from all of our sins: past, present, and, future (Rev 1:5). We certainly marvel at this idea, but how is it possible? The answer is that our sins are committed against an eternal God in time, which is still part of eternity.
Therefore, we need an eternal redemption (Heb 9:12), the forgiveness of sins (Eph 1:7), received from the spotless, unblemished Lamb of God, slain from before the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8). This must be applied to us by the eternal Spirit (Heb 9:14), from whom we reap eternal life (Gal 6:8), according to His eternal purpose (Eph 3:11), which gives us eternal comfort (2 Thess 2:16), leading to eternal glory (2 Tim 2:10), in His eternal kingdom (2 Pet 1:11). To reject the message of eternal redemption, brought by the eternal Spirit, is itself an eternal sin (Mk 3:29), leading to eternal punishment in eternal fire (Jude 1:7).
Second, we have been justified by His blood (Rom 5:9). The blood of Christ has given Christians a new legal position. We are “not guilty” of our sins before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor 5:10). Justification comes to us by His grace, and it is received by us, through faith in His blood of propitiation (Rom 3:24–25). It is a gift, for we could never justify our sins before a holy God, on the merit of our good works (Jn 1:13; Rom 3:10; Eph 2:9). These have no connection to one another. Our good works are deemed as filthy rags (Is 64:6) and never produce any favor from God. This status of “not guilty” before the Great White Throne of judgment can never change (Rev 20:11). Justification is a permanent status because it is an eternal gift from an eternal God, who decreed salvation, from before the foundation of the world (2 Thess 2:13), according to His predetermined plan (Acts 2:23). Those He predestined to salvation are those He called by His Gospel (Eph 1:4–5), and these He also justified (Rom 8:30). Eternal salvation belongs to an eternal God (Dt 33:27; Ps 3:8; Jon 2:9; Rev 19:1).
Third, we shall be delivered from the wrath to come by His blood (Rom 5:9; 1 Thess 1:10). Christ’s blood was evidence of God’s wrath poured out upon His body. Like a grape erupting from the pressure of a powerful squeeze, Christ drank the cup of God’s wrath against sin, and He burst from His hands, feet, and side. The blood of the eternal covenant between God the Father and the God/man, His Son, was cut on Calvary’s tree (Heb 13:20). Sin nature was manufacturing sins at a ferocious pace (Eph 2:3), and He who is slow to wrath, simply held back wrath upon humanity, not counting their sins against them, until the appointed day of full release for the benefit of His people. He was crushed for our iniquities and pierced for our transgressions (Is 53:5). The wrath of God remains upon those who do not believe (Jn 3:36), and who wait for the day of wrath (Rom 2:5), in order to drink the wine of God’s wrath (Rev 14:10, 19). This has been revealed by God, for all to understand (Rom 1:18).
Christ came into the world with the intent to save His people from their sins (Mt 1:21). He bore our sins in His body on the Cross (1 Pet 2:24). He redeemed us. He ransomed us. He has reconciled us. He is the propitiation (wrath bearer) for our sins. He is our Passover sacrifice. He Himself has become our peace. He is ever making intercession for us, if indeed, He is our Mediator. He calls us to come away from sin and to flee to Him for refuge from the wrath of Satan and from the wrath of God (1 Thess 5:9). He is our city of refuge. He is our rock and our salvation. Have you trusted Christ Jesus for all of that which has been written here? These benefits are for the humble penitent, not for the prideful self-made man.
Fourth, we must drink His blood for eternal life (Jn 6:53). Jesus taught the crowds near Capernaum that they must take in Jesus Christ. They must appropriate His life into their own. For a man to receive the benefits of bread and wine, he must ingest them. For a man to receive the benefits of Christ, He must receive Him into his innermost being. “Dead men don’t eat or drink,” one might argue. We concur. Appropriation of Christ is made by the life giving Spirit (Col 2:13), who raises the spiritually dead to life (Rom 6:4; Eph 2:5). All those who were appointed to life, believed (Acts 13:48). And as many as received Him, He gave them the right to be called the children of God, even to those who believe in His name (Jn 1:12).
Finally, His blood cleanses our guilty conscience (Heb 9:14), liberating us for service to God. Sin produces a dowie people, lumbering under the weight of mounting sin and guilt. As Christ’s freedmen (1 Cor 7:22), we are to live by the Spirit (Gal 5:25), who is producing joy in us (Gal 5:22).
To maintain our spiritual health, we must daily revisit the Cross, where our God and Savior, Jesus Christ died to secure these benefits for us. Using the mind of Christ, we must meditate on all the spiritual blessings that are ours in Christ Jesus (Eph 1:3). We must not let sin and Satan have dominion over us (Acts 26:18), nor revert to being slaves to sin (Rom 6:6), or men (1 Cor 7:23), or lusting appetites (Rom 16:18), or idols (Gal 4:8).
Our freedom to live in and serve God has been bought for price (1 Cor 6:20; 7:23), with His precious blood (1 Pet 1:19); and therefore, we belong to Christ (1 Cor 3:23), as slaves of Christ, doing His will from the heart (Eph 6:6). His will is our sanctification (1 Thess 4:3), and His Spirit is in us, to will and to do His good pleasure (Phil 2:13). Therefore, let us set our minds upon the things above (Col 3:2), like the Lamb slain (Rev 5:6, 12).
In summary, we have considered the blood of Christ. We have seen how abundantly it flows with spiritual meaning. By His blood, He has granted us forgiveness of sins, turned the wrath of God away from us, permanently positioned us as innocents, and daily washes our guilty conscience by the water of His Word (Eph 5:26). We have learned that it must be taken in. There is life in His blood (Jn 6:53–54), which causes His people to overcome sin, death, Satan, and this world (Rev 12:11).
In conclusion, nothing but the blood of Jesus can make this new life a reality. Nothing but the blood can wash away my sins. Nothing but the blood can make me whole again. This is all my hope and peace. This is all my righteousness. All my praise for this I bring; and glory, glory do I sing…for nothing but the blood of Jesus.
David E. Norczyk
Spokane Valley, Washington
December 27, 2020