Justified and Forgiven by the Blood of Jesus
Christ’s blood is called, “precious” (1 Pet 1:19). The reason is that the life of the flesh is in the blood (Lev 17:11). Because Jesus Christ, in the flesh, is God incarnate (Jn 1:14), His flesh and blood is holy. Jesus is the unblemished Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (Jn 1:29).
In the Old Testament temple cult, the spotless lamb was sacrificed, and its blood was presented at the mercy seat of God, in the holiest place of the tabernacle/temple. God would condescend to see the blood of the substitute and forgive the sins of His people, Israel. The ongoing system of endless sacrifices typified the coming of Christ, the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 5:12; 13:8).
As it was in the judgment of the first-born, in every household at Egypt, the blood would be a sign (Ex 12:13). Death was averted by the blood of the lamb on the doorposts of the houses that obeyed the instruction of God and His servant, Moses. In the same way, the death of Christ has propitiated the wrath of God against sin (Rom 3:24–25a). Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins (Heb 9:22).
Christ’s blood is the blood of the unconditional covenant God has made to benefit His chosen people (Mt 26:28; Lk 22:44), the elect from every nation (Rev 5:9). Jesus himself claimed His was the blood of the new covenant, poured out for many (Mt 26:28; Mk 14:24). This was signified by circumcision in the Old Testament Law. Christ is our circumcision, and the end of the legal requirement for circumcision, being the fulfillment of the Old Testament sign.
Jesus Christ died once, offering Himself, as a one-time sacrifice to pay for the sins of His people (1 Pet 2:24), saving His people from their sins (Mt 1:21), having obtained eternal redemption through His blood (Heb 9:12). This is the purchase of the church of God with His own blood (Acts 20:28).
Christ Jesus has reconciled us to God in the terms of the covenant and in perfect obedience to the Law of righteousness. He died in our place and on our behalf, having made peace with God, through the blood of the cross (Col 1:20). We have been brought near to God by this same blood of the cross (Eph 2:13).
The position of the blood-bought believer, in Jesus, is righteousness before God. We have been justified by His blood, even as we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him (Rom 5:9). Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant, cut with His blood (Heb 12:24), which is sprinkled on His people in the Spirit, signified by baptism with water, which is the bloodless sign of the new covenant.
Joining water baptism is the other sacrament, the Lord’s Supper, reminiscent of the Passover feast of the Exodus. These sacraments are Gospel. Just as the Word is preached, heard, and believed, so the sacraments are received by faith, as physical tethers for our faith. They are symbolic of our taking in the fullness of Christ’s body (bread of life) and blood (covenant forgiveness). Jesus said that unless you drink His blood, which is true drink, you have no life in yourselves, that is eternal life (Jn 6:53–56).
Christian, he who takes in the blood of Christ, abides in Christ, who abides in him (Jn 6:56). This union, sealed with covenant promises, revealed by the Spirit and the Word, is our life. We are conjoined together as the body of Christ, the church, whose Head is Christ Himself (Col 1:18). The glorified Christ is sanctifying us to be, as He is today. Each member is being set apart, made holy, as unto the Lord.
The blood of Christ is our justification before God. It is our claim to the forgiveness of sins (Eph 1:7; Rev 1:5). It was shed once for us, and we were sprinkled with it, as was the church in the wilderness. Having been baptized into Christ’s death, we now live in His resurrection life in the Spirit (regeneration). He has made you alive in order to love and serve God, who has chosen you, redeemed you, and indwelt you with His Spirit. You are free to live the Christ-life by faith. As you do, remember His blood shed for you, until He comes again. For in that day, you shall live forever, being glorified in body and soul. Amen.
Spokane Valley, Washington
October 26, 2021