We see very little blood these days. Our lives are very clean and comfortable and we are shielded all our lives from the harsh realities of life and death. Blood and gore are only ever experienced from the safety of our homes via the screens of our televisions and computers. The whole idea of blood sacrifice is abhorrent to us. With that being the case, the idea of being washed in the blood of Christ which was shed for us as he was brutally murdered by the Jews, is a difficult one to explain to modern believers, let alone non-believers! I think the key to understanding this lies in Jesus’s sacrifice being “once for all time” (Hebrews 9:26). Under the terms of the New Covenant, the old requirement of regular ritual sacrifice for sins has been abolished and replaced with Christ’s ultimate sacrifice for the sins of all mankind for all time. Under the New Covenant it is made clear that adherence to the law, and in particular offering the blood of sacrificed animals, would never be enough to make us right with God.
Hebrews 9:22-28 NLT
In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. That is why the Tabernacle and everything in it, which were copies of things in heaven, had to be purified by the blood of animals. But the real things in heaven had to be purified with far better sacrifices than the blood of animals. For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf. And he did not enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the high priest here on earth who enters the Most Holy Place year after year with the blood of an animal. If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice. And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.
The Law serves to make us aware of our sins and therefore prompt an understanding of the need for salvation. The good news is that Jesus’s sacrifice has paid the price of our sins already, and so when we acknowledge him and his sacrifice, we can claim our salvation. My goal is to try and fully understand the whole reason for Jesus’s death on the cross as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. It can be very difficult to remember that the debt of sin is already paid, especially when faced with judgemental attitudes from many Christians who can be quick to rebuke the sins they perceive, and slow to empathise and offer a compassionate response. I want to focus on the salvation not the sacrifice, the forgiveness, not the judgement.
Ezekiel 20:1-49, Hebrews 9:11-28, Psalms 107:1-43, Proverbs 27:11