The sin of Adam contaminated the soul of man with a stain that has remained, throughout all generations. God, in His holiness, was compelled to separate Himself from mankind, His beloved creation, which was now tainted by sin. There had to be a way back; a way for God and man to once more be reconciled.
The Bible tells us ‘without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness’ (Hebrews 9:22). So, the way back to God had to be through the blood. God said, ‘the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for your souls upon the altar; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul’ (Leviticus 17:11). It’s by the blood, therefore, as it is presented on the altar before God, that atonement is made. The stain of sin is removed and man’s relationship with God is restored.
This is why even the first covenant was ratified in blood. Moses took the blood of calves, with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people with it. Then he said, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you to keep” (Hebrews 9:20).
But the blood of lambs and goats were a mere shadow of what was to come. God was preparing His people for the reality and power of the supreme sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17). He became the personification and execution of the law, in order that God’s word would be fully accomplished.
Jesus even entered Heaven Himself to plead with God on our behalf (Hebrews 9:24).
This He did once only. It was not as the High Priest who presents himself before God every year with the blood of calves and goats, but to conquer the power of sin by the sacrifice of His own blood on the altar of Calvary. Just as it is for all people, who are destined to die once and then face the judgement, so Christ died once to carry with Him the sins of all mankind. This was to prepare the way for His return, when He would bring salvation to those who have already received Him (Hebrews 9:26-28).
‘He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world’ (1 John 2:2).
Prayer: Lord Jesus, please help me to grasp the significance of what You did on the cross, for me. Your blood was shed to present my body, sinless and pure, to the Father; washed, sanctified and justified. This I don’t fully understand, but I know it cost You everything. I come to You now with humble gratitude. Amen.
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