A Perfect Sacrifice

Shedding blood is a metaphor referring to the fact that without death, there is no forgiveness of sins.

Perfect sacrificeSo, our true transformation – a profound change from the inside out – is made possible only through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.  Here are several important elements of this gift that God offers us:

  • Jesus’s shed blood provides complete forgiveness. Within the Christian belief system, there is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood.  An atonement is a payment, made on behalf of the one who has sinned, in order to redeem them from the penalty of their sins.  This payment could not be made in any other way than the shedding of blood.  We cannot replace this blood with our good works, praying without ceasing, helping and loving others, or even giving more money.

“I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the Lord.  It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible” (Leviticus 17:11 NLT).

“…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:19-22 NLT).

  • Only Jesus could die for our sin. Romans 3:23 says, “all have sinned.”  Because every human being has come short of the glory of God, none is capable of atoning for his or her own sin or the sins of others. Therefore, there has to be Someone blameless who must do the job.  He must be a human since He will atone for the sins of humans.  He must also be God because that is the only way He would be the mediator between God and mankind.  Jesus Christ is the only one who fits this description.

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5 NIV).

  • Shedding of blood was necessary. Jesus Christ could have been drowned in water, He could have died of strangling, He could have died of a severe sickness, starvation, or any other means of death.  None of these include the physical shedding of blood, though. That would not have been an acceptable atonement because the shedding of blood was required for the forgiveness of sin.

“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission (cancelling) of sins” (Matthew 26:28 NIV).

“And He (Jesus) said unto them, ‘This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many’” (Mark 14:24 NIV).

  • Redemption is possible only through Jesus Christ. Redemption can only be attained through the blood of Jesus Christ.  The blood of a lamb or goat or calf is no longer acceptable by God for the forgiveness of sins as it was prior to Jesus presence on the earth.  The sacrifices of the Old Testament (which ended at the cross) were merely a foreshadowing of the cross.  The animals that were sacrificed were symbolic of Christ to come.

“… being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24 NIV).

  • Redemption was planned from the beginning. That Christ will shed His blood and die for the sin of the world was planned by God “from the foundation of the world.”  He has always had this as part of His plan.  It wasn’t what some have attempted to explain as God’s “Plan B.”

”He (Jesus) was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake” (1 Peter 1:20 NIV)

  • God’s plan had not been known by the world. Although the cross was unknown to the world before it happened, the plan has always existed with God.

“Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten.  No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God – His plan that was previously hidden, even though He made it for our ultimate glory before the world began.  But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified (Jesus)” (1 Corinthians 2:6-8 NIV).

  • We must trust in the blood of Jesus. From the day that Christ shed His blood on the cross, there came an end to any other sacrificial blood shed for sin.  Therefore, any of us who has not put our faith in the blood (sacrificial death) of Jesus is yet to receive the forgiveness of our sin. Regardless of how religious or righteous we might be today, if we have not trusted in Christ’s shed blood for the forgiveness of our sins, we’re still an unforgiven sinner.  What it means to trust in the blood is to admit we’re a sinner who cannot save ourselves; believe that Christ has died in our place, shed His blood to fully pay the penalty of our sins; and that He was buried, and He rose again that we may be made right before God.

“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.  Yet God, in His grace, freely makes us right in His sight.  He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins.  For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin.  People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood.  This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when He held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past” (Romans 3:23-25 NLT).

  • Christ purchased us by His blood. Christ redeemed us from being the deserving of punishment to receiving the power to become the children of God.  The price that He paid to accomplish this was His blood.  Christ is to us the only source of righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18-19 NIV).

  • A sacrifice was made once and forever. Christ’s atonement is the only and last acceptable atonement (payment) for sin. It is referred to in the Bible as “one sacrifice forever.”  Once we’re washed in the blood of Jesus, we’re cleansed and forgiven once and for all – forever.

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.  He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18 NIV).

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