Nothing but the Blood

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“…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22)

There are people and even some churches that would deny or downplay the necessity of a blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin. Scripture, however, is clear. “…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22). Under the old covenant, repeated blood sacrifices were required to atone for sin. But these sacrifices were never meant to permanently deal with sin, only to point forward to the new and everlasting covenant mediated by Christ. “He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:12). The blood of bulls and goats dealt only with external cleansing while the blood of Christ was meant to “purify our conscious from dead works to serve the living God” (Hebrews 9:14). So, whereas the old covenant sacrifices were incapable of changing people’s hearts, the sacrifice of Christ could.

Though the author of Hebrews is not known, the purpose for which he wrote is. Hebrews was written for us to see the supremacy of Jesus above all things, greater than the angels and the Mosaic system. It was for us to see Jesus as the truly great High Priest whose once for all sacrifice cleanses us from sin.

In our day, there is an increasing tendency to deny the necessity of the cross for salvation. I suppose if we could, we might choose another way; a way that didn’t require the cross or a blood sacrifice, but instead a more palatable way—a way where God’s holiness and justice were stripped from His character—perhaps a way where all would enter in. But it’s not our way to choose, only God’s. He is the author of salvation, and as such, the manner in which redemption comes belongs only to Him. It may seem counterintuitive that salvation would require a sacrifice such as it does, and that one man would die for the sins of many is certainly countercultural. But that’s the way God planned it. Thankfully for us, Jesus lovingly and willingly submitted to that plan. There’s no greater love than the love of the Father and the Son.

Salvation comes only one way—through Christ alone. All of us need forgiveness of sin. If you have received that forgiveness, it came only by the blood of Christ. If you haven’t, it’s the only way it will come. For us to accept anything less is less than Christian, and if it’s less than Christian, it’s not Christian at all. Don’t believe the world. Believe the Bible. Embrace the grace found at the cross. Your salvation depends on it.

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