The Blood of Christ
HEBREW 9: 14-26
How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance--now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.
In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when someone has died; it never takes affect while the one who made it is living. This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. When Moses proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices then these. For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of MANY people; and he will APPEAR A SECOND TIME, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation TO THOSE WHO ARE WAITING FOR HIM.
NIV Life Application Study Bible Notes:
People in the Old Testament times were saved through Christ's sacrifice, although that sacrificed had not yet happended. In offering unblemished animal sacrifices, they were anticipating Christ's coming and his death for sin. There was no point in returning to the sacrificial system now that Christ had come and had become the final, perfect sacrifice.
Why does forgiveness require the shedding of blood? This is no arbitrary decree on part of a bloodthirsty God, as some have suggested. There is no greater symbol of life than blood; blood keeps us alive. Jesus shed his blood--gave his life--for our sins so that we wouldn't have to experience spiritual death, eternal separation from God. Jesus is the source of life, not death. He gave his own life to pay our penalty for us so that we might live. After shedding his blood for us, Christ rose from the grave and proclaimed victory over sin and death.
All people die physically, but Christ died so that we would not have to die spirtually. We can have wonderful confidence in his saving work for us, doing away with sin--when he died on the cross, he sacrificed himself once for all (9:26); he has given us the Holy Spirit to help us deal with present sin; he appears for us now in heaven as our high priest (9:24); and he promises to return (9:26) and raise us to eternal life in a world where sin will be banished.
"Mighty is the Power of the Cross"
by Chris Tomlin
Music Video from Attitude of Gratitude