- Opportunity House
No Blood, No Forgiveness
I pray today’s message finds you well.
Today we will continue to talk about Jesus. We will be discussing the need for blood. Today, the need for blood is paramount in medical circles. Blood drives are constantly scheduled all around us throughout the calendar year. The need for blood for surgeries and transfusions is never-ending. In fact, currently, there is a shortage of blood. One of my church member’s relative’s doctors could not give her the blood she needed for treatment. They had to save the blood for surgeries. The patient is a cancer patient. This was at Baptist in Winston-Salem. We have a great need for blood in our medical system.
There is another important need for blood though. A biblical reason, and it is both historical and eternal. We need blood for the forgiveness of sins. This need for blood is paramount for our salvation. We all need this blood.
Envision with me if you will, the night of the first Passover, the night that the Destroyer passed over the dwellings of the Israelite slaves. What was it that protected the Israelites from the plague that would ultimately kill all the firstborns in Egypt? It was blood, yes. Exodus 12:12-13,
“On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn–both men and animals–and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.”
A sign from God is eternal. It is a pivot point for history. The virgin with a boy child named Jesus was a sign from God. The baby in the manger was a sign from God. History changed with the birth of that baby. Here again, we have a sign from God, when God sees blood he will pass over us. Remember that this sacrificial blood is from lambs and goats.
Let’s go to Jeremiah where we finished last week, 31:31,
“The time is coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.”
This transition to the New Covenant is what we are looking at today. Our understanding of this New Covenant is important because it involves a new and different sacrifice, and a new and different kind of blood. A more perfect sacrifice and a more perfect type of blood. Hebrews 9:8-14,
“When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 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.”
A close read of this final sentence tells me that the blood of Christ is so special that it even can heal our conscience from sin (acts that lead to death). The blood of Jesus can go into our sub-conscience and heal us of the wounds that drive our sinful behavior. It can help free us from our slavery to sin.
In Acts 17:26, Paul tells us this,
“From one man (Adam) he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.”
Since all of mankind came through Adam, we all have Adam’s blood. This is one thing that relates all of mankind to one another. We all have the same blood. We also have the same stain on our blood, that stain of sin, that comes from Adam’s original sin in the garden. Hebrews 9:15,
“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.”
This is the transition to the New Covenant, available to the Israelites. On the basis of Christ’s atoning death, this eternal inheritance is available to those who are called by God.
In Romans 8:28, Paul describes this call,
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
This call that all children of God are compelled to answer is simply this: To become more like our big brother Jesus. We are to all conform to the likeness of Christ.
Do we willingly allow our minds; our psychological and emotional makeup to become more like Jesus? Or, do we fight this, kicking, screaming, and cursing, always returning to our sinful nature?
The answer to this question will answer the question for each of our own individual eternities. Do we surrender our sinful nature to the blood of Christ? Or, do we refuse to claim the power of the blood of Christ, and continue to wallow in our sins unapologetically?
In his book The Chemistry of the Blood, author M. R. DeHaan, explains mankind’s struggle this way. Are you a sheep or a pig?
“The difference between the sinner and the saint is that the saint HATES his sin and pleads the blood of Christ, whereas the sinner loves his sin and goes back into it. The saint is like a sheep. It may fall into the mud hole (of sin), but it is not comfortable there, and will bleat until the shepherd lifts it out, and thereafter will avoid that mud hole of sin (by a wide margin). The sinner is like a pig. It goes about looking for mud holes (of sin), and when it finds one, it slides in with a grunt of glee and will squeal vehement objections if you try to pull it out of its sin, and no sooner is it out than it will return to the mud hole (of sin) again. The saint may FALL into sin but he will never remain there, and he will be unhappy while in sin.”
Let’s not be like the pig. 1 John 1:8-10,
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteous-ness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him (Jesus) out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.”
This is a terrible place for a man or woman to be, where we are calling God a liar and his word has no place in our lives. This is a place of sadness, pain, and chaos. I lived this way for fifteen years. Do not make the mistake I made. Don’t sit in that mud hole watching the world go by, thinking and wishing and hoping that you are happy. I thought I was in a hot tub, but I was in a mud hole of sin. I see people today, in great numbers, living this way, some with great wealth, surrounded by stuff, but they’re not happy, they’re not content, and they are dying slowly, an eternal death that begins on this earth and will never be completed. For their death is an eternal death. This means that death is never complete.
Jesus didn’t die for himself, he died for each one of us. His Holy Spirit is continually calling out to each of our hearts. Answer this call. Ask the Great Shepherd to pick you up out of your mud hole, and keep on asking him to pick you up. Hebrews 9:26-28,
“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.”
Are you waiting for him? Look to the eastern sky.
Do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God.
and Harmony UMC