(Note: All Scriptures are in the New King James Version unless indicated differently)
We have come to the place in this study where we will look at how the symbolism of the sacrificial system in the Old Testament is fulfilled in the New Testament in the blood of Jesus. The Old Testament sacrificial system that God set up with the Israelites was strict and He required them to follow it to the letter. As we have learned, sin had to be covered. Without this blood covering, man had no hope of ever being in the presence of a Holy God, which is the purpose for which we were created.
In the Old Testament, God had arranged to meet with the Israelites personally at the base of Mount Sinai while He spoke to them. We find the account in Exodus 19:17-20:
And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice. Then the LORD came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain and Moses went up.
The result of this encounter was that the people had such a great fear of dealing with God personally that they begged Moses to go meet with Him and then bring the message he received back to them and they would hear and obey.
The New Testament replaces the old attempt to restore man’s fellowship with God through the sacrificial system. This New Covenant is based on the completion of the perfect sacrifice by the Messiah, Jesus. This is why Jesus, while on the cross, uttered the words, “It is finished” just before He released His spirit. The Old Testament was completed and the New Covenant was instituted by His sacrifice. The book of Hebrews has much to say about it. Hebrews 12:22-24 reads:
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks of better things than that of Abel.
When John the Baptist saw Jesus approach, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” As the last apostle of the Old Testament times, the Baptizer, a voice crying in the wilderness, introduced a whole new approach to the relationship between God and man. In Revelation 13:8, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, John the Apostle called Jesus the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world.”
Man was created unique. The Bible tells us that God created man in order to commune with him. He wanted a walking/talking type of fellowship with him. The angels, although magnificent and powerful beings, were not designed for the same type of relationship. There is more than one reason why the fallen Lucifer wants to destroy the human race, but man’s capacity for such an intimate relationship with the Creator was something he wanted to destroy at all cost. God on the other hand, was willing to redeem man to this relationship, even at the greatest cost imaginable! Let’s now look at Hebrews 9:11-14:
But Christ came as high Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
Another important passage is found in Hebrews 13:10-12:
We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.
The writer to the Hebrews here makes it clear that those who reject Jesus’ sacrifice at the cross, or go back to following the old Levitical law, in effect, make themselves ineligible for the benefits of the New Covenant. Most Jewish people today have yet to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. There are also many Christians today who are trying to blend Judaism with Christianity. Once again, it is important to remember the significance of the veil in the Temple being torn in two at the time of Jesus’ death on the cross. The Holy of Holies was completely exposed to the whole world. The New Covenant was established and there was no going back to the old!
An additional passage showing the contrast between the first and second blood covenants is found in Hebrews 10:1-10:
For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshippers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.
Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—in the volume of the book it is written of Me—To do Your will, O God.’” Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that he may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
A very simple explanation of the passage is this: The old covenant, or first covenant could only cover sins. It could never approach the ultimate solution which was eradicating sin completely. The blood of animals could never remove sin, it could only cover them, and so this process had to be redone year after year after year. Jesus Himself is speaking here when the Scripture says: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me…” Jesus–the second personage of the Triune God is speaking to the Father–the first person of the Triune God, confirming the fact that the Father arranged for the Son to take on a human body so that it could become the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world, removing the need for animals being sacrificed to cover man’s sins. The Father “takes away the first (covenant) that He may establish the second (covenant) so that all believers in the Messiah could be sanctified through the body of Jesus Christ once and for all.”
In Hebrews 13:20-21 we have another reference to the Blood of Christ:
Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
As we have seen, from the very beginning since man’s fall in the Garden of Eden, divine justice had to be satisfied. Here in this passage we have it confirmed once again that it was through the Blood of the everlasting covenant purchased by the death of the perfect Lamb of God Himself that this justice has been satisfied once and for all. Each new believer in the Messiah Jesus is made complete so that he can do God’s will and be pleasing in His sight.
The only requirement God makes in order for this divine justice to be satisfied within an individual is that a person humble himself through true repentance and allow Him Lordship. Salvation cannot be earned. It is a free gift. Religions all over the world teach that man must earn favor with God, but God says it cannot be done. We can never do enough religious works to earn God’s favor. Living one’s entire life hidden away in a monastery cannot earn God’s favor or forgiveness, neither can living one’s life by a strict set of religious rules. Only He can make us acceptable before Him, and that can only be through the Blood of Jesus. We find this confirmed in Romans 3:21-26:
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
This passage speaks of the complete removal or eradication of sin. A fact that is not understood by most people, even religious people, is that every single human being that is born into the human race is born into sin. Is a child naturally good or evil? Who teaches a child to throw a temper tantrum? Who teaches them to lie? Who teaches them to steal? It comes naturally from the fallen human nature that everyone is born with. Every descendant of Adam is born with a sin nature because of the fall in the Garden of Eden. This is why Jesus had to be born of a virgin. It is not as much the individual “acts” of sin that has a human being on the way to hell but rather the sin nature that he is born with. Sin is carried through the bloodline. Jesus did not have Adam’s bloodline. The virgin Mary provided the womb that the child Jesus was carried in and nourished through the nine months of pregnancy, but the child had the blood of His Father, the Almighty Himself! This is why Jesus was both all-God and all-man. This is why this Blood and none other has the potency and power to cleanse from sin. A person can try and live as perfectly as they possibly can but that cannot cure the fallen human sin nature. That requires the cure of the Blood of the Lamb of God. Ephesians 1:3-8 is another New Testament passage that confirms these facts:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence.
The Apostle Peter also spoke of the Blood of Jesus and its power to forgive sin and provide an eternal inheritance as well. Let’s read 1 Peter 1:3-9
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith–the salvation of your souls.
One of the beautiful benefits of being a true follower of Jesus Christ is the absolute assurance of the covenant God has made with us when we submitted to His Lordship. Not only are our sins completely forgiven and removed, never to be brought up again, but this same covenant has an eternal inheritance that comes with it. There is no other religious belief system that offers this kind of assurance. Empty religion, under whatever name it may be represented, urges a person to work hard and maybe eventually a person can earn entry to paradise. The price has been paid in full through the Blood of Jesus. The work has been completed! What is our part of the covenant? Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was and this was His answer: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” He then said, “The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Our God is a God of love. He loved us so much that He was willing to take on the form of a man and then allow Himself to be murdered so that through His death and the spilling of His priceless Blood, man’s debt could be paid in full and his complete eternal freedom be purchased. All we do in return is love Him with our entire being…and our neighbor as ourself! There is not another system of religious belief in the world that is built upon such a great love!
The Apostle Peter spoke of the payment made for man’s freedom in 1 Peter 1:13-21:
Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
As human beings we are used to paying a price for whatever we need or want. Everything has its price. We usually treat things according to the value we put on them. Here this Scripture says that our freedom was not bought with corruptible things like silver or gold, but rather the Blood of Christ. There was no higher price that Almighty God could have paid than with Jesus’ Blood. The Apostle here is urging us to treat our Christian life and the price that was paid to set us free by its real value. We are to walk carefully, seeing to it that we truly represent the Kingdom of Heaven and our King well. We are ambassadors of the coming Kingdom of God. Our sojourn in this life is quite short in light of eternity. Considering the fact that life here is not more than a puff of vapor, we would do well to keep our priorities in line with eternity!
In this study I have not exhausted all of the New Testament Scriptures referring to the Blood of Jesus Christ, but have provided a fair cross-section. In the Book of Revelation (accurately called the Revelation of Jesus Christ), we have several important references I would like to include before concluding Part 4 of this study. The first passage is found in chapter 5 verses 9-10:
And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.
The Book of Revelation, besides providing a revelation of who Jesus Christ really is, is also a prophetic account of the Apocalypse, or “The Day of The LORD”, most people recognizing it as “The Great Tribulation.” The verse above is describing a heavenly scene. A scroll has been presented which is sealed with seven seals (which open and reveal the events of the Apocalypse), but a worthy person must be found to open the seals. No one on earth, below the earth, nor in heaven itself is found to be able to open this scroll until the Lamb of GOD comes on the scene. Because the Messiah, the Lamb of GOD was the One to have paid the horrendous price necessary, He was the only One worthy to open these seals. In front of the Throne of GOD are 24 smaller thrones occupied by 24 elders. When it was finally revealed that the Lamb of GOD was able to open the scroll, they sang a new song, the verses above providing the words of their song. Again, it was that most precious and powerful Blood that provided victory!
Another passage in Revelation is again a heavenly scene. This time there is an enormous multitude of people before the Throne of God, worshipping Him with great fervor and exuberance. This massive crowd consists of those that had come out of the Great Tribulation. These had missed the Rapture of the true Church and so found themselves having to go through the absolute worst time of world history, the Great Tribulation. They apparently fell to their knees before God and repented because it says they washed their robes and made them white. They also died, either by being martyred for their faith, or in one of the apocalyptic cataclysms on the earth, and so found themselves before the Throne of God in Revelation 7:9-17.
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.” Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who came out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Once again, there was only one substance that would cleanse the stain of sin which had these people on their way to an eternity in the lake of fire, out of the presence of God forever: the BLOOD of Jesus!
The next passage is found in Revelation 12:7-12:
And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”
Halfway through the seven year Apocalypse, the devil is thrown out of the heavens. Hard as it may be to believe, the fallen Lucifer still has access to some parts of the heavens. The Bible calls him the accuser of the brethren and so we know he has discussions with God as in the case with Job in the Old Testament.
Those that the fallen one has been accusing for millennia are the true followers of Jesus Christ, the remnant that continues to overcome the devil to this very day. The day of Satan’s ejection to the Earth is now very close. We are just moments away from the onset of the “Great and Terrible Day of the LORD”. Dead center during this time, the devil and his cohorts are thrown to the earth. That will not only be a time when a wicked planet will experience the wrath of Almighty GOD, but also the fury of the devil himself! It will truly be the time of Jacob’s trouble, speaking of the nation of Israel! They will be in the process of being enlightened to Who the Messiah really is, and they will see it was the One they missed two thousand years earlier! But one-third of the Jews will recognize the Messiah they missed, repenting in great agony, but be restored in their relationship with God as will the nation of Israel.
The last passage we will look at in this portion of the study is found in Revelation 19:11-16:
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on his thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
At the end of the seven years of The Great Tribulation, there is a war like none ever in the history of man. All of the armies of the earth are gathered in the valley of Megiddo. After all the wars Israel will have faced to this time, they will still be in existence. God promised they would! At this time, there will be one last attempt to run the tiny nation of Israel into the Mediterranean Sea. As the multiplied millions gather with all of their military gear; men, machines, bombs, missiles, super soldiers, hybrids monstrosities, returned ancient giants from the abyss, demons, and even fallen angels, there comes One on the scene that has seen this battle coming for eons, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Mighty One! The battle is over nearly before it starts! How does one think they are ever going to fight against the Almighty? What a great slaughter it will be!
Jesus provided the sacrifice of His Blood to pay for the sins of mankind. Not only is the Blood of the Lamb the most powerful substance on Earth, but so is the Lamb of God, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Creator of the entire universe! He has been in control from the beginning and is still in control today! Those that insist on opposing Him will not only pay with their blood, but with an eternity without God.
Friend, please make sure that you are covered by the Blood of the Lamb! Don’t underestimate the power of that Blood and the need every human being has to be covered by it!
To Be Continued in Part 5 as we examine all the things the BLOOD stands for and accomplishes.