The Blood of Christ Speaks (Part 2)

As we noted in our prior lesson, both the blood of Abel and the blood of Christ speak to the sinfulness of mankind.

We begin to see Jesus' blood clearly speaking better things than Abel's here. Jesus' blood isn't just a cry for justice or vengeance. It cries out in love for mercy and forgiveness! The Father's love prompted Him to send His Son to be a "propitiation" for the sins of mankind. He is the covering for our sins. I John 4:9,10 explains - "In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."

Two primary things are involved in the "propitiation." An appropriate sacrifice was needed that could atone for human sin, and then a priest was needed to offer that sacrifice in an acceptable way. Christ is both that sacrifice and priest! Consider Hebrews 9:11-14 in this regard:

"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?"

God commended His love to man in sending His Son to shed His blood and die for man's sins. Paul expressed it this way in Romans 5:6-9:

"For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him."

And the apostle John wrote in his account of the gospel - "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved" (3:16,17). Jesus the Christ is the ultimate demonstration of love and His blood speaks to this point clearly!

Humans today are accomplishing some remarkable things in a variety of ways (e.g., medicine, transportation, communication, technology, etc.). But even though man can fly to the moon, transplant organs, and solve many difficult problems, mankind has never devised a real remedy for sin (though many have tried). I Peter 1:18,19 reads - "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." Silver and gold are considered of great value, but they can not purchase redemption from sin as the blood of Jesus can!

Men are saved by God's grace, not by works the law of Moses or other religious works that we may devise. If we go to the Old Testament looking for redemption in law keeping, we shall not find it. Paul put it bluntly in Galatians 5:4 - "You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace." Salvation flows from God abundantly toward those who humbly trust Him and manifest a genuine faith. There is much work to be done for His kingdom, but the works that we do are not the basis of our redemption. Ephesians 2:8-10 - "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." The blood of Jesus tells us that without it none could be saved!

As we conclude, let us highlight several contrasts between the blood of Abel and the blood of Jesus. Abel's blood was taken by force but Jesus' blood was given as an act of mercy and grace. Abel's blood cried out for justice but Jesus' blood is a message of mercy. Abel's blood speaks to the need for vengeance but Jesus' blood is more about pardon. The one who shed Abel's blood became an outcast but all who contributed to the shedding of Jesus' blood can find acceptance and hope if they seek it.

But how? The Scriptures tell us how to receive the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb. Jesus will wash us from our sins in His own blood if we will believe, repent, and be immersed into His kingdom, calling on His name (cf. Rev. 1:5; Acts 22:16). He will forgive us and give us His Spirit. God will adopt us into His family. Praise God for the blood of Jesus and the message that it speaks!