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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
Following the trail of redemptive blood through the Bible—An essential element in Salvation!
Every Bible believing Christian knows that the awning blood of Jesus is an essential element in our eternal salvation. The blood trail that we can follow through the Bible helps us discover the truth regarding God's redemptive work. In order to understand the true gospel message, we must see the blood trail to its end.
There is a progression in the scope of benefits in blood sacrifices in the Bible. Abel's sacrifice in Genesis 4 was only sufficient for Abel (one man). The passover lamb in Exodus 12 could only provide for one household. The sacrifice on the Great Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16 was only for one nation. However, Jesus, the lamb of God, died to take away the sin of the whole world. (John 1:29).
Redemption Planned Before the World
In the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God (Acts 2:23), Jesus was delivered up to become our blood sacrifice. He was "slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8). He was "foreordained before the foundation of the world" (I Peter 1:20).
A Body of Flesh And Blood
In His incarnation, Jesus was able to become the "lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world". In order to accomplish this plan, God had to become man with a body of flesh and blood. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us" (John 1:14). "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil". (Hebrews 2:14). He was the sinless Son of God (I Peter 2:22; Hebrews 4:15; 7:26), which assures us that he was a worthy sacrifice ("without blemish and without spot" - I Peter 1:19).
His Blood was Shed on the Cross
As he was crucified on the cross, he was made sin for us, and shed his blood for our sins. "...made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin..." (II Corinthians 5:21). "...died for our sins according to the scriptures..." (I Corinthians 15:3) The key word that describes his crucifixion is the word "substitution". He took our place and suffered our guilt and penalty for sin. "...and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God..." (Ephesians 5:2).
He Rose From the Dead
"Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." (Romans 4:25). In the resurrection Jesus became our high priest. "But Christ being come an high priest..." (Hebrews 9:11). As the high priest He entered into the holy place in the presence of the Father to sprinkle his blood on the mercy seat. Only then was the sacrifice accepted, and the atonement for sin was accomplished. "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." (Hebrews. 9:12).
This redemptive plan is a fulfillment of the Great Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16. The high priest, at this annual ceremony, would kill the sacrifice at the brazen altar in the outer court of the tabernacle. This was a picture of the cross where Jesus died. Then the high priest took the blood of the sacrifice into the holy place to sprinkle it on the mercy seat. This is a picture of Jesus, after his resurrection, becoming the high priest in order to present his own blood before God the Father at the mercy seat in heaven. Thus was the atonement secured, not for just a year, but for eternity.
Then we see something different. In the Old Testament, the priest did not sit down and stay in the holy place after the blood was sprinkled, but came back out so the people would know that the atonement was secured for another year. (Leviticus 16:34). However, when Jesus took his blood to sprinkle it on the mercy seat, He sat down on the right hand of God to show that His redemptive work was finished. "...after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever sat down on the right band of God." (Hebrews 10:12).
He is still seated at God's right hand interceding for us as our high priest to guarantee our eternal salvation. "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." (Hebrews 7:25).
If the blood trail stopped at the cross there would be no atonement for us. We would still be in our sins, without hope. Our faith would be in vain, and we would be most miserable.
(I Corinthians 15:14, 17, 19).
What Must I Do?
The only way eternal salvation can be yours is to come to God with a repentant heart (II Peter 3:9), and believe with all your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 10:9) to finish his redemptive work in our behalf. "...Justified...through faith in his blood... raised again for our justification...justified by faith...justified by his blood...saved by his life...we have now received the atonement." (Romans 3:24,25; 4:25; 5:1,9,10,11)
"Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood." (Rev. 1:5). Jesus preached that men should REPENT AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL! (Mark 1:15)