The Baptist Pillar © Brandon Bible Baptist Church 1992-Present www.baptistpillar.com
"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
J. Piedmont Morgan was a noted American financier and multi-millionaire of an earlier generation. Before his death he composed a will consisting of 37 articles and 10,000 words. While Mr. Morgan had been involved in transactions involving millions of dollars during his lifetime, he left no doubt in his will as to what was the most important transaction he had ever made. In his will he wrote:
"I commit my soul in the hands of my Saviour, full of confidence that having redeemed me and washed me with His most precious blood, He will present me faultless before the throne of my Heavenly Father. I entreat my children to maintain and defend, at all hazards and at any cost of personal sacrifice, the blessed doctrine of complete atonement of sins through the blood of Jesus Christ once offered and through that alone."
J. Piedmont Morgan recognized the priceless value of the blood of Christ with regard to the believer's salvation.
I. The Importance Of The Blood Of Christ
There is a blood line that stretches throughout the entire breadth of inspired scripture. From outside the gates of Eden in Genesis 4 to inside the gates of New Jerusalem in Revelations 21:22, the Bible is filled with the importance of the blood with regard to salvation.
When God clothed Adam and Eve after they had sinned in Genesis 3, it was in the skin of an animal whose blood had been shed. When Abel offered an acceptable sacrifice to God in Genesis 4, it was the sacrifice of a lamb whose blood had been shed. When Isaac was about to die on Mt. Moriah in Genesis 22, it was the blood of a substitute ram that saved his life. When the death angel passed over Egypt in Exodus 11, it was the sprinkled blood over the doorposts that saved the Israelites. Regardless of whether it was the consecration of a priest, the birth of a son, the deepest penitence due to sin, or the highest religious festival, the way to fellowship with God in the O.T. was through the shedding of blood.
In the N.T., the same principle applies. What the O.T. portrays through picture and figures, the N.T. presents in person and fact. Paul, in his inspired epistle (Rom. 3:24-25), Peter, in his infallible writing (I Peter 1:2), and John, in his inerrant script (I John 1:7), all present the importance of the Blood of Christ. The final book of the Bible emphasizes the same theme: Rev. 1:5, "washed us from our sins in his own blood,' 5:9, "redeemed us to God by thy blood,"and 12:11, "overcame him by the blood of the Lamb."
Everywhere one travels through the Scripture, he will find one dominant theme: salvation by the blood and the blood alone. All hope of heaven and forgiveness of sin is based upon the shed blood of Christ in his death on the cross. Heb. 9:22, "..and without shedding of blood is no remission."
II. The Identity Of The Blood Of Christ
Blood has frequently been shed in human history, often in religious causes. The trail of human history is a trail of blood. The dust of the centuries is soaked with blood spilled upon its surface, in religious crusades. The troughs of the ancient Aztec Indians were filled with blood spilled in the name of religion. One of the bloodiest crimes in human history was the Massacre of Saint Bartholomew's Day (August 24, 1572), when 100,000 people were mercilessly slaughtered in human blood through religious fanaticism.
In a positive way, the blood of Christian martyr's soaked the godless dust of ancient empires and simmered in the fires set by despotic rulers. But none of the above blood could ever cleanse and obliterate sin because it was defective, impure blood, the wrong blood. Divine redemption required that the blood which could forgive - cleanse sin - meet the Biblical standard, that it be of a certain nature - essence.
The blood of Christ was (1) sacred blood. It was the blood of perfect man - the God Man. (John 1:1,14), the lamb of God (John 1:29). Since Christ alone was perfect God and perfect Man (Phil. 2:5-8), He alone was qualified to give His blood as the atonement for sin.
Christ's blood was also (2) sinless blood. His blood was like a lamb without spot or blemish (I Pet. 1:18-19). All other human blood has been tainted by the corruption of sin resulting from Adam's fall (Rom. 5:12, I Cor. 15:22), but the blood of Christ contained none of the sinful corruption which permeated all other humanity. When Judas Iscariot betrayed the Lord Jesus he knew that he was betraying "innocent blood" (Matt. 27:4).
The consequence of man's sin is both spiritual and physical death (Rom. 6:23; Heb. 9:27). It was through the blood of Adam (man) that original sin was and is transmitted, not the woman (I Tim. 2:14). All human beings, with one exception, are the ultimate product of Adam's sinful seed. Christ is the only individual in Scripture who is designated as the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15). The bloodline thus runs through the male, not the female, in divine revelation.
All the blood in the human embryo is formed by itself and solely through the contribution of the male parent (No blood ever passes in the embryo from the mother to child). Our Saviour, however, did not have a human father as progenitor; he was born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14). The blood that flowed in Christ's veins was thus contributed by a Holy God (Matt. 1:22-23), resulting in a "Virgin Birth " and a Saviour with a sinless human nature. Dr. A. W. Pink rightly stated in his commentary that "in becoming man, Christ did not partake of the foul poison which sin has introduced into the human constitution. His humanity was not contaminated by the virus of the fall."
Christ's blood was also (3) substitutionary blood (II Cor. 5:21; I Pet. 2:24; Isa. 53-5,6), that is, it was offered in our place, in our stead. A substitute is an individual who takes someone's place when they are either unable to appear or unqualified to act.
The blood of Christ was (4) sacrificial blood (Jn 3:16) for it cost the Father something - it cost Him everything, the sacrifice of His only Begotten Son. At Calvary, God separated Himself from His Son, in order that we might never be separated from Him.
The blood of Jesus was (5) sufficient blood (Rom. 3:24-25). The Father set forth His Son to be a "propitiation" (satisfaction) for our sins. This blood was shed once for all (Heb. 1:3; 10:12). In the blood sacrifice of Christ, poured out from a sinless nature, the righteous nature and demands of a holy God were perfectly satisfied. At Calvary, righteousness and peace truly kissed each other (Ps. 85:10). The songwriter was never more correct than when he wrote "Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; sin hath left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow." In view of Christ's sufficient, completed atoning sacrifice through His blood, the repeated sacrifice of the Roman Mass is the depth of religious blasphemy. Christ truly "has redeemed us once for all."
What a blessing to know that Christ's blood is also (6) shielding blood. In Eph. 6:18, the believer is exhorted to take the shield of faith. This shield of faith is the shield in Christ's atoning blood. When Satan brings the skeletons out of our past and accuses the believer concerning his former life, the saint can always successfully plead the blood of his great high priest intercessor (Heb. 7:25). Our Lord thus saves us "completely," even from the insinuations and accusations of our arch-enemy the devil.
On a tragic note, however, Christ's blood is (7) slighted blood (Heb. 10:28,29). In those verses, the writer clearly indicates that those who reject the blood of the new covenant (testament-agreement) do despite to the "Spirit of Grace." The Holy Spirit is God's divine agent for (a) convicting of sin, (b) convincing of Saviour and (c) converting to salvation (John 16:8-11). When the sinner resists the wooing work of the Holy Spirit, he is thus closing the door of hope on the only means whereby Christ's blood can cleanse and set him free.
III. The Impact Of Christ's Blood
The shed blood of Christ in his death on the cross has tremendous power (impact) and brings to the repentance, believing sinner numerous benefits-blessings, including redemption. Three words in the Greek N.T. expresses this truth:
(1) agorazo - to purchase in the marketplace, Gal. 3:13, where the figure is that of a Roman slave market. The subjects of redemption are sold under sin (Rom. 7:14) and under sentence of death (Rom. 5:12). The purchase price of the sinful "slave" is the blood of Christ who dies in the sinner's stead (Rev. 5:9).
(2) The second word is exagorazo - to purchase out of the market place(Gal. 3:13). Purchased by His blood, believers are never again exposed to sale, being eternally secure (John 10:28-29).
(3) The third word is lutroo - to loose - to set free by the payment of a price (I Pet. 1:18-19). Through Christ's ransom payment, we are forever loosed - set free from sin's power. Thus, the blood "shall never lose its power."
The second impact of the blood of Christ is righteousness ((Rom. 3:25) "..... through faith in his blood to declare his righteousness..." Through the merit of Christ's blood, the repentance sinner is declared righteous - justified - in Christ (I Cor. 1:30). The same passage (Rom 3:25) also indicates that there is complete remission (forgiveness) of sin (Eph. 1:7), with the slate wiped clear with regard to the believer's eternal position in Christ. This total remission is again based solely upon Christ's blood (Heb. 9:22)
The blood also brings reconciliation - the reuniting of God and man (Col. 1:20-22, Eph. 2:16), a relationship that had been severed by man's sin (Eph. 2:14), plus reception ("accepted in the beloved" - Eph. 1:6) - accession to God's presence by the "blood of Jesus" (Heb. 10:19).
The final impact of the blood of Christ is the bringing of rejoicing to the believer's heart ("..we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the atonement" - Rom. 5:11). The believer can now joyfully sing "Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb."
For those seeking freedom from the burden of sin, there is truly "power in the blood of the Lamb." When asked the question "What can wash away my sin?," the believer can confidently reply, "Nothing but the blood of Jesus," The emperor Napoleon once took a map, and pointing to the British Isles stated, "Were it not for the red spot, I would have conquered the world." The blood of Christ does not just mean something to the Christian - it means everything! In view of the Biblical emphasis upon the blood of Christ, the blood of Christ cannot just be merely symbolical in nature.