THE BLOOD OF CHRIST
1 Peter 1:18-21
1 John 1:5-10
Blood is mentioned over 300 times in the Bible and is essential to the doctrine of Christ's atonement. It lies at the very heart of the Gospel, for it is through "the blood of his cross" that Jesus reconciled us to God (see Colossians 1:20-23).
Some years ago a terrible railroad accident occurred, killing many people. A commuter train had stalled on the tracks just a few minutes before a fast freight was due to arrive. A conductor was quickly sent to flag down the approaching "flier.” Being assured that all was well, the passengers relaxed. Suddenly, however, the speeding freight came bearing down upon them. The crash left a ghastly scene of horror. The engineer of the second train, who escaped death by jumping from the cab, was called into court to explain why he hadn't stopped. "I saw a man waving a warning flag," he said, "but it was yellow, so I thought he just wanted me to slow down.” When the flag was examined, the mystery was explained. It had been red, but because of long exposure to the sun and weather, it had become a dirty yellow. Dr. Harry Ironside commented on this incident: "O the lives eternally wrecked by the 'yellow gospels' we are hearing today -- the bloodless theories of unregenerated men that send their hearers to their doom instead of stopping them on their downward road!"
Dear friend, only Christ and His sacrifice on the cross can redeem your soul (see Romans 5:8,9). Don't be deceived by an anemic "yellow gospel" of works that is powerless to save you from everlasting destruction.
Here is a subject that holds a place in the Bible like no other. From Genesis to Revelation, we have the theme of the blood of Christ.
In the OT it is prefigured; in the NT it is personified.
The authorized Alpine rope has a red strand running through it from end to end; the Bible has a red strand that runs through it from end to end; and the true followers of the Lord Jesus are known by their red strand, the blood sign.
Today we are going to examine three passages of the Bible that speak of this red strand.
The first speaks of:
I. The Value of the Blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19)
“You were not redeemed with corruptible thins, like silver or gold…but with the precious blood of Christ”
The writer speaks of the value of the blood of Christ as being incomparable, indispensable, and infinite.
“You were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold,…but with the precious blood of Christ.”
What a word this is to the materialistic age in which we live. We are almost tempted to believe that we can buy our way into heaven with the “almighty” dollar.
But Peter sweeps this all aside and affirms that only the blood of Christ can redeem.
“you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold,…but with the precious blood of Christ.”
“Without shedding of blood there is no remission” Heb. 9:22
Although this doctrine of the most precious blood of Chris has been scandalized by liberals who refer to this teaching as “the gospel of the slaughterhouse,” the message of the Bible remains the same. “Without shedding of blood there is no remission.”
C) The value of the blood of Christ is not only Incomparable and Indispensable it is also Infinite.
“You were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold,…but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19)
1) The infinite value of the savior’s blood is demonstrated in His Sacrificial Character.
“A lamb” reminds us of the words of Isaiah 53:7 where the prophet foretells that the Savior would be “led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.” There was no force or compulsion that led him to lay down his life, save that of is infinite love to his Father and needy mankind.
“No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father” (John 10:18)
2) The infinite value of the Savior’s blood is also demonstrated in His Sinless Character
Christ is “a lamb without blemish.”
Let us remember that in the realm of His conscience, Christ “knew no sin” (2 Cor. 5:21)
In the realm of His character, “in Him there is no sin” (1 John 3:5)
In the realm of His conduct, we are told that He “committed no sin, nor was guile found in His mouth” (1 Peter 2:22).
It is this sinlessness of the Lord Jesus that gives infinite value to the blood He shed on Calvary’ tree.
3) The infinite value of the Savior’s love is also seen in the Savior’s Stainless Character
Christ is ”a lamb without blemish.” No man can atone for his own sin, for every man is a depraved creature. Sin has invaded every part of his personality. Therefore, he must perish. “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:3-23). And again, “The soul who sins shall die” (Ezek. 18:4). By this same token, no man can die for anyone else’s sin. If the Human race is to be redeemed, then nothing less than a sacrificial, sinless, and stainless life must be laid down.
As the Lamb of God on the cross, Jesus bore the sin of the world. As the Lamb on the throne, Jesus lives to keep all who come to God by Him. “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He ever lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25).
The next Scripture to which I wish to draw your attention speaks not so much of the value of the blood of Christ, as its virtue:
II. The Virtue of the Blood of Christ
The Bible says, “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
In the precious blood of Christ, which signifies the laying down of His life in the cruel and crucial death of the cross, there is virtue, or power, to deal with every form of sin.
A) In this precious blood, there is Power to Deal with the Enslavement of Sin.
“Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin” (John 8:34)
Sin may take the form of uncontrolled temper, unbroken pride, or unmastered vice, but thank God, the power of the blood can redeem a man or woman from the slave market of sin. “We have redemption through His blood” (Eph. 1:7)
This redeeming power of the blood is now available because Christ has suffered the Price of Sin.
God allowed man to be taken captive by the devil, because of man’s willful service to sin. But in love and in perfect harmony with God’s will, Christ came to pay the price of liberation.
B) There is Power to Deal with the Estrangement of Sin
“Your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face form you” (Isa. 59:2).
The human race has been estranged by sin, but in Colossians 1:20 we read that “having made peace through the blood of His cross,” Christ has “reconciled all things to Himself.”
To make this reconciliation happen, He suffered the Pain of Sin.
The pain of sin is something that we cannot fully understand, but we get a glimpse of it when we hear the words of Jesus from the cross. “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46.
C) There is Power to Deal with the Punishment of Sin
“The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23)
“The soul who sins shall die” (Ezek. 18:4)
“When desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:15)
The punishment of sin is death, but the Lord Jesus Christ has met this for us in suffering the Penalty of Sin.
As a consequence, we who deserved eternal death and banishment can now be gloriously justified. “Having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” (Rom. 5:9)
Why did the destroyer pass over the blood-sprinkled doors of the Israelites in Egypt? Because death had already been there.
Death has no more claims on us.
D) There is Power to Deal with the Defilement of Sin
“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the LORD, “though YOUR SINS ARE LIKE SCARLET, THEY SAHLL BE AS WHITE AS SNO; THOUGH THER ARE RED LIKE CRIMSON, THEY SHALL BE AS WOOL” (Sa. 1:18)
Isaiah chooses these metaphors to illustrate the measure in which sin has defiled the entire human personality. And yet, wonder of wonders, men and women can be made white as snow or wool.
The supreme explanation for this is that Jesus suffered the Pollution of Sin to cleanse.
“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).
He breaks the power of canceled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean;
His blood availed for me.
III. The third Scripture we shall examine deals with the Voice of the Blood of Christ.
“And to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. Se that you do not refuse Him who speaks” (Heb. 12:24-25).
The blood of Abel cried out for vengeance. But the blood of Jesus speaks in tones that are more gracious. It articulates a message of pardon. Peace, and power.
Pay attention to the fact that it is “the blood of sprinkling.”
The shed blood speaks of his death at Calvary;
But the sprinkled blood speaks of his resurrection and ascension to heaven.
“But with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place…having obtained eternal redemption” (Heb. 9:12)
“Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (V. 24)
A) So the blood of Christ is the Voice of Pardon
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Eph. 1:7).
We have considered the virtue of this precious blood and how it answers to every form of sin. But the question is whether or not we know in personal experience a sense of forgiveness and pardon. Listen to the voice of the Lord from last week’s sermon, “Son, your sins are forgiven you” (Mark 2:5)
B) The voice of Peace
“Having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Co. 1:20)
Here is a peace that the world cannot give.
It commences with peace with God on the ground of salvation.
It consummates in realizing the peace of God, amidst all the problems and pressures of daily living.
C) The Voice of Power
“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” (Rev. 12:11)
In this context, the devil is described as an accuser and an attacker of God’s people. But he is powerless against the Christian, who takes his stand on the ground of the precious blood of Christ.
How can the devil accuse the conscience that has been purged by the blood of the Lamb?
How can the devil attack a Christian who is protected by that same conquering blood?
The story is told of Napoleon who was looking at a map of Europe. Placing his finger on Great Britain, he remarked, “Were it not for that re spot, I would have conquered the world.” In like manner, the devil also looks at the map of the world. If he had his way, he would conquer the world completely; but it is a foregone conclusion that he will never do it. For there is one place on the map that symbolizes not only his utter defeat, but also his eternal doom: It is the red spot marked Calvary.