The gospel of grace is underwritten by the most precious commodity in the universe – the blood of Jesus.
Some have lost sight of an important truth, possibly the most important truth, which is this: no blood means no salvation. And no redemption, no forgiveness, no sanctification, and no future.
Without the blood, the gospel is no gospel and the cross is nothing more than two beams of wood. As the song-writer wrote, our cleansing, our wholeness, our pardon, our hope, our peace, our righteousness, our overcoming, are all based on nothing but the blood of Jesus.
On the night before he died, Jesus said:
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” (Lk 22:20)
It was left to the writers of the New Testament to unpackage the full significance of that statement. I want to highlight five things they said about the blood. This is not a complete list, but it will be more than enough to get you thanking Jesus. Don’t race through this list on your way to another website. This list of blessings cost Jesus his life and purchased yours. Read it slowly and be blessed.
(1) Jesus’ blood did away with sin
“He has appeared once for all… to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Heb 9:26b).
Sin is no longer merely covered up by the sacrifice of animals. It has been “removed” (GNB), “abolished” (AMP) and “done away with” (NIV). Sin, your old Master, has been ended, rubbed out, whacked.
You may think that sin is behind some of the problems in your life. How can that be if Jesus has done away with sin? His blood is what the Message Bible calls, “the final solution of sin”. Go take communion and talk to your problems about the precious blood of Jesus that makes you whole.
(2) Jesus’ blood paid for your eternal redemption
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” (1 Pet 1:18-19)
You were born a slave to sin, a prisoner of your appetites, programmed to screw up. Sure, you had some good days when you could keep things in check. But deep down you knew that your desires unleashed would bring ruin and destruction. This is humanity’s heritage – a selfish, sensual life passed on from our ancestor Adam.
But you were redeemed from this pointless way of life by the blood of Jesus. Jesus did not sneak in and kidnap you from the enemy’s camp. He bought you fair and square with something infinitely more precious than silver and gold. Neither did Jesus suffer on the cross just to buy you a weekend pass out of Egypt. His blood secured your complete and eternal redemption (Heb 9:12).
Jesus’ blood has paid your sin-debt in full. Even when you stumble and make mistakes you still belong to Jesus. The devil has absolutely no claim on you. When he reminds you of your shortcomings, remind him of the perfect blood that redeemed you and purchased your perpetual and everlasting freedom.
(3) Jesus’ blood brought you forgiveness and reconciliation with God
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.” (Eph 2:13)
Growing up enslaved to sin you were serving in the enemy’s camp earning the wages of death. For as long as you resisted God’s gracious overtures, even your good deeds were storing up wrath for the Day of Judgment. You were born far from God and nothing you did could ever close that gap.
But Jesus became our atonement, bringing us reconciliation with God (1 Jn 2:2). By shedding his own blood, Jesus secured our pardons from death row (Heb 9:22). Forgiveness is not something we have earned. It is a divine gift, paid for with blood. All your sins – past, present and future – were forgiven at the cross (Col 2:13).
Some say there are limits and conditions to God’s forgiveness. They say that we are only forgiven if we straighten up and fly right. That is like saying the blood of Jesus is inadequate, that God himself needs our help. But the Bible says we are redeemed and forgiven “in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Eph 1:7). When you do well, you are forgiven. When you don’t do so well, you are still forgiven! There is no flashing sign above your head that switches between “forgiven” and “unforgiven.” Look up and see the blood of Jesus.
What sets you straight with God? The blood plus nothing. What is your proper response to this gift of forgiveness? Rejoice! “Happy are those whose wrongs are forgiven, whose sins are pardoned!” (Rms 4:7, GNB). You are forgiven! Be happy!
(4) Jesus’ blood cleanses, and goes on cleansing you, from all the effects of sin
“…the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin and guilt” (1 Jn 1:7b, AMP)
Sin has a corrupting, defiling influence. Even long-ago sin leaves festering wounds and putrescent lesions on the soul. Before the cross your lab report testified to the symptoms of sin: guilt, regret, disappointment, hurt, stress, fear, anxiety and sickness.
Thank God for the blood of Jesus which washes away all that black history, making you white as snow (Is 1:18). Jesus doesn’t do patch-up jobs. He deals with the root cause by removing our condemnation. Our hearts have been sprinkled and our guilty consciences cleansed (Heb 10:22). When we make mistakes Jesus, the Righteous One, intercedes for us and the Holy Spirit convicts us that we are still the righteousness of God in Christ (1 Jn 2:1). This is not merely a new start, but a whole new life.
(5) Jesus’ blood sanctifies you
“My friends, the blood of Jesus gives us courage to enter the most holy place.” (Heb 10:19 CEV)
Jesus doesn’t just point us in the right direction and leave us to our own devices, he takes care of the finish as well. His blood both cleanses us, redeeming our past, and sanctifies us, guaranteeing our present and future (Heb 9:13-14). In times of need we can approach the throne of grace fearlessly and boldly to receive grace and mercy (Heb 4:16). What qualifies us to enter God’s presence and enjoy his blessings? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
The moment we are saved our official status before God becomes “perfect forever” (Heb 10:14). A day-old Christian who has done nothing for Jesus can have the same confidence before God as a Billy Graham or a Charles Spurgeon. Where does this confidence come from? The perfect sanctifying blood of Jesus.
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
At the last supper Jesus took the cup and announced a new covenant based on his blood. If the disciples had known then what they learned later, they would’ve rejoiced, for God was on the verge of reconciling the world to favor with himself. It was the gospel in a cup!
Communion in many churches is a time of somber reflection. It ought to be a time of celebration and joy! The blood represented by that cup paid for your freedom, secured your pardon, brought you forgiveness with God and made you holy and acceptable. Neither should we limit communion to church. When you’re sick, take communion and remember with faith his body broken for your healing. When you stumble, take communion and remember with faith his blood shed for your forgiveness. Jesus is not condemning you – he died for you! Go and sin no more.
Some people compare following Jesus to an endurance race. This makes it sound like our success depends on our effort. Okay, but before we nullify the grace of God by trusting in our own works, let me ask you this. What qualifies you to run the race? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What is it that keeps you in the race? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
And at the finish line when they ask what enabled you to overcome to the very end, even in the face of death, what will be your testimony then?