In Hebrews 9 and 10, the preacher focuses on “THE BLOOD OF JESUS”…Why is blood so important in God’s plan for Salvation?
What color is blood? RED, but only when it’s exposed to oxygen–which is to say shed blood.
The color red triggers alertness–stop signs, “sale” signs. The human eye sees the color red in a unique way, it hits the retina in a way that captures our attention. We have extraordinary responses to seeing blood. Could it be purposeful design?
Hebrews 9:15-22 – “Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, ‘This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.’ And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”
The blood of Jesus is so important because of what it has purchased and sealed for us…ETERNAL INHERITANCE. Yes, there is access to temporal blessings that we receive when we accept the blood of Jesus on our behalf, but we need to stop leaving out the eternal rewards awaiting us in our heavenly homeland…a life to come lived with God!
The value of the blood of Jesus is a combination of what it saves us FROM and what it saves us TO.
- If we don’t get that his sacrificed saved us from the grip of sin and death and hell…we undervalue it.
- If we don’t see that what he has saved us to is a life lived with God in the new heavens and new earth…we undervalue it.
WHY IS DEATH NECESSARY?
Hebrews 9:22 – “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
Romans 3:23 – “For the wages of sin is death…”
Genesis 2:15 – “The Lord God took the an and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man saying, ‘You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.'”
We see in scripture that when sin enter the world, death enters the equation. And from that time on, we see that anytime a covenant is made by God or God’s people are released from a covenant, death or the shedding of blood is present.
At the break of the covenant in the garden of Eden, God kills an animal and gives the skin to Adam and Eve to cover themselves–innocent blood was shed for their sin, but it wasn’t their own. The first sacrifice in God’s good creation was to cover the sinful action of humanity.
As seen in the verses above, Moses performs ceremonial sacrifices of blood to inaugurate the Mosaic Covenant.
But then came Jesus. In one act of divine intervention, at the death of Jesus the Son of God, we are BOTH released from the Old Covenant of the Law or dead religious works by his death (his shed blood), AND simultaneously he inaugurates the New Covenant of Grace–which he says at the Last Supper is “in my blood.”
THE RESURRECTION CHANGES EVERYTHING
Before Christ, every sacrifice led to death.
- Death of the animal that clothed Adam & Eve.
- Death of Egyptian firstborns to free Israelites.
- Death of the sacrifices to establish the Law.
But his sacrifice resulted in life.
- Jesus’ death was the death to end all death.
- The death to end the cycle of death, to end all retribution, to end all blood shed.
- Because his death, though it was real and full and blood was shed, ended in RESURRECTION–it ended in life.
God desires RELATIONSHIP more than RETRIBUTION. His justice needed blood to pay the debt, so he supplied it himself. That way, he doesn’t need our sacrifices, he can have our heart.
A HEART OF WORSHIP
How do we cultivate the heart of a Sacrificer?
- RECOGNIZE the realness and magnitude of Christ’s shed blood. We need to wake up from our festive slumber.
- IMITATE the great sacrificer, participate in the new covenant. Give our life now for life eternal, life for more life.
Matthew 16:24-25 – “Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
In Jesus we see: He became the spotless lamb because he offered his whole life in full obedience to the will of the Father…that is what made his sacrifice efficacious for the forgiveness of sin and the fulfillment of the old covenant.
THE PROBLEM – Our hearts aren’t reformed even if our bank accounts are, or our lifestyles or our schedules. We’ve got the form of religion, but not the heart of religion. We’ve developed the outward image of a sacrificer, but not the inward character of a sacrificer.
We seek the clean conscience for ourselves rather than the relationship with God.
THE SOLUTION – Be really honest with yourself & with God.
Am I doing all this for myself or for Him? Do I desire my relationship with God more than anything I get from God? If I lost my job, my family, my health, but knew I had my relationship with Him, would I be okay?
“take up your cross and follow me” — We are to daily pick up our cross and lay our life down that we may find it in Him.
And we must remember that the final outcome is not based on our performance record of doing this, but rather it has already been won by the blood of Jesus.
1. Apply these keys to develop the inward character of a sacrificer:
- ZOOM OUT – In the midst of a crisis. Look at the constant message God has delivered over thousands of years through the prophets, the apostles and Jesus.
- APPLY THE JESUS FILTER – Look at everything God has done and said through the lens of Jesus. Being the ultimate revelation of God, Jesus sheds light on all of God’s other communication. God never contradicts himself. Read the Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John to learn more about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
- TURN IT DOWN – Get into the right posture of hearing — clear the distractions. Turn down the music, give yourself space and time to hear from God, whether that is by prayer, reading the Scriptures, or by creating time in your schedule to worship and discuss Jesus in community. Join a Fellowship Group. We need to teach each other and practice together softening our hearts to the voice of God.
2. Converse about this topic with others:
3. Reflect personally on the condition of your heart:
4. Listen to this week’s sermon on our website.