The significance of “ blood.” Does it surprise you that people outside (and inside) the Christian faith are perplexed about references to “the blood?” It can be a macabre and gruesome subject and cause for wonder as to why God designed a system for reconciling man to Himself which required blood sacrifice. The offense of sin, mine and yours, is so critically significant to a Holy God that by His rules it costs “life” in order to satisfy the debt one’s sin creates.
It began with animal sacrifice to cover man’s sin as written in Lev.17:11“For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement (payment) for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.” That pretty well sums up the Old Testament provision for the temporary “covering” of sin. God’s plan was leading to an ultimate pardon for sin. Hebrews 9 says “In fact, the Law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” A death is required.
I think we can breeze by the severity and gravity of this provision because we discount the seriousness of our own sin. If my sin required my favorite pet dog to be killed, not to mention costing a family member’s life, I’d come closer to the reality of the price of sin. The slightest sin (if there is such) offends God, separates us from Him, and warrants our eternal punishment. Let’s not take it lightly, nor the gracious, costly, sacrificial gift that provides forgiveness and pardon. “God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement (satisfactory payment) through the shedding of His blood – to be received by faith.” (Rom. 3:25) Jesus’ death “saves” us from the wrath of God which will come to all who remain unrepentant. Terrible news, but true. The good news is “Since we have now been justified (reckoned “not guilty”) by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him?” (Rom.5:9)
“But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Eph. 2:13) We need to try to fathom the enormity of this work of grace. While we cannot comprehend the depth of our depravity and the darkness of our sin, we can come closer to appreciate the gift of forgiveness through “the blood.”