“But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:11-12).
From the very beginning of time, sacrifices to God have involved the shedding of blood. Abel offered an animal sacrifice, which involved the shedding of blood, which pleased God, while his brother Cain offered the fruit of the ground which God did not respect (Genesis 4:3-5; Hebrews 11:4). Throughout the Law of Moses, the priests offered animal sacrifices to God (Hebrews 8:3; 9:6-7). As the opening verses above indicate, eventually, Jesus offered His own blood as a sacrifice to God (Hebrews 9:11-12). What is the significance of Jesus’ blood as compared to the blood of animals and how should knowing this fact impact our lives as Christians?
Jesus’ blood was able to provide the remission of our sins which the blood of animals could not. When He instituted the Lord’s Supper Jesus said, “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). The Old Testament sacrifices were offered in faith looking forward to the day when Jesus would come and offer up His blood for the remission of the sins of mankind (Hebrews 10:1-2). However, those animal sacrifices did not have the power to remit sins. The Hebrew writer states: “But in those sacrifices, there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins” (Hebrews 10:3-4).
However, unlike the Old Testament priests who offered many animal sacrifices, Jesus offered His blood just once and accomplished what those sacrifices could not: the forgiveness of sins. The Hebrew writer states, “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (Hebrews 10:12-14). There is great power in the blood of Jesus!
How should knowing the power of Jesus’ blood affect our lives as Christians? First, it gives us great boldness. The inspired writer notes, “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:19-22). Second, it should give us motivation to hold fast the confession of our faith (Hebrews 10:23-25).
We are clearly warned not to consider blood of Christ a common thing (Hebrews 10:26-27, 29). The Hebrew Christians were in danger of doing this as they were considering leaving the Christian faith and returning back to the Jewish religion. The Hebrew writer warns them, “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward” (Hebrews 10:35).
Remembering the significance of Jesus’ blood gives us great boldness to live the Christian life. I place my confidence in His blood to take away my sins. Today I rejoice that there is wonderful power in the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ!
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).