Jesus as the once for all sacrifice
In the days of the Old Testament, the people developed a sacrificial system to atone for their sins before God. They would kill animals and burn parts of their bodies on altars. A simple explanation is found in Leviticus 17:11, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls…” God allowed the Israelites to make up for their wrongdoing by shedding the blood of animals. Ultimately, this system would culminate in the “sacrifice” of Jesus on the cross and the shedding of His blood. In today’s church, more than a few songs talk about the power in the precious blood of Jesus Christ. What makes the blood of Jesus powerful?
God was in Christ
Truly, it is so powerful because Jesus was God incarnate. That means He came into the world as a human being but He was and is also God. Therefore, the fact that He took the place of every sinning, failing human being on the cross to make payment for our sins is what makes His shed blood so powerful.
The problem with the sacrificial system
The problem with the Jewish system of sacrificing animals was its effectiveness. It had to be done again and again. But the writer of the Book of Hebrews in the New Testament explains that the death of Jesus stopped the old system and brought something brand new and forever effective. This writer wrote that,
Jesus did not enter heaven “to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place [a part of the Temple] every year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all as the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Hebrews 9:25-26 NIV)
The lamb of God who was slain
Revelation 13:8 calls Jesus “the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world.” In fact, the death of Jesus was an eternal, divine plan. Because God knew and knows the impossibility of our being righteous people on our own, Jesus came. We cannot stop sinning. And, we are incapable of making restitution for our sins. Rather than punish us all, in love, God took the punishment on Himself. Therefore, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.” (2 Corinthians 5:19 NIV)
But, He is also just! Someone had to make restitution. And Jesus did it.
Our need for the blood of Jesus
We often make light of our sin. “I kind of lost my temper, ” we joke. “Yeah, I can’t stand those people. they drive me crazy!” we say. Again and again, in big and small ways, we go against the purity and holiness of God. We have no capacity to grasp just how holy God is. However, the Bible warns us that if we break one of God’s laws, we have broken them all.
James 2:10 (NIV) says, For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” Wow! What a high standard. Which of us can do this? Yes, hopefully, we get better and better at avoiding wrongdoing, wrong thinking, and bad attitudes the older we get, but still, I don’t know anyone who is perfect. Do you?
Jesus Christ is our substitute
God gave us a way out, however. It is to believe that Jesus, the Perfect Lamb of God, took on our guilt and the punishment we deserve, and by believing in Him, we get to “walk out of the courtroom” free and cleared. God sees the righteousness of Jesus on us as we believe in Jesus’ efforts for us on the cross.
The benefits of the blood of Jesus
It’s important to talk a little more about the seriousness of sin. Otherwise, we won’t see the absolute necessity for Jesus’ intervention in our lives. And, we won’t be able to grasp the overwhelming goodness of what Jesus did for us.
Pastor Nicky Gumbel, the key world leader of the Alpha Program, wrote a book called Questions of Life. Each chapter represents a talk given through the Alpha course. In the chapter called, “Why did Jesus die?” Nicky wrote about the problem of sin. What does it do to us?
He said sin has 4 effects on a human life or in our societies. He called these 4 the pollution, power, penalty, and partition of sin. What he meant is that when we sin, our lives become polluted with it. In fact, it floods our thoughts and other actions. Additionally, sin affects people around us.
More of what sin does to us
Consequently, the sin may really take hold of us. That is what is meant by “it has power.” The man or woman caught in an addiction to drugs, in some form of sexual sin, or in unrelenting unforgiveness will testify to the power sin can have.
The Bible tells us that there is a cost to sin. For example, Romans 6:23 says so simply, “The wages of sin are death.” Worst of all, sin separates us from God. Psalm 24 asks us, “Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol [ANYTHING that takes our loyalty from God] or swear by a false god.”
The benefits of the blood of Jesus
But when we come to believe in Jesus Christ, that He died also for us, we receive every benefit He offers. Truly, our lives are washed clean. Sin loses its power over us. We are no longer condemned. And, our relationship with God is restored. All the weight is off and eternal life with God is ours.
Jesus’ blood remains powerful
One of the greatest evangelists ever was a man named Reinhard Bonnke. He brought millions to Christ along with the people in his ministry. Although he died a few years ago, thanks to the internet and recordings, we can still hear him. I’ve embedded a brief audiotape of Reinhard talking to an atheist about the benefits of the blood of Jesus. This tape was saved by another wonderful leader Eric Gilmour on YouTube. Take time to listen. You won’t regret it.
Victory through the blood of Jesus
Now, you may be a reader who knows Jesus well. Or, you may be someone quietly thinking, “Is Jesus real? Is he for me? Wherever you may be on this spectrum, I pray you will have marvelous encounters with Jesus by the Holy Spirit and know that He is alive.
For the seasoned Christian, now, more than ever, your voice is needed. People need to hear the gospel presented in a crystal clear manner. Actually, they’re hungrier than we think – the people wondering about spiritual things. And they are all around us. Additionally, if you can do one other thing, pray for people who need healing. The demonstration of the gospel in signs and wonders definitely will capture their hearts.
For those of you who have questions about Jesus and don’t believe in Him yet, the Alpha program is a wonderful course to take. Their website is alpha.org for the worldwide organization or you can look for a church sponsoring Alpha in the USA by clicking here, alphausa.org. On either of these websites, there is a menu option for “find an Alpha program.”
Prayer to receive Jesus
Finally, here is a prayer you can pray if you need to make the decision to follow Jesus. When you do this, please let others help you grow deeper with Him. And, if the Bible is foreign to you, find a beginner’s class or book, or buy a Bible that has excellent notes. Nevertheless, learning how to study the Bible, pray, and help others in a Christian manner, means the difference between a short term emotional decision and gaining a lifestyle. Here’s the prayer:
Jesus, please forgive me for the way I have lived up until now. Forgive my sins. I am sorry for my indifference to you. I now turn away from everything that I know is wrong. Thank you that you died on the cross for me. I know that by rising from the dead, it was proven that you are Christ and Lord. Please forgive me, set me free, and help me to lead a life that honors you. Thank you also that you offer me the gift of the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, I welcome you into my life now. Lead me and teach me. Be with me forever. In Jesus’ name, amen.
The precious blood of Jesus
As a result of praying that prayer, you are now a Christian. The power of the precious blood of Christ is effective in your life. The Apostle Peter wrote, “You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. (1 Peter 1:18-19 ESV)
God bless you so much. Write me through the comments below if you have any questions. Love, Dr. Pam
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