Power of the Blood of Jesus – Volume 08
Message Summary by AFT Team
One of the most important passages that talks about the Cross and what the blood of Jesus has done for us is Isaiah 53:4-6. This passage is about forgiveness of sin and healing. Last week, we saw some truths about the forgiveness of sin. This week let’s study further about forgiveness of sin.
The Lord has laid upon him the iniquity of us all – Isaiah 53:6
The modern translation of the word ‘iniquity’ is ‘rebellion’. Adam’s sin in the garden of Eden was rebellion. It’s an attitude that says, “I don’t have to do what God wants me to do. I can do whatever I want.” The Hebrew word for ‘iniquity’ means ‘sin and the consequences of sin’. When Isaiah says that God laid upon Jesus the ‘iniquity’ of us all, he means that God laid on Jesus not just our sins, but also the terrible consequences of sin.
Let’s read about Cain to understand that clearer.
When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth.” And Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.” And the Lord said to him, “Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him. – Genesis 4:12- 15
The word ‘punishment’ in verse 13 is the same word used in Isaiah 53:6 for ‘iniquity’. So it means to say that the Lord laid on Jesus the punishment of us all. What is this punishment that Cain found ‘greater than he could bear’?
The consequences of sin
– When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. His work would not be completely fruitful. The yield of his crop would be reduced; he would labour much but earn little. The punishment made his work difficult.
– A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth. A vagabond is a person who has wanders from place to place without a certain direction. He became aimless and purposeless. His life had no God-given direction. Even today, many people live their lives without a sense of God-given purpose.
– My punishment is greater than I can bear… …I shall be hidden from Your face. This is the saddest part of the punishment – that Cain would no longer see God’s face. Beholding God’s face was a big thing for Jews. It was spoken as a blessing in those days and is still spoken today as benediction in churches. “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24. The phrases ‘make His face shine’ and ‘lift His countenance’ means that the Lord is showing His favour upon you. It meant that they were under God’s watch and care, and that He was looking our for them. They were provided for and protected. They had God’s help every step of the way. No wonder that Cain felt that his punishment was great when he realised that he would be hidden from God’s face; He had lost God’s favour. This consequence of sin is terrible – it means that a person has to live by his own strength. The Bible however says Rely not on your own strength, but trust in the Lord. Doing things one own way in one’s own strength leads only to failure and disappointment.
– It will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me. This shows that he lives in fear of being killed. He was living in constant fear.
The devil tricks people into sinning, by convincing them that there are no consequences to sin. But sin comes as a complete package – sin, punishment, and consequences. The consequences of sin are unhappiness, restlessness, shame, guilt, sickness, failure in work, failure in marriage, lack of peace, poverty, and many other things. God’s favour is no longer available.
But God in His infinite mercy shows a way out for Cain – the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him. This is God’s mercy. He offers protection even to the sinner Cain. That’s what is called ‘common grace’. Common grace is available for everybody, including sinners. It is available owing to God’s mercy. ‘Special grace’ however is available only for the redeemed, for those who believe and accept what Jesus has done. Special grace is when we accept that God laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all.
We will understand forgiveness of sin better when we understand these particular two names of Jesus and what it means to our spiritual inheritance.
The Last Adam
And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. – 1 Corinthians 15:45
All human-beings belong to the Adamic race. Every single one of us could be referred to as Adam, since we’re all his descendants. However, why was Jesus called the ‘last’ Adam? There have been so many people that were born after Jesus, and many more will be born in future as well. Jesus was just ‘one more’ Adam, why does the Bible call him the ‘last’?
When Adam sinned, what happened to him happened to entire humanity. He was the representative human who plunged the entire human race into sin and its consequences. It has passed down from generation to generation. We have all inherited sin and its horrible consequences from Adam. Sin nature is present even from birth in every single person. Try as he might, man is unable to get rid of sin. It is impossible for man to escape sin. But on the Cross God made it possible to break that link. Jesus became the last Adam, because God put on Him the ‘iniquity of all mankind’. Adam passed on the evil inheritance of sin and its consequences to all mankind. Jesus was the last to take on that evil inheritance from Adam. On the Cross, that evil inheritance and sin’s deadly link was cut off. That is why Jesus is the last Adam.
The Second Man
The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. – 1 Corinthians 15:47
When Jesus died, as the last Adam, sin and all its consequences were buried with Him. When He rose again, He rose as the ‘second man’. The first man was Adam. Through Adam, we inherited sin and it’s consequences. We were the seeds of Adam. The second man is Jesus. When we put our faith in Him, we are the seeds of Jesus. We now belong to a new line, a new inheritance. Peter explains this clearly – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you – 1 Peter 1:3. He says that we are begotten again, meaning born again. What are we born again to? When we are in the Adamic inheritance, we are born in sin. But when we believe in Jesus, we are born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are born again to a new inheritance that is undefiled, incorruptible and does not fade away. We are born to a new life. We are a new creation.
Jesus is the last Adam and the second man in whom we are born again.
Paul has this in mind when he talks about Christ being the head of the church.
Which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. – Ephesians 1:19 – 22
God put all things under the feet of Jesus, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, His body. In human birth, the head comes out first, followed by the body. Similarly, Jesus, the head, came first. We the church, the body follow Him.
Jesus is the last Adam. Jesus is the second man. We follow after Jesus, not after Adam. We inherit from Jesus, not from Adam. Jesus is the head, we are the body.
We already saw that the definition of sin is man thinking that he can function independent of God and that he can do it his way. This can be described in one word, ‘rebellion’. That was what Adam did in the garden of Eden, he rebelled. In Isaiah 1, we see a picture of rebellion of the people of Israel.
Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the Lord has spoken: “I have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against Me. – Isaiah 1:2. Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faints. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; they have not been closed or bound up, Or soothed with ointment. – Isaiah 1:5,6
This image of rebellion here has a physical description. And a horrible one at that – wounds and bruises, open, festering, running sores – untended, unwashed and unbandaged. The Tamil Bible describes it as sores whose pus had not been pressed out and cleaned. God describes the rebellious life they lived as a deplorable physical condition.
The disfiguration of our iniquity transferred to Jesus
We see a similar description in Isaiah 52:14. But this time, the physical description is about Jesus. Let’s read a few versions to get a real picture.
His visage was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men. – Isaiah 52:14 (NKJV)
His appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind. – Isaiah 52:14 (ESV)
His face was so disfigured; he seemed hardly human, from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man. – Isaiah 52:14 (NLT)
He didn’t even look human— ruined face, disfigured beyond recognition. – Isaiah 52:14 (Message)
His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness. – Isaiah 52:14 (NIV)
Jesus was entirely disfigured that you couldn’t say that it was actually a human being hanging on that Cross. He was deformed beyond imagination. It didn’t look like what was hanging there belonged to the human race. He was like a piece of meat was hanging from the Cross – wounded from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet; his appearance was extremely marred; His flesh was hanging because they beat Him with whips with attached metal hooks that tore the flesh off His body. His body appeared like a ploughed field. They put a crown of thorns on His head, and pressed it and beat Him on it, so blood was flowing from the head as well. All this for our rebellion.
The first passage describes the rebellion of Israel as a physical abomination. God took that and applied it on Jesus on the Cross. Jesus was made like that, because of our rebellion. The Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Owing to sin, our life became ugly, stinking, and unbearably bad from head to toe. Sin and its evil consequences made us appear utterly disfigured, an anathema. But Jesus that hung on the cross became like us, bore our sin and all its evil consequences so that we can look good today. He did it so that we can be blessed today in our spirit, soul and body. Jesus became like us, so that we could become like Jesus. We have His wonderful nature through the new birth. We now have a beautiful and new life.
Paul says In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. – Ephesians 1:7. Paul looks at the Cross, the blood of Jesus that was shed, and the work that was done on the cross and says, “In him we have redemption”. Redemption was a significant concept among the Jews. Within their society, a person may have to become the redeemer for another person. They called it the ‘kinsman redeemer’. If you remember, this was the subject of a Christmas message a couple of years ago (available here). If a person was in debt and forced to go into slavery, the closest relative (kinsman) would pay off his debts and redeem him. If a man died without children, his brother (or the closest relative, if there was no brother) had to marry the widow in order to give her a son so that the land and property of the dead man would go his descendants, and that the inheritance would continue. A kinsman redeemer also had to avenge blood, in case of such wrongdoing. So being a kinsman redeemer was a great obligation and responsibility.
To be a kinsman redeemer, one had to be closest relative of the affected person. Jesus is our kinsman redeemer. How does Jesus, the son of God become our closest relative? By taking on human flesh and becoming one of us. He became like us in order to redeem us. He paid the price that we could not pay. The price for sin was the shedding of innocent blood. And since we could not pay it, Jesus, our kinsman redeemer paid it in our stead. Not only did He redeem us, He also avenged us. Satan destroyed the human race and is the root-cause of all evil. Jesus triumphed over him and made a public show of it. He defeated satan and gave us authority over him.
Jesus paid the highest price and redeemed us. He bought us, not so that He could enslave us, but to set us free. He set us free from slavery to sin and satan, and that is redemption. Redemption is the forgiveness of sin. Redemption is freedom from slavery to sin.