Power of the Blood of Jesus – Volume 02
Message Summary by AFT Team
We saw last Sunday, that there is power in the blood of Jesus. We learnt what it is that gives power to the blood of Jesus, what the blood of Jesus has done in the past and what it can do you for you today.
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” – Leviticus 17:11
Now we’re going to study about ‘atonement’. Atonement means to ‘reconcile’ or to ‘cover differences’. Sin caused a separation between God and man and cut off their relationship. When we say that the blood does atonement, what it does is it covers the difference and distance between God and man and brings them back together. There is no other remedy for sin, but the shedding of blood.
Atonement in the garden of Eden
When the first instance of sin is committed, the first instance of atonement follows. Let’s see what happened.
Adam and Eve were both naked but were not ashamed, because they were covered by the glory of God. But then the serpent tempts them and they ate the fruit that was forbidden by God. Genesis 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. Sin brought fear and shame into their lives that they wanted to cover themselves. Man lost his glory when he sinned. That’s why Paul in Romans 3:23 says All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. They said to God that they were afraid and therefore hid themselves. Sin is a terrible problem; it brings shame, guilt, and fear and makes a person unable to go into the presence of God. That is why even today, when people sin, they feel bad to go to church and worship God, they feel afraid that God will not listen to their prayers.
Adam and Eve’s atonement for their sin was in trying to make themselves coverings of fig leaves. But when God came and looked for them, Adam said, “I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” Well… what happened to his fig-leaves clothing? If that had covered him, why did he consider himself naked? The lesson here is that the fig-leaves clothing was not adequate. It did not cover his nakedness. Our human attempts to reconcile to God – our good works, our good deeds, our rituals and religions are all fig-leaves clothing. They are not adequate atonement for the sin that is in our lives. Even after fulfilling every law in the book, we feel unworthy before God and are unable to enter into His presence. Christians often attempt to cover themselves with fig-leaves clothing. When they sin, the immediately feel shame, guilt and fear. And instead of going to the right solution, they go to an inadequate solution; they try to do good works that they hope will cover their shame and bring atonement.
What is the right solution? What is the adequate solution? – The blood of Jesus. 1 John 1:7-9 says But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The blood of Jesus is the remedy for sin, the only thing that can cleanse us. No matter who you are and where you come from, it can cleanse you. If you confess your sin, He is just and He is faithful – in other words, if you come to the Cross, if you allow the blood of Jesus to cleanse your sins and your unrighteousness by confessing to Him, you will not be disappointed. If He didn’t cleanse you from all your sins, then He would be unjust and unfaithful, because the blood of Jesus is the only solution for the sin problem. But He is just and and He is faithful, therefore if you confess your sins, He will surely forgive you and cleanse you of all your unrighteousness.
The law of first occurrence says when you study a subject go to the place in the Bible that it is first mentioned, for there you will find important and fundamental principles of the subject.The first occurrence of atonement is found in Genesis.
For Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them. – Genesis 3:21.
1. THE ATONEMENT FOR SIN IS THE SHEDDING OF BLOOD
God would have killed some animal, skinned it and made coats of skin for Adam and Eve. Till this event happened, Adam and Eve would not have known anything about death. This was the first time that they encountered death. This taught them that once sin is committed, it cannot be remedied without the shedding of blood, the giving of life. There is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood. The innocent life of an animal had to be shed and life had to given up, in order to provide an atonement for their sin, to cover them up.
2. THE REMEDY HAS TO BE ACCEPTED BY THE SINNER
The remedy for sin is the shedding of blood and the giving of life. But unless the sinner accepts the remedy, it is of no use to him. God made the coats of skin, but if Adam and Eve rejected the remedy and refused the coats, they would not have been covered, they would not have availed of the right atonement. I John 1:2 – He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. ‘Propitiation’ means ‘a satisfactory sacrifice’ – an adequate sacrifice that satisfied God as an atonement. The blood of Jesus alone satisfies the just requirement of God for the atonement’s of the sins of mankind. It is the propitiation of sins for the whole world, not just for believers, but also for everyone from Adam to the last man, irrespective of his religion, race or gender.
So while the remedy is given by God, it is up to the person who needs the remedy to accept or reject it. The remedy has to be accepted by the sinner for it to work in his life.
3. GOD HIMSELF PROVIDED THE SACRIFICE
When Adam and Eve sinned
When Adam and Eve sinned, the adequate solution was provided by God. They did not come up with the idea of killing and shedding the blood of animal and making coats of skin that would sufficiently cover them. God had to do it. The eternal solution for sin can be provided only by God, not by man. We see that He Himself had to give Jesus to shed blood and die on the Cross for the atonement of sin. Man did not suggest the idea, nor could man offer a just sacrifice that satisfied.
When Abraham was called to sacrifice Isaac
The story of Abraham being called to sacrifice his son Isaac is another Old Testament event that even better demonstrates the fact that man cannot provide the sacrifice, but that God has to. In Genesis 22:2 we say that God tells Abraham, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” From an earlier verse, we understand that God is merely testing the faith of Abraham; after all it was God who promised and gave him a son when he was 100 years old, why would God take him away? And even if Isaac were indeed sacrificed, his blood would not have been sufficient to cleanse anyone’s sin. So we understand that God was merely trying to teach a lesson to Abraham and to us. What does this incident teach us?
This incident is but a foreshadow of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. Let us delve into it a bit deeper. God and Abraham were covenant partners. When two people enter into a covenant, they promise each other – what I have is yours and what you have is mine; all that God had was Abraham’s and all that Abraham had was God’s. God had planned to send His son as a sacrifice, so He was merely testing if Abraham was willing to give his son as a sacrifice, since both of them were covenant partners. Abraham’s faith was such that he was ready to sacrifice Isaac even though God’s promise to him would have to be fulfilled through Isaac. He knew that God would somehow fulfill His promise, He even believed that God would raise Isaac from the dead. So he tells the servants that both he and Isaac would come back after worshipping God. Then Isaac asks Abraham, “Where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” And Abraham replies, “God will provide”. That is the main point of this story – God will provide. God provided a ram and Abraham sacrificed it.
God sent Abraham a ram to sacrifice ‘instead’ of his son. This is called ‘substitutionary sacrifice’. Instead of Isaac, the ram died. Instead of Abraham’s son, God’s own son Jesus would die. Instead of us, Jesus died. In our place. What a beautiful way to teach a profound truth – Jesus in our place, Jesus instead of us.
4. GOD HIMSELF CLOTHED THEM
God did not merely provide the clothing; he literally clothed them. Man’s fig-leaves clothing did not suffice. Man stands guilty, ashamed and exposed in front of God. God clothed him. Similarly, all our good deeds and efforts cannot cover our nakedness and clothe us with righteousness. God Himself clothes us with righteousness. We cannot stand before God with our good deeds, He would say to us, ‘Your righteousness is like filthy rags’. Even the very best that we can do cannot qualify us before God; we cannot satisfy the just requirement of God for the atonement of sin. But look at how God clothes us – For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewel. – Isaiah 61:10.
God doesn’t merely cover our nakedness; He clothes us splendidly. What a stark contrast from a man who is ashamed, afraid, naked and hiding to a bride and bridegroom dressed up with the best clothing, decked up in jewellery, so beautiful and glorious! That is the difference between sin and salvation. That is what the blood of Jesus does.
5. THE INNOCENT DIES FOR THE GUILTY
Adam and Eve were the guilty party in the garden of Eden. But look who dies – an innocent animal. We are the guilty party; we have sinned. But look who died in our place on the Cross – Jesus who is pure, innocent and knew no sin, died for our sins. The sinner who should have hung there, watched jeering and mocking, while the pure son of God, almighty, creator of heaven and earth shed His innocent blood, hung on the Cross, and died for our sake.
6. GOD HIMSELF KILLED THE SACRIFICE
In the Garden of Eden when the first atonement was made with blood, God Himself killed the sacrifice. This shows us what happened on the Cross. Isaiah 53:6 says the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. When Jesus hung on the Cross, God literally put Him there to die for our sins. Isaiah 53:10 says it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. It was not the Romans or the Jews who put Jesus to death, it was God Himself who bruised Him, crushed Him and grieved Him.
Peter makes an amazing statement when he preached on the Day of Pentecost. He says, Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death. – Acts 2:23
The planning, the purposing, the scheming was done by God. Jesus hung there on the Cross because of the pre-determined purpose and foreknowledge of God. In eternity past, God planned His death on the Cross. ‘You have taken by lawless hands’ – this sentence addresses the Jews; it refers to the Jews giving up Jesus to be crucified and put to death by Romans, the lawless hands. The crucifixion, though physically enacted by the Jews and Romans was an act of God. Many saints have a revelation of it. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:21 God made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin and in Romans 5:21 He took the wrath of God so that we may have peace of God. Peter says He in His own body bore our sins.
Jesus took the wrath of God, He was made sin, He bore our sins – all this happened on the Cross of Calvary for you and me. It was God’s act. It’s completely God’s doing. That is why we believe in the power of the blood of Jesus. What nothing else can do, the blood of Jesus can do.