Blood: Death and Life

by Shawn Brasseaux
2010 Update

“In whom [Christ] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His [God’s] grace;” (Ephesians 1:7 KJV).

“In whom [Christ] we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” (Colossians 1:14 KJV).

When you think of blood, you normally think of the red fluid that is circulating throughout your body. While this is true, the word “blood” in the Bible involves much more than that.

According to God’s Law, “without the shedding of blood, there is no remission [forgiveness of sins]” (Hebrews 9:22). Blood must shed to make atonement for sin—this has always been true and it will always be true. Once Adam disobeyed God and mankind fell into sin, we read in Genesis 3:21 KJV: “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” From where did God get “coats of skins?” At least one animal had to die! Although the Bible does not explicitly say it, there is no doubt in my mind that the blood of the animal(s) was shed to cover the sin of Adam and Eve. Ever since that time, God’s righteousness and holiness demanded the shedding of blood for sin.

Even when we come to Genesis chapter 4, God instructed Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve, to bring blood sacrifices. Although Abel brings an animal’s blood and fat sacrifice, Cain does not comply and refuses to follow God’s instructions (verses 3-5). Blood is of such value to God that He told Noah not to consume any blood (Genesis 9:4). He told the Israelites the same thing in Leviticus 17:14 KJV: “For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.”

Throughout the Old Testament, under the order of the Mosaic Law (Exodus 30:10; Leviticus 16:11-19), Israel’s high priests would sprinkle animal’s blood on the Mercy Seat, the lid of the Ark of the Covenant. Hebrews 9:6,7 KJV read:

“6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:”

Why did the Levites (Aaron’s sons, the priesthood) have to annually perform this ceremony on “day of atonement?” To atone for Israel’s sins until Jesus Christ would come and die on Calvary to shed His sinless blood. Little did those Old Testament priests know that this annual Day of Atonement was a preview of Jesus Christ shedding His blood many centuries into the future!

The Lord Jesus Christ’s blood was sinless and powerful enough to completely abolish the sin debt of man (Hebrews 7:25-28)! Christ was not only the ultimate High Priest, but He was also sacrificing His own blood, not the blood of an animal!

“11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building [not of this world, but in heaven];
12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us”
(Hebrews 9:11,12 KJV).

And as Hebrews 9:11 says, Jesus Christ did not go into the earthly tabernacle to offer His blood; He presented His own blood in the very throne room of heaven itself (Hebrews 9:23-28; Hebrews 10:1-14)!

God is a Spirit, the only sinless and perfect individual in the universe—His blood had to be shed, but He did not have a physical body. Thus, according to Genesis 3:15, John 1:14, and Galatians 4:4, the Creator God became a man who could have His blood shed! Without blood, your physical body would die; without the blood of Christ providing your forgiveness, your spirit would remain eternally dead, and you would be separated from God forever in everlasting hellfire! Jesus Christ, the innocent God-Man, shed His sinless, divine blood. It was the blood of Christ that was shed to completely forgive you of your sins! It was the sinless blood that no one else could provide!

“[Jesus Christ] being the brightness of God’s glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made so much better than the angels, as he has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they [the angels]” (Hebrews 1:3,4 KJV).


SUPPLEMENT: So, what about capital punishment, a government shedding the blood of a person?

After the Great Flood, God told Noah, “But flesh with the life thereof, the blood thereof, you will not eat…. Whosoever sheds man’s blood [that is, murders another person], by man will his blood be shed: for in the image of God He made man” (Genesis 9:4, 6). There is the institution of capital punishment, and God mandated it! God never rescinded that in Paul’s epistles, so capital punishment is applicable to us today! In fact, Paul says that government “beareth not the sword in vain” and government is a “revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” (Romans 3:4). I understand this to be a reference to capital punishment (execution with a sword, in this case).

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