Why did God require a blood sacrifice?
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“For our conversation (citizenship) is (where?) in heaven…”
How did our citizenship get transplanted from the earthly domain to heaven? Colossians 1. God the Father has transplanted us from darkness into the Kingdom of His dear Son.
Now that isn’t so deep and yet very few people have this concept. Very few people understand that when they were saved, they were literally made a citizen of a heavenly kingdom, which will tie us then to when Christ returns and sets up His kingdom on earth. And we’ll be part of that. So our citizenship is in Heaven. And lest you think it’s a play on words, Paul, by inspiration, tells us exactly what heaven he’s talking about. The abode of God. From whence we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. And so that is what God has done by virtue of our faith in the Gospel. He has opened our eyes, broken those chains of darkness and He has transplanted us into the Kingdom of His dear Son. Now let’s look at verse 14 of Colossians 1 and the first thing you’re going to notice in these new translations is that the word “blood” isn’t in there. And for whatever reason, I’m not going to make comment on it, but my good old King James still has it. And here it is.
“In whom (that is in the Son up there in verse 13) we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”
Now let’s go all the way back to Hebrews and let’s look at a verse that we haven’t used for a long time. We certainly have in the past but it’s been awhile. Hebrews chapter 9 and verse 22.
“And almost all things are by the law (back in the sacrificial economy) purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”
Now I call that an absolute. You know, they’re trying to tell us today that there are no absolutes. I beg to differ. There are absolutes and this is one of them. Without the shedding of blood there has never been any forgiveness of sin. You go right back to the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve had sinned and were expelled and what’s the first thing that God does to restore them? He kills the animals. It was a blood sacrifice.
Now it’s amazing how that Satan counterfeits everything that is perfect in God’s economy and adulterates it in the process. Now if you know anything about paganism, if you’ve ever had missionaries come home, especially years back, from some of these almost uncivilized areas, what were they constantly doing in their tribal rituals? Killing animals, or roosters or birds and sprinkling or spattering the blood all over. Why? That was Satan’s counterfeit. And so almost every culture up through human history has had a constant bath of sacrificial blood. But that was the counterfeit. That was the adulteration.
The true system of blood sacrifice was what God instituted with Adam and Eve and then bought it up and perfected it with the Law and the Temple worship. And it all was centered on the animal sacrifices. You know all of that. The Passover Lamb and I’ve shown you from Scripture that when Israel would sin a particular sin, there was a particular sacrifice that they would have to bring. It could be a turtledove, a goat or whatever, but it was always a blood sacrifice. Because without the shedding of blood there has never been forgiveness. Now I know that today we don’t hear anything anymore about the blood concept. But listen, it’s the way the Sovereign God ordained it. That without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sin. And of course, I feel that the reason for that is that back in Genesis chapter 9 it tells us that life is in the blood. And you cannot get new life without death happening first and death is signified by shed blood. And so you follow this all the way through God’s dealing with the whole human race leading up to His own supreme sacrifice, which had to be a shedding of blood. That’s why He could have never been hung. He could have never died a death by hanging which was a typical capital punishment way of putting people to death. But it wouldn’t have worked because then there wouldn’t have been the shed blood. And it had to be a death where there would be that shedding of blood. It had to be! Because this is the way the Sovereign God ordained it and who are we to say that the shed blood is no longer of consequence. Well, anyone who does is in danger of Hellfire because without the shedding of blood there is no remission. Now let’s see how Paul enlarges on it. Come back to Romans chapter 3 starting at verse 23.
“For all have sinned (every last single human being) and come short of the glory of God. 24. Being justified freely by his grace (that unmerited favor) through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:”
Now you all know what redemption means. It’s the process of paying the price and gaining something back. Now verse 25
“Whom (Christ) God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his (what?) blood,…”
You can’t take that out. We have to maintain that it was His shed blood which was in accordance with His whole divine plan for the ages beginning with Adam and Eve’s sin just outside the garden all the way up through the Old Testament economy of Law and temple worship, all bringing us up to the supreme sacrifice of all time, the death of Christ Himself. And that’s when sacrificing stopped biblically. There was no more need for sacrifice once Christ died. Now the pagans kept it on. But biblically there was no more need for sacrifice.
But never forget that without the shedding of blood there is no remission.
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“And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. (now this is God speaking) 11. For the life of the flesh is in the blood: (this is why the Blood had to be sacrificed for the remission of sin. It was death for life.) and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”
Now I’m going to make a point. What had to happen to the blood in the Old Testament sacrifices, as well as Christ’s Blood for the atonement of sin? It had to be applied. It had to be sprinkled on the altar, it had to be sprinkled on the Ark of the Covenant’s mercy seat, and Christ also had to present His Blood remember where? The Holy of Holies in heaven.
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“For it is evident that our Lord (The Lord Jesus) sprang out of Juda (not out of the tribe of Levi. He was not eligible to be a priest out the order of Aaron, having come out of the tribe of Judah); of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”
All the way from start to finish we have the connection of the High Priest of the Gentile and The Most High God. The Lord Jesus is not only The Most High, the possessor of Heaven and earth, but He is also the High Priest of the Gentile God so that you and I can rest assured that we have a High Priest interceding for us at the very Throne Room of Heaven itself. Not a high priest after the order of Aaron, but a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek.
On the day of atonement in Leviticus 21, the high priest once a year would take the blood of a sacrificed animal, make his way through the front part of the tabernacle, go in behind the veil, and sprinkle the blood on the Mercy Seat, which was the very presence of God under the Shekinah Glory. Israel’s sins were then covered for that next year. Now that was the role of the high priest on behalf of Israel. Our High Priest had to do the same thing. Go to John’s Gospel, Chapter 20. We cannot get a comprehension of Christ’s role as our High Priest unless we can understand what He has done to fulfill that role. It is Resurrection Sunday morning. Mary Magdalene came to the tomb, saw it was empty, and ran back and told the disciples, who couldn’t believe. Then Peter and John came running. I believe that although verse 9 tells us so much, most people are not enlightened on this. As Peter and John saw all the evidence there at the empty tomb, verses 8 and 9 tell us:
“Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they (the Twelve, and Peter and John in particular) knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.”
They had no idea He was going to rise from the dead until they saw proof of it; however, that isn’t the point I want to make. Come down to the account of where Mary saw the tomb was empty. And she said, “Oh, where have they put my Lord?” As she turned, there stood The Lord Jesus, only she didn’t know Him.
“And they (the two angels) say unto her, `Woman, why weepest thou?’ She saith unto them, `Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.'”
“Jesus saith unto her, `Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?’ She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, `Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus saith unto her, `Mary.’ She turned herself, and saith unto him, `Rabboni;’ which is to say, Master.”
What do you think Mary wanted to do? Embrace Him! He was alive! But what does He do? He holds her at bay and says:
“Jesus saith unto her, `Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.'” Now back to Hebrews, if you will. Then I think we can put all this together.
“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come (not after the order of Aaron, remember, but after the order of Melchizedek, the priest of the Gentile name of God), by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building (where is it? – in Heaven);”
Remember what you just read in John; that Jesus, on that Resurrection morning, said to Mary Magdalene, “Don’t touch me until I have ascended to the Father.” This is on Resurrection morning. We’re not talking about the ascension of Acts. This is in John’s Gospel on the Resurrection morning. Why did He have to ascend?
“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in (to the very throne room of Heaven) once into the holy place (the very presence of God, and as He presented His Blood…), having obtained eternal redemption for us
What role was He fulfilling? – High Priest! Not the high priest of Israel, but the High Priest of all. We don’t have to leave the Jew out insofar as His High Priesthood is concerned because now, as a result of the Cross and the power of His Resurrection, He is the High Priest of all. That, of course, is what Melchizedek represented. Please go back with me to Romans, Chapter 3. I am always stressing that Paul is the one who has received the final part of our progressive revelation, except the Book of Revelation. But Paul brings everything to a head by asking the question:
“Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:”
See, nobody is left out. As a result of the work of the Cross, as a result of the work of His presenting His own blood in the very Throne Room of Heaven as our High Priest, everything has been satisfied. Everything is done that had to be done.
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