Nothing But The BloodMarch 1, 2016 Save Article
Two true stories begin our study this month:
When Billy Graham was in his 30s, I spent some time with him. He was then a young preacher just starting out in ministry. A professor from Cornell University said to him, “Son, you’re a good speaker. You speak with authority and clarity. You can go places in the ministry. But I want to suggest you leave out that blood stuff.”
That’s what he called it, “that blood stuff.”
“Don’t speak about the blood. It’s uncultured, uncouth, and you’ll go far if you’ll leave out the message of the blood.”
Billy Graham said, “I purposed in my heart then to preach on the blood of Jesus more than ever.”
Napoleon was in a room with some of his military strategists one time, looking at a war map on the wall. They were looking at the British Isles, which on this particular map were in red. And Napoleon, who was defeated by the British, pointed to the British Isles and said, “If it were not for that red spot, I would have conquered the world.” Surely Satan has to say the same about Calvary: “Had it not been for that red spot, I would have conquered the world.”
If there is anything Satan hates, it is the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
This month, as we celebrate Easter, we’re going to be looking at the significance of the sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross. It’s crucial that every Christian understand His shed blood in our salvation.
1. Turn to Hebrews chapter 9, a great chapter on the blood of Christ. Read verse 20. Fill in some key words where the author of Hebrews begins by quoting Moses.
20 “This is the blood of the ________________ which God hath enjoined unto you.” 21 Moreover, he [Moses] sprinkled with blood both the ________________ and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And almost all things are by the law __________ with __________, and __________ ___________ ___ ________, ___ no _____________ [of sin].
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE BLOOD
We need to come to grips with this: the Bible is a bloody book. Cut the Bible anywhere, and it will bleed. It’s not a gory story; it’s a glory story.
The apostle Paul said, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of Christ my Lord.” (Galatians 6:14)
God doesn’t want you to go to hell. He put a roadblock on your pathway to hell. Calvary with its blood-drenched slopes stands in your path. And if you do go to hell, you will climb over Calvary to get there.
2. From Genesis to Revelation, God has spoken throughout the Bible of the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and the lesson of substitution. Calvary and the shed blood was in the heart of God before He framed this world. Before He scooped out the seas and heaped up the mountains, God had Calvary in mind.
a. Turn to Genesis 3:21. This occurs just as God goes seeking Adam and Eve in the Garden, after they have sinned. He confronts them. They confess. He tells them the consequences of choosing sin. When God is done speaking, the first thing that happens is this:
21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make __________ of ________, and clothed them.
b. What did God make for them?
c. To achieve this, what did He have to do?
For the first time, death entered God’s perfect creation. To get an animal skin, there must be the shedding of blood. Here in the beginning of civilization, God was teaching the lesson of Hebrews 9:22 “…without shedding of blood is no remission of sin.”
3. Still in Genesis 3, look a few verses back to v. 15. Stop and examine this verse. Before He speaks to Adam and Eve that day in the Garden, God addresses the serpent who deceived them, giving a prophetic word:
15 And I will put enmity [warfare] between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
The serpent will wound Christ, but Christ will crush the head of the serpent.
A CLOSER LOOK AT GENESIS 3:15
Remember that our purpose in this study is to “dig deeper.” You should know that this verse is called the “proto-evangelium” — the “first Gospel.” You may want to mark this in the margin of your Bible, because it is the first time in Scripture that God mentions the cosmic war that’s coming. It will take place throughout human history, a war involving God and His people against the forces of Satan and his minions.
Dr. R. C Sproul describes it this way:
As Genesis 3:15 reveals, man versus serpent is a cosmic struggle. It is God who perpetuates enmity between the human race and its primal enemy. The seed of the woman will be bruised by the destructive efforts of the seed of the serpent, but the woman’s descendants will fight back. Every time a snake bites, we will be reminded of the war between God and the one who first tempted us to sin.
Genesis 3:15 proclaims that God’s people will finally triumph over the serpent (see 1 John 3:12). The “seed of the woman” is a collective noun, indicating corporate victory. However, if left to ourselves, we cannot win this war. No, it took Jesus, Eve’s seed par excellence, to deliver the crushing blow (Col. 2:15), and if we are in Him, we share in and extend His victory (Matt. 28:19; Rev. 20:4).
The bruising of Genesis 3:15 foretells the coming of the Savior in John 3:16. At the dawn of history, God is already proclaiming the coming of a Savior and His death.
a. From the first book in the Bible, turn to the last book, to Revelation chapter 13, verse 8. The scene described takes place on the earth during the Great Tribulation, toward the end of the current age.
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him [the antichrist], whose names are not written in the book of life of [note carefully] the Lamb _________ _____________ the ___________________ of the ___________.
b. What are the people doing?
c. Write that portion of this verse that tells us when God mapped out the plan for our salvation:
God purposed in His heart that Jesus would die before He created the world. Calvary is not an afterthought.
4. Moving ahead, we don’t have to go far before finding the next reference to the shedding of blood for the remission of sins. Turn to Genesis 4.
a. What did Abel bring as his offering for the Lord?
b. Did God appreciate Abel’s offering?
c. Did he appreciate Cain’s offering?
d. What was Cain’s offering?
e. When the text says Abel’s offering included “the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof,” what does this tell you had to occur to that offering as Abel presents it?
f. Why did God “have respect to” Abel’s offering and not Cain’s offering? (See Hebrews 9:22)
g. The religion of Cain is not extinct today. Many people are trying to make themselves by their own works acceptable to God. It cannot be done. If it could be done, then Jesus never would have died.
Turn to Galatians 2:21.
If righteousness comes by ____ _____, then __________ is dead ____ _______.
5. Moving forward, we come to Noah. The way men were living by this time was so wicked, God declared He would destroy the earth with a flood, but He put Noah in the ark.
The ark itself is a type, a picture, of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Turn to Genesis 8:20. When Noah came out of that ark, what was the first thing he did?
6. Fast-forward to Genesis 22. Abraham is with his son Isaac. Read verses 1-13.
God has instructed Abraham, father of the Hebrew race and the brightest star in the Hebrew heaven, to offer his son, Isaac, on an altar upon a mountain.
a. Where, specifically, did God instruct Abraham to go, taking his son Isaac?
Many people who have read this widely known account are unaware that this wilderness mountain, Mount Moriah, was also the very Mount Moriah which became the spot on which the temple was built. And 2,000 years after Abraham, it became the very limestone ridge upon which our Lord Jesus was crucified.
b. God’s plan is always carried out with precision. God said to Abraham (v. 22:2), “Offer Isaac, not on any mountain, but—
“…upon _____ of the mountains which _______________________________.”
Abraham didn’t understand why God would ask him to put his son to death, but the Bible says he knew that if God had given him this son by miracle, God was able to raise him from the dead. Isaac here becomes a type, a picture, of the Lord Jesus Christ, the obedient son.
c. What becomes Isaac’s substitute? (22:15)
A CLOSER LOOK AT JOHN 8:56
No wonder Jesus said in John 8:56, “Abraham saw My day, and was glad.” Have you ever puzzled over that statement? The religious leaders of Jesus’ day certainly did.
The Bible says the Gospel was preached to Abraham. But how could that be? When Abraham saw the substitute caught in the thicket, the substitutionary sacrifice offered in place of his son Isaac.
God is hammering home the message to Abraham and his descendants: “…without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22).
d. Think about this. When Isaac realized he was going to be the sacrifice, he could have just simply run away. No doubt he could have out-run his 100 year old father. But he lies down upon the altar and submits to the will of his father.
How does this scene mirror the scene of Jesus at Calvary?
e. Turn to Matthew 26, beginning with verse 36. What words spoken by Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane mesh with Isaac’s submission to his father Abraham?
f. As further evidence that Jesus was in complete control of impending Calvary, look at verse 53 in this same chapter. What does this verse tell you?
g. Turn to John 10:17-18. What does Jesus say here?
“17 Therefore doth my Father love Me, because I _______________________, that I might take it again. 18 _____________ taketh it from Me, but ________
____________________________________. I have ________________________ _____________________, and I have _______________________________. This commandment have I received ________________________________
Jesus, the obedient Son of the Father, became “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8)
7. On through the Bible we go. Our focus is the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, central to our salvation, proclaimed from Genesis to Revelation, climaxing on the cross.
We come to Moses. God’s people must be freed from Egyptian bondage and led to their Promised Land. One last act from the hand of God will force Pharaoh to release them: the Death Angel. And it will involve a blood sacrifice.
Turn to Exodus 12:13. Egypt represents the world of sin. Pharaoh represents the devil. God wants to redeem His people from bondage. God tells Moses, “Every household must take a spotless lamb, kill that lamb, and put the blood of that lamb upon the door posts and lintel of the house.”
Notice they were to put it above and on each side of the threshold, not on the threshold. They were to walk out under the blood, not over the blood. The death angel, God tells them, is about to pass throughout Egypt.
And the blood shall be for you a token upon the houses where ye are; and ____________________________________, I will ________________ you; and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you when I smite the land of Egypt. Exodus 12:13
Imagine for a moment if they had chosen to deck the doorposts and lintels with rubies, diamonds and other precious stones?
Suppose they had written philosophical wisdom or beautiful poetry and place them on the doorposts? The death angel would have come.
Suppose they had said, “We’re turning over a new leaf, and we’re making a new contract with you, God,” and signed it and nailed that to the door posts? The death angel would have come.
Suppose they had taken a live lamb and tied it to the door posts? The death angel would have come.
You see, salvation doesn’t come by learning lessons from the life of Christ, but by receiving life from the death of Christ.
8. Fast-forwarding, we come to the temple sacrifices. Turn to Exodus 29:10.
a. Who is speaking?
10 And thou shalt cause a bullock to be brought before the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the bullock.
11 And thou shalt ______the bullock before the Lord, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
12 And thou shalt take _________________________________________, and put it upon the horns of the altar with thy finger, and ______ all the _________ beside the bottom of the altar.
The high priest, Aaron, and his sons lay their hands on this young ox and confess the sin of the people. Then it is led away and slain, the body consumed by fire, and the blood poured out there at the altar.
Why? Why were there untold thousands of sacrificial animals in the old Mosaic system? Hebrews 9:22—
b. Without ___________________, there is no _____________________.
All through the Old Testament you see the prophecy of the blood. God was teaching His people, “There is no way as sinners that you can approach Me without the shedding of blood.” By every sacrifice in the Old Testament, God was showing “the wages of sin is death.” “The soul that sinneth will surely die.” Apart from the shed blood, there is no remission of sin.
All of this was designed by God to build into His people a conditioned response, getting the world ready for the coming of the Savior, Jesus Christ.
But what about the provision of the blood? What does the blood provide?
9. Turn one chapter forward to Hebrews 10:10-12
10 By the which will [God the Father’s will] we are sanctified through the offering of the ________ of Jesus Christ _______ for all.
a. Again you see that the sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross was not random or haphazard, but _______________________________________________________.
11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can ____________ take away sins.
What a thought. The writer of Hebrews, who I believe to be Paul, is saying that right then, as he wrote, the sacrifices being offered were of no effect. Now that Jesus, the Lamb of God, had been slain, offered as the sacrifice once for all, their priestly efforts to atone for sin were in vain.
Moreover, the Old Testament sacrifices, century after century, never did satisfy the heart and mind of God. All they did was roll the sins of the people forward till Christ would come as the final, true sacrifice.
b. Now look at the triumph of verse 12, which shows a progression of events:
12 But this man [speaking of Jesus], after He had offered _______ sacrifice for sin _______________, sat down on the right hand of God.
How long was the sacrifice of Jesus going to be good for?
In the Old Testament, the priests never sat down because the work was never done.
In the presence of a king, one would not sit down unless invited to do so. Yet Jesus, having died, offering one sacrifice for sin, sat down. What does this signify to you?
When Jesus bowed His head and died, He said, “It is finished.” Jesus said, “I have finished the work Thou gavest Me to do.” We don’t need to offer any more sacrifices. We don’t need any more blood of bulls and goats. That’s gone. We don’t need to do that anymore.
c. Look up a few verses to v. 4 in chapter 10.
For it is ____ _______________ that the ___________ of bulls and goats should _______ _________ _______ .
Jesus offered one sacrifice forever, but how could the death of one man atone for the sins of every person who has ever lived? It’s the reverse of what happened in Genesis 3.
10. Turn to 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 and note the key words:
21 For since by ______ came _________, by _____ came also the _________________ of the dead. 22 For as in ________ all die, even so in __________ shall all be made _________.
What is this saying?
A CLOSER LOOK AT 1 CORINTHIANS 15:21-22
Adam’s sin (one man) brought the curse of sin upon creation and every person who would be born.
In the Garden, before he fell, Adam was given dominion over the earth. When he chose to believe the serpent more than he believed God, Adam sold his dominion to Satan. And when he did, mankind—Adam and all of his progeny—became slaves of sin. The son of a slave is a slave. Therefore, we inherited from Adam a sinful nature and sinful death. We are “in Adam.” “For as in Adam all die,” the above passage says. But because of Jesus’ shed blood, “even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
Thank God that in one man we also have redemption. Had Jesus not been born of a virgin, but been born as you and I (the descendants of Adam) were born, He could have died for no one’s sin but His own. But because He was born of a virgin, He inherited no sin nature from Adam. Instead, conceived by the Holy Spirit, Jesus had the sinless nature of God the Father. That’s the reason Jesus had to be born of a virgin.
The virgin birth is not incidental. It’s not folk lore or mythology. Without the virgin birth, Christianity collapses like a house of cards. There is no hope apart from the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. He came as He did, virgin born, to be what He was, not the son of Adam, but the Son of God.
MORE ABOUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS
The blood of Jesus and the blood of Mary are not the same. Some have the idea that when a little baby is in its mother’s womb, the mother’s blood circulates through the baby’s body. That is not so. None of the mother’s blood circulates through the baby’s body. None of the baby’s blood circulates through the mother’s body. The baby is a separate individual from the mother, a completely different individual. The baby may have one blood type and she another. The baby’s blood is determined by the father, not the mother. The father determines that.
By being born of a virgin (“Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son…”), Jesus was the Son of God; the blood that flowed through the veins of Jesus Christ was not the blood of Mary. It was the blood of God.
You may object, “Wait a minute. God doesn’t have blood.” He did when Jesus was here.
11. Turn to Acts 20. Paul is speaking to the Ephesians elders:
…feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with ____ _____ __________.
No wonder the Bible calls the blood of Jesus Christ “precious blood” (1 Peter 1:19).
12. Look again at 1 Corinthians 15:22. How many people died when Adam died?
How many did Jesus Christ die for, according to this verse?
How many shall be “made alive”?
Does that mean every single person shall be made alive, or is there a condition? Before you answer, see John 1:12:
But as many as ______________ Him, to them gave He power to ___________ the sons of _______, even to them that ____________ ____ _____ _______.”
Therefore, how many shall be made alive by the blood of Jesus Christ?
Although in Adam all die, Christ makes possible reconciliation with god and eternal life because He died for all.
13. Look back again at Hebrews at 10:12. Look for the key word in this verse that makes it clear that the sacrifice was not torn violently from Jesus’ hands. He was no hapless victim, prodded to the Cross by the points of Roman soldiers’ spears. Remember, He had already let the disciples know in the Garden,
“Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53).
That would be 72,000 angels! One solitary angel slew 85,000 men on one occasion in the Old Testament. What could 72,000 do?
What word in Hebrews 10:12 makes clear that Jesus gave His blood for us freely and without coercion?
I can imagine the angels, leaning over the battlements of heaven, saying, “Jesus, just say the word! Just say the word!” But Jesus stayed on that cross. There were searing nails in His palms. But love held Him to the cross. We’ve sung this hymn many times:
“Why should He love me so?
Why should He love me so?
Why should my Savior to Calvary go?
Why should He love me so?”
No man could take His life from Him. Jesus laid it down, offering one sacrifice for sin. He did not die as a martyr. He did not die as a victim. He died willingly, voluntarily.
14. The Power in the Blood
What does the blood do?
a. The blood redeems. Turn to 1 Peters 1:18-19
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not _________________ with corruptible things, such as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers, But with the _____________ ___________ of Christ, as a ________ without ____________ and without _______.
There were 50 million slaves in the Roman Empire. If a slave could somehow get his hand on money, he could buy his freedom with silver or with gold. You are redeemed by the blood. You could never be liberated from the bondage of Satan apart from the precious blood of Jesus.
But Jesus did not buy us from Satan. When Jesus died on the cross, He paid our sin debt with His royal blood there at the justice bar of Almighty God. We are redeemed.
b. The blood brings us near. Turn to Ephesians 2:13
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were ____ ____, are made ______ by the blood of Christ.
We’ve been separated from Him by sin, but the blood brings us nigh. If God seems far away from you, it’s because you’ve not understood the power of the blood or entered into the privilege of the blood. Jesus Christ is as real to me as my closest family member. If God seems far off to you, you’re missing the privilege for we are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
c. The blood makes peace. Turn to Colossians 1:20.
And, having made __________ through the __________ of His cross, by Him to ______________ all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
You have experienced the wonder-working peace of God that flows like a river if you know the Lord Jesus Christ.
d. The blood cleanses. Turn to 1st John 1:7.
If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, _________________ us from ____ sin.
Daily ask God to search your heart. When you find sin in your heart,
- name it
- confess it (agree with God about it),
- then the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, will cleanse you from all sin.
Don’t insult the blood by saying, “Well, there are some sins that the blood will cleanse, but what I’ve done is too heinous.” No. Whatever it is—adultery, promiscuity, abortion, blasphemy, murder—“the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses from all sin.” Now the devil, of course, ah, will, doesn’t want you to under, understand this.
e. The blood gives us power over Satan. Turn to Revelation 12:11.
And they _________________ him [Satan] by the ___________ of the ________ and by the word of their testimony …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, a great preacher of yesteryear, said,
“I used to argue with the devil, but I don’t do it anymore. He’s not worth it. You can’t convince him and you can’t convert him. The devil comes to me and says, ‘You’re a sinner,’ and I say, ‘Well, so are you.’ The devil says, ‘Well, then, you’re going to hell,’ and Spurgeon says, ‘No, I’m not going to hell. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. That’s the reason I’m going to heaven, for He has saved me.’”
Martin Luther calls that “cutting the devil’s head off with his own sword.”
As we close this study, ask yourself, what is your response to the blood of Jesus?
- Some people disregard and despise the blood, trampling it under foot. We were in Hebrews 10. Turn back there and go to verses 28-31.
28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him that hath said, “Vengeance belongeth unto Me, I will recompense,” saith the Lord. And again, “The Lord shall judge His people.”
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Everyone will either be saved and protected by the blood or trampling under foot the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. You say, “I don’t intend to do that.” Jesus said, “He that is not with Me is against Me.”
- Some think the blood is foolish. Some laugh and mock, just like the professor from Cornell, speaking to Billy Graham.
“For the preaching of the cross [that is, the blood] is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved, it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18
You can laugh your way into hell, but you can’t laugh your way out. You can mock the blood, or despise the blood. Ah, to some,
- Others just ignore the blood. I imagine in Egypt on Passover night, some Egyptian fathers told their children, “Pay no attention to what those Hebrews are doing, putting that blood on their doorposts. We don’t need that.” And every firstborn Egyptian child perished.
But to those of us who believe, it is precious.
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers, But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 1 Peter 1:18-19