That’s what saves you!
In the Bible, God gave the first commandment to man in Gen 2:17. With that commandment he also gave a warning. He said, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” The penalty for disobedience was death and that death penalty has been passed down to every person in every generation since Adam first disobeyed God (Rom 5:12).
After Adam and Eve sinned, God covered their nakedness with coats of skins (Gen 3:21). Do you realize what had to happen for God to cover them with coats of skins? Innocent animals had to be slain. Thus, the blood of animals was shed.
In the very next chapter of the Bible, Cain and Abel offered sacrifices to God. Cain’s sacrifice was of the fruit of the ground. God didn’t accept it because the ground was cursed (Gen 3:17). Abel’s sacrifice was of the firstlings of his flock (Gen 4:4). In other words, he killed an innocent lamb and shed his blood. God accepted Abel’s sacrifice.
In fact, God required blood sacrifices of certain clean animals in the Old Testament to atone for sin. To atone means to make compensation or amends for sin. In Lev 4:25-26, we find this, “And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out his blood at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering. And he shall burn all his fat upon the altar, as the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings: and the priest shall make an atonement for him as concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him.”
In the New Testament, we find that the shedding of blood was likewise required to pay for our sins, “… and without shedding of blood is no remission,” (Heb 9:22). Remission is a pardon of transgression. But this time, it was not the blood of bulls and of goats that was required, rather it was the blood of Jesus Christ, because “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins,” (Heb 10:4).
We know that Jesus is the Lamb of God who came to take away the sin of the world (Jn 1:29). And in order to do that, he had to die and shed his blood (Eph 1:7; Col 1:14). When he did, he offered the one sacrifice that God would forever accept and which would forever take away sins. The priests could never accomplish this with their daily sacrifices.
Look at Heb 10:10-12 carefully. “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.”
Do you see how futile it is for priests today to offer what they call Jesus’ body and blood at an altar in order to take away your sins? The offering has already been completed at Calvary and the reenactment of it at a communion service “can never take away sins,” (Heb 10:11).
Furthermore, when Jesus’ blood was shed (just as the animal blood was shed), it was poured out. No one was to ever drink the blood of the sacrifice. That was strictly forbidden. Lev 17:10-12 say, “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. For the life of the flesh is in the blood: 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. Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood.“
Yet there are those who profess that they are drinking Jesus’ blood at communion in fulfillment of a command that Jesus gave his disciples in Jn 6:53-54. Do you realize that no one ever drank the blood of Jesus? His disciples didn’t. The reason is that they would have violated the strict command of God against drinking blood (Gen 9:4; Lev 17:10-12; Acts 15:20).
Moreover, in Jn 6:63, Jesus explained that literally drinking his blood was not at all what he had in mind when he spoke to his disciples in Jn 6:51-56. He told them that they had to believe him and his words (Jn 6:28-29; 35; 40; 47-48). In Jn 6:63, he said, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” Look what he said. The flesh profiteth nothing!!! The spirit and life are in the words!!! They are not in drinking his blood and violating the command of God.
You ask, but didn’t they drink his blood at the last supper? No. They drank the fruit of the vine. That’s what Jesus called it even after he blessed it (Matt 26:29). He didn’t turn it into his blood. He showed them the cup and said, “this is my blood of the new testament,” (Matt 26:27-28). The cup of the Passover (Matt 26:19) illustrated to them that Jesus was the Passover lamb, whose feast they had been keeping since Ex 12.
In Exodus 12, the Jews were supposed to take a lamb (Jn 1:29) out of the flock for their house (Matt 15:24) on the tenth day of the month (v. 3-5) [that was the day when Jesus entered the temple in Jerusalem]. On the fourteenth day of the month, they were to kill it in the evening (v. 6) [3 o’clock in the afternoon, the beginning of the “evening” watch (Matt 27:46). The ninth hour of the “day” is 3 o’clock in the afternoon, when the soldier pierced Jesus’ side (Jn 19:34)]. Remarkable!
Then they were to eat the flesh of the Passover that night (v. 8-9) roast with fire. Hello, no one roasted Jesus over a fire after he died, and they didn’t eat him; they buried him. Yet he is the Passover lamb who was sacrificed for us (1 Cor 5:7). As the blood of the Passover lamb was applied to the houses in Ex 12:7, so that the Lord would pass over them and not destroy them (Ex 12:13), even so the blood of Jesus is applied to us (Heb 9:14) to cleanse us from our sins (1 Jn 1:7, 9) so that we aren’t destroyed (Rom 5:8-9).
You see then that the blood of Jesus Christ was shed to wash us from our sins (Rev 1:5) and to redeem us (Rev 5:9). That is it was shed to rescue and deliver us from the bondage of sin. Once you receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, the blood he shed appeases God’s wrath against you (Jn 3:36; 1 Jn 2:1-2). And there is no need for you to do anything else to secure this payment for your sins.
Now that Jesus has been crucified and buried and has risen from the grave, the blood of Jesus is the only sacrifice that God will accept to pardon you from your sins and forgive you. No other sacrifice will be accepted. No amount of good works on your part will save your soul (Tit 3:5; Eph 2:8-9). No amount of church attendance will appease God and no amount of communion consumed will fulfill God’s command for you to be born again (Jn 3:3-7). You must receive Jesus Christ by faith (Jn 1:12-13) not by mouth.
Hope this helps,
Pastor Bevans Welder