Updated: Mar 31, 2021
The atoning blood of Christ is important as we think of Christ’s sacrifice made for all mankind through the shedding of His blood at the cross (Hebrews 9:12-14; cf. Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 1:7). The blood of Christ also motivates Christians to reflect upon His suffering and death (1 Peter 2:24). Through examination of the following verses in which the phrase “the blood of Christ” appears verbatim, let us look at some important lessons regarding the function and significance of our Lord’s shed blood: 1) The Blood Of Christ Brings Redemption (1 Peter 1:19) In 1 Peter 1:1-25, we see the inspired apostle speaking to the persecuted (1 Peter 1:6-7, purified (1 Peter 1:13-16), and obedient people of God (1 Peter 1:21-23). In John 3:16, Jesus foretells the act of redemption. With His divine foreknowledge, Christ understood that the gift of the Father’s only begotten Son (Himself) meant the shedding of His blood at Calvary (John 10:17-18; cf. Hebrews 2:9). The purpose of that shed blood, He knew, was to “redeem” the lost race of man from the power and hopelessness of sin. Regarding this loving act, Paul states, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Gal. 4:4-5). By inspiration, Paul reinforces this idea in Titus 2:14. 2) The Blood Of Christ Brings Removal (Hebrews 9:14) In Hebrews 9:14, the King James Version uses the word “purge” in translating the effect of the blood of Christ upon the conscience of one to whom that blood is applied. This term means “to cleanse of guilt, sin, or ceremonial defilement” (Webster’s New World Dictionary, 1996). The Greek word translated “purge” in this verse means “free from the guilt of sin”. Clearly, the writer of Hebrews speaks of the effect of the applied blood of the Savior. The audience of Hebrews, of which modern man is a part, needs some agent to remove the guilt of sin (dead works) from their lives. The blood of Christ is that agent. For the agent to be effective, one must come in contact with it.
The question is, “Where does one come in contact with the blood of Christ?” Jesus shed His blood when He died (John 19:34). Paul writes “that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death” (Romans 6:3 erally go over to Jerusalem to a hill called Mt. Calvary and find the man Jesus bleeding to death on a cross. Furthermore, one cannot in some literal way reach up to Christ and take some of His shed blood and apply it to himself. Thus, there is no literal, physical way for a man or woman to contact the actual, shed blood of our Lord. Yet, a reading of Revelation 1:5 reveals that Christ, “washed us from our sins in His own blood.” God would not allow His Son to shed His life-blood and then provide no means for mankind to contact that blood in some way. There is a way and only one way. In Acts 22:16, Luke records that baptism washes away sins. In summation, (1) Christ shed His blood in His death; (2) We are buried with Christ in baptism; (3) Christ washed our sins with His blood; (4) We wash away our sins in the act of baptism. The blood of Christ and baptism are inseparably joined removing the sins of those who recognize and submit to the authority of Christ in being baptized “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21). 3) The Blood Of Christ Brings Return (Ephesians 2:13) At the creation of man, there was no need for means whereby man could return to a right relationship with Jehovah. The idea in Ephesians 2:13 is that the Gentiles were “far off” implying the need to return. How could they come back to God? Paul stresses the fact that Christ’s blood was the only means whereby reconciliation could be made. Thus, Paul penned the glorious fact that Christ “made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself” (Colossians 1:20). As if an inseparable gulf was crossed by Adam and Eve through their sinning at Eden, that gap of sin separated man from God (Isaiah 59:1,2). While man can never earn his salvation with acts of goodness or meritorious works (Titus 3:5), there are conditions that God expects man to meet in orderto have past sins forgiven and the restoration of a right relationship with the Father (Ephesians 2:8; Titus 2:12; Hebrews 5:9). By shedding His blood, Christ paved a road of return (i.e., the “narrow road” of Matthew 7:13-14) to take us back to God. There was no access before and without Him and after sin was in the world (cf. 1 Timothy 2:5; John 14:6). 3
How did Christ effect this return with His blood? He took the first, old covenant God made with Moses and Israel out of the way by dying on the cross (Ephesians 2:12,14-15). He placed all believers in the faith into “one body” [the church] (Ephesians 2:14-16; Ephesians 4:4). He provided the message of reconciliation in commissioning the preached word to all men (Ephesians 2:17; Acts 1:8). He opened the avenue of prayer by His death on the cross, encouraging petitioning the Father to enhance our relationship with Him (Ephesians 2:18). He set aside a place in the Kingdom [the church] for all the faithful obedient into which all spiritual blessings flow (Ephesians 1:3). To all who obey the commandments of God, reconciliation and return to God are provided. 4) The Blood Of Christ Brings Remembrance (1 Corinthians 10:16) Those washed in the blood of Christ (contacted in the act of baptism) are added to the church (Acts 2:41,47). Those added [Christians] are governed by God’s word in worship and conduct. A vital part of New Testament worship is the weekly participation in the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7). Why has God authorized that Christians do so, and with such frequency? The answer is found in the word “communion”. The Greek term is “koinonia”. This term is most often translated “fellowship”. This word is also employed by the inspiredNew Testament writers to make reference to the Lord’s Supper. In Acts 2:42, the apostles and early Christians continued steadfastly in the “fellowship” of the Lord’s Supper. This “fellowship” was not to be defiled by the presence of idolatry at Corinth (1 Corinthians 10:20), but rather the communion was to be exclusively with the Lord. In 1 Corinthians 10:16, Paul stresses that there is communion or “fellowship”. That fellowship is with the blood of Christ, which suggests a multitude of things. First, the blood of Christ places one into the one body, the church (Colossians 1:18; Acts 20:28). Therefore, the fellowship of the Lord’s Supper involves corporate (collective) activity. Together, children of God are drawn closer to one another remembering the Savior whose blood purchased them from sin (Acts 20:28). This communion, then, is a means of expressing encouragement and thanksgiving together as the redeemed. The Lord’s Supper provides a “communion” between the individual Christian and his Lord. Thus, Paul instructs each one to “examine himself” (1 Corinthians 11:28).
None other can obey the command of self-examination and remembrance for another in the Lord’s Supper or in any spiritual matter. Yet, the Lord’s Supper is special because of both the sharing with others and individual responsibility. As an institution, the Lord’s Supper is, in both regards, a crucial means whereby Christians “remember” the sacrifice, suffering, and death of Christ in shedding His blood on the tree. Conclusion To summarize, the blood of Christ is important in that: (1) The blood of Christ purchased man’s pardon (1 Peter 1:19); (2) The blood of Christ purges man’s conscience (Hebrews 9:14); (3) The blood of Christ gives man close accessibility to God (Ephesians 2:13); (4) The blood of Christ provides recollection of atonement (1 Corinthians 10:16); (5) His blood was important in prophesy (Isaiah 53:3-5); (6) His blood was important in a physical sense (John 19:34); (7) His blood is important in personal examination (1 Corinthians 11:28). Let us, as members of the Lord’s body, never forget the importance of our Lord’s shed blood.
What Does The Blood Of Christ Bring To Your Remembrance?
By Mike Riley