Monday, April 11, 2022

How does the blood of Jesus take away Sin?

In God's mind, the sacrifice to take away sins, of necessity, had to produce a love that was stronger for the One who sacrificed than the strength of sinful desires.

"For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: "SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU DID NOT DESIRE, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME" (Hebrews 10:4-5).

"Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).

How does blood take away sins? Why couldn't the blood of bulls and goats take away sins but the blood of Jesus does? 

Those bulls and goats didn't leave the glory of heaven, the worship of angels, the safety of the throne of God, to enter into a world of hostility and rejection, so that their blood would be spilled through spiritual conflict on behalf of the bondage that held us to our greatest enemy, the devil. 

Those bulls and goats were not voluntary sacrifices. They were not laying down their lives for the human race out of immense love and compassion, knowing that they have the power to crush the head of man's destroyer.

The blood of the Lamb does not merely remove the record of sin. The blood of the Lamb removes sin from the human heart and as a consequence the record in heaven is wiped clean, when the heart is washed clean. 

This is why we are saved "by grace through faith" (Ephesians 2:8). As we believe on Jesus Christ, Emmanuel (God with us), the King of glory, the true God and Eternal life, the Word of God (which is God) Who dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; who lived a perfect sinless life and perfectly lived out the example of what He wanted us to be and how to obey His words; who took on flesh, even the seed of Abraham, and who was beaten, bruised, bloodied and crucified; who died upon the cross for our sins, that through death, He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil: as we believe on Him, that through faith we are truly in covenant with God, that our sins are truly forgiven and that the proof of His forgiveness is His blood, which He shed for you and for me; such grace, such wonder, such awe, fills our hearts and sanctifies them completely "taking away" and removing sin from within. Ultimately, God has taken out the stony heart that loved sin, and replaced it with a heart of flesh that sensitively feels and follows the heart of God in loving obedience to Him. 

Sin is truly taken away from within, as we truly believe on the Crucified, with our understanding enlightened to this mysterious work and deep expression of love through God's Breath in us.

This is why Peter wrote, "You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:17-18). As we grow in grace, and that grace gains the ascendency over our thoughts, affections and desires, then He Who sits upon the throne of grace will have complete rule over our hearts, from which spring all of the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23). When grace gains the ascendency, and continues to be the stronghold of our lives, then according to Peter, we will avoid falling from our own steadfastness, and from being led away with the error of the wicked. 

Paul wrote regarding the Jews of his day, "But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart" (2 Corinthians 3:14-15). What was that blinding veil which kept their hearts from understanding the Scriptures? Unbelief! They would read about the Passover Lamb (Exodus 12, 34), how that the goat upon which the LORD's lot fell was to be sacrificed as the offering for atonement (Leviticus 16:9), how that God commanded Moses to lift up a brass serpent fastened to a wooden pole in the wilderness, so that all who looked upon it when bitten by "fiery serpents" would be healed, and how that was a type and a shadow of the sufferings of Christ ( Numbers 21:8, John 3:14-16), for God cursed the serpent in the beginning and commanded Moses to make an image of a serpent (a thing cursed by God in Genesis 3), to bring salvation to all who looked upon it when bitten; likewise it is written, "Cursed is everyone hanged on a tree (Deuteronomy 21:23)" yet when Jesus was talking to Nicodemus about being born again, He said, "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:14-15). As God used the brass image of a serpent (a thing cursed by God in Genesis 3) fastened to a wooden pole to bring healing to all who looked upon it, so God has also chosen to bring salvation to those who look upon Christ and Him hung upon a tree (something cursed) and crucified for salvation. In fact, Jesus was explaining that this was the way to be born again, was to believe in His sacrifice. There are numerous other types and shadows contained in the Books of Moses portraying Christ and Him crucified, such as when Joshua defeated the Amalekites so long as the arms of Moses were held up to make the sign of the cross, and there are many other types and shadows contained the tabernacle, etc. 

So long as we read with an evil heart of unbelief the Scriptures will still be a darkly mysterious book of information contained only in pages. 

How does the blood of Jesus take away sins?

This is why Paul continued, "Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:16-18). What is that liberty? It is freedom from sin as Jesus promised (John 8:36). What is that liberty? It is sin being "taken away" and removed from the heart. As we continue in faith, reading the Scriptures with an unveiled heart of faith in Jesus the Christ the Crucified, hearing the living Word speak to us personally on the inside, such words will no longer be darkly mysterious information written in letters of ink and paper, but they will be enlightening and intimate, transforming fiery sketches upon the fleshy table of the heart.

Are you growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ? Does this growth consist merely in an increase of information only or both information and transformation? Does this growth translate to freedom from sin or does sin still entice and fascinate you? Has this growth caused you to find the Lamb of God more attractive than sinful pleasures?

Sin is taken away when God's sacrifice becomes more precious to us than sin and even than our own lives. For we know that we were "not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold . . . but with the PRECIOUS blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (1 Peter 1:18-19). 

It was the preciousness of the blood of Christ that redeemed Peter from all iniquity and set him free from sin, as Paul said regarding Jesus, "Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works" (Titus 2:14).

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“Reason dictates that persons who are truly noble and who love wisdom will honor and love only what is true. They will refuse to follow traditional viewpoints if those viewpoints are worthless...Instead, a person who genuinely loves truth must choose to do and speak what is true, even if he is threatened with death...I have not come to flatter you by this written petition, nor to impress you by my words. I have come to simply beg that you do not pass judgment until you have made an accurate and thorough investigation. Your investigation must be free of prejudice, hearsay, and any desire to please the superstitious crowds. As for us, we are convinced that you can inflict no lasting evil on us. We can only do it to ourselves by proving to be wicked people. You can kill us—but you cannot harm us.” From Justin Martyr's first apology 150 A.D. Martyred A.D. 160