It may be difficult for some to remember the last time they heard the blood of Christ mentioned from the pulpit of their church. Many Protestant hymnals have expunged all hymns mentioning the blood of Christ. While talking about the death of Christ has become largely passe in modern Christendom—and when mentioned at all, it is merely to suggest that it be regarded as an example of love, selflessness, dedication, and the like—the modern church has become even more squeamish about any reference to the blood of Christ. Such talk is deemed archaic barbarism; many have become too sophisticated to revel in a bloody gospel. However, Scripture is plain and unequivocal regarding the centrality of the shed blood of Christ in the gospel message. It is essential for real believers to continue to emphasize not only the fact that Christ died, but also the nature of His death. In the book to the Hebrews, God makes His position unambiguously clear: “without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (9:22). It is no exaggeration to suggest that the New Testament both declares and exalts the shed blood of Christ. We must shred the New Testament if we remove references to the blood of Christ. Consider the following examples.
The Lord’s Supper stands as a clear example of an ordinance that is intended to promote the purity and unity of the body of Christ. The Lord Himself declared concerning the second of the two key elements (the bread and the cup) in this ordinance: “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me” (1 Cor. 11:25). We fail to properly “remember” Christ if we fail to exalt the shedding of His blood.
1. God is propitiated through the blood. “Being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith” (Rom. 3:24 & 25).
2. Believers are justified through the blood. “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him” (Rom. 5:8, 9).
3. Believers are redeemed and have their sins forgiven through the blood. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses” (Eph. 1:7). “Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Pet. 1:18, 19).
4. Believers are reconciled to God and acquire peace with God through the blood. “Through Him [Jesus Christ] to reconcile all things to Himself [God the Father], having made peace through the blood of His cross, through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven” (Col. 1:20).
5. Believers are sanctified through the blood. “Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate” (Heb. 13:12).
6. Believers are cleansed by the blood of Christ. “But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
That is only a partial list of what the New Testament has to say concerning the essential nature of Christ’s shed blood. Christ had to both die and shed His blood in that death in order to save us. The shed blood of Christ is properly the theme of hymns and cause for praise among believers. May we never forget it.
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