The Atoning Blood
What it Means to You
The penalty for sin demanded payment. What we could not do for ourselves, Christ did for us!
The words of the old hymn tell us, “There is power in the Blood.” As we read through the Bible, we find that it magnifies the atonement of Jesus Christ above all other themes. We learn that the Blood of Jesus Christ was the price for our redemption. Yet do we fully understand the teachings of the Bible about the Blood? What is its importance to one who is seeking God?
The Bible does not describe the chemical composition of blood in scientific terms. However, it does tell us something that is basic to our understanding of this fluid that circulates through our arteries and veins. In Leviticus 17:11 we read, “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.”
When God made man, He formed a body from the dust of the ground, and then breathed into it the breath of life. But when Adam sinned, death entered into the human family. The human body became subject to decay and death.
At that early stage in the history of mankind, the first representation of Jesus, the Perfect Sacrifice, took place. The blood of animals was shed when God slew animals to clothe Adam and Eve after they had disobeyed Him. The word atonement means “a covering.” The only way their sin could be covered was by the shedding of blood.
Old Testament Evidence of Atonement
Throughout the Old Testament, we find additional evidences of the requirement of blood as the only means of atonement. Abel’s blood offering was accepted by God, while Cain’s offering of the fruit of the ground was rejected. Noah offered sacrifices when he came out of the ark after the Flood. Abraham was known for the many sacrifices he made unto the Lord.
When the Israelites were released from Egyptian bondage, the blood of a lamb without blemish was applied to the side posts and lintels of the doors of their houses. This exempted them from death when the eldest in every Egyptian home was slain. God had said, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you” (Exodus 12:13). If the Israelites had ignored the command to apply the blood, ventured out from under the blood that night, or substituted something for the blood on the side posts and lintels of their houses, the firstborn of each family would have perished.
Many aspects of the Levitical law and Tabernacle worship also looked ahead to the time when Jesus, as the Lamb of God, would shed His Blood to redeem mankind. Daily sacrifices reminded the people of the effectiveness of the blood. The scapegoat taken into the wilderness on the annual Day of Atonement represented Christ, who took the condemnation and curse of sin upon Himself. When the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies, he would have been stricken dead had he not first offered blood.
Concerning Christ’s Sacrifice
However, it is not enough to recognize the historic significance of the Blood. One day nearly two thousand years ago, all the types and shadows recorded in the Old Testament found their culmination at Calvary. There the Perfect Sacrifice was made, and redemption was purchased through “the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19).
Christ was able to atone for the sins of mankind because His Blood alone was sinless. His conception in the womb of Mary was supernatural. A study of the process of conception reveals that the female ovum itself has no blood, nor does the male sperm. When these come together, conception occurs and new life begins. At that moment the blood type is determined. The Bible explicitly states that the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary and caused Jesus’ conception. God planted the life of His already existent Son into the womb of a virgin, and thus the Blood of the Son of God was a separate and precious type, completely pure of any Adamic stain of sin.
The Bible clearly states that all have sinned, and are in need of redemption. “And without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). It was necessary for Christ to die in our stead in order to satisfy divine justice and to pardon the sinner. His Blood was shed for every man, that “whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Power in the Blood
The power of the atoning Blood is not limited to redemption. We read, “Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate” (Hebrews 13:12). Sanctification is a second work of grace by which the inbred nature of sin is removed from our lives, making us pure and holy within.
The Blood of Jesus avails for our healing. We read in Isaiah 53:5 that “with his stripes we are healed.” This thought is repeated by Peter when he said of Christ, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Peter 2:24).
The Blood is of primary importance in intercessory prayer. When those who are obeying every known command of God have need of protection, deliverance, or strength, they have access to God through the Blood of Jesus. “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,...Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:19,22). Jesus is our High Priest today, making intercession before the Father for us with His Blood.
Any attempt to place a value on the Blood of Christ would be impossible. It is priceless! Truly there is wonder-working power in the Blood.