The Price of Redemption, Part II
Oh, the blood of Jesus!
Oh, the blood of Jesus!
Oh, the blood of Jesus!
It washes white as snow.
What can wash away my sins?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
In Part I of The Price of Redemption, we briefly examined the sacrificial system set in place by Moses for the Nation of Israel. There were daily prescribed sacrifices and there were sacrifices that were specific to different sins as well as required offerings for the first day of the month, the Sabbath and all festival days. The regulatory sacrificial/offering system was a constant reminder for the Hebrew people that entering into the presence of Holy God was to be both intentional and costly.
When Jesus was offered on the cross, as the Spotless Sacrificial Lamb, everything changed spiritually. He became the offering for sin once and for all. Father God demonstrated this dramatic shift to the Jewish religious leaders by tearing from top to bottom the veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the approach of the common worshippers. This occurred at the exact moment that Jesus uttered these words: “It is finished.” (Matt. 27:50 When Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, He yielded up His spirit. 51At that moment the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked and the rocks were split.…)
The Nineth and Tenth chapters of Hebrews go into great detail and wonderfully explain the replacement of the blood sacrifice of bulls and goats with the supreme sacrifice of our blessed Savior. This is a long read, but I hope you will take the time to study this passage as a whole. Often we pick and choose verses from these chapters without reading it as one letter as intended:
The Old and the New
9 Now even the first covenant had regulations for divine worship and for the earthly sanctuary. 2 A tabernacle (sacred tent) was put up, the outer one or first section, in which were the lampstand and the table with [its loaves of] the sacred showbread; this is called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second veil there was another tabernacle [the inner one or second section] known as the Holy of Holies, 4 [a]having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered entirely with gold. This contained a golden jar which held the manna, and the rod of Aaron that sprouted, and the [two stone] tablets of the covenant [inscribed with the Ten Commandments]; 5 and above the ark were the [golden] cherubim of glory overshadowing [b]the mercy seat; but we cannot now go into detail about these things.
6 Now when these things have been prepared in this way, the priests continually enter the outer [or first section of the] tabernacle [that is, the Holy Place] performing [their ritual acts of] the divine worship, 7 but into the second [inner tabernacle, the Holy of Holies], only the high priest enters [and then only] once a year, and never without [bringing a sacrifice of] blood, which he offers [as a substitutionary atonement] for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. 8 By this the Holy Spirit signifies that the way into the Holy Place [the true Holy of Holies and the presence of God] has not yet been disclosed as long as the [c]first or outer tabernacle is still standing [that is, as long as the Levitical system of worship remains a recognized institution], 9 for this [first or outer tabernacle] is a symbol [that is, an archetype or paradigm] for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which are incapable of perfecting the conscience and renewing the [inner self of the] worshiper. 10 For they [the gifts, sacrifices, and ceremonies] deal only with [clean and unclean] food and drink and various ritual washings, [mere] external regulations for the body imposed [to help the worshipers] until the time of reformation [that is, the time of the new order when Christ will establish the reality of what these things foreshadow—a better covenant].
11 But when Christ appeared as a High Priest of the good things to come [that is, true spiritual worship], He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not a part of this [material] creation. 12 He went once for all into the Holy Place [the Holy of Holies of heaven, into the presence of God], and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, having obtained and secured eternal redemption [that is, the salvation of all who personally believe in Him as Savior]. 13 For if the sprinkling of [ceremonially] defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a [burnt] heifer is sufficient for the cleansing of the body,14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal [Holy] Spirit willingly offered Himself unblemished [that is, without moral or spiritual imperfection as a sacrifice] to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works and lifeless observances to serve the ever living God?
15 For this reason He is the Mediator and Negotiator of a new covenant [that is, an entirely new agreement uniting God and man], so that those who have been called [by God] may receive [the fulfillment of] the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has taken place [as the payment] which redeems them from the sins committed under the obsolete first covenant. 16 For where there is a will and [d]testament involved, the death of the one who made it must be established, 17 for a will and testament takes effect [only] at death, since it is never in force as long as the one who made it is alive. 18 So even the first covenant was not put in force without [the shedding of] blood. 19 For when every commandment in the Law had been read by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of the calves and goats [which had been sacrificed], together with water and scarlet wool and with a bunch of hyssop, and he sprinkled both the scroll itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant [that seals and ratifies the agreement] which God ordained and commanded [me to deliver to] you.” 21 And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the containers and sacred utensils of worship with the blood. 22 In fact under the Law almost everything is cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness [neither release from sin and its guilt, nor cancellation of the merited punishment].
23 Therefore it was necessary for the [earthly] copies of the heavenly things to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves required far better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but [He entered] into heaven itself, now to appear in the very presence of God on our behalf; 25 nor did He [enter into the heavenly sanctuary to] offer Himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer over and over since the foundation of the world; but now once for all at the consummation of the ages He has appeared and been publicly manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.27 And just as it is appointed and destined for all men to die once and after this [comes certain] judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once and once for all to bear [as a burden] [e]the sins of many, will appear a second time [when he returns to earth], not to deal with sin, but to bring salvation to those who are eagerly and confidently waiting for Him.
One Sacrifice of Christ Is Sufficient
10 For since the Law has only a shadow [just a pale representation] of the good things to come—not the very image of those things—it can never, by offering the same sacrifices continually year after year, make [a]perfect those who approach [its altars].2 For if it were otherwise, would not these sacrifices have stopped being offered? For the worshipers, having once [for all time] been cleansed, would no longer have a consciousness of sin. 3 But [as it is] these [continual] sacrifices bring a fresh reminder of sins [to be atoned for] year after year, 4 for it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 Therefore, when Christ enters into the world, He says,
“Sacrifice and offering You have not desired,
But [instead] You have prepared a body for Me [to offer];
In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no delight.
“Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come
To do Your will, O God—
[To fulfill] what is written of Me in the scroll of the book.’”
8 After saying [in the citation] above, “You have neither desired, nor have You taken delight in sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin” (which are offered according to the Law) 9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” [And so] He does away with the first [covenant as a means of atoning for sin based on animal sacrifices] so that He may inaugurate and establish the second [covenant by means of obedience]. 10 And in accordance with this will [of God] we [who believe in the message of salvation] have been sanctified [that is, set apart as holy for God and His purposes] through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) once for all.
11 Every priest stands [at his altar of service] ministering daily, offering the same sacrifices over and over, which are never able [b]to strip away sins [that envelop and cover us]; 12 whereas Christ, having offered the one sacrifice [the all-sufficient sacrifice of Himself] for sins for all time, sat down [signifying the completion of atonement for sin] at the right hand of God [the position of honor], 13 waiting from that time onward until his enemies are made a footstool for His feet. 14 For by the one offering He has perfected forever and completely cleansed those who are being sanctified [bringing each believer to spiritual completion and maturity]. 15 And the Holy Spirit also adds His testimony to us [in confirmation of this]; for after having said,
“This is the covenant that I will make with them
After those days, says the Lord:
I will imprint My laws upon their heart,
And on their mind I will inscribe them [producing an inward change],”
He then says,
“And their sins and their lawless acts
I will remember no more [no longer holding their sins against them].”
18 Now where there is [absolute] forgiveness and complete cancellation of the penalty of these things, there is no longer any offering [to be made to atone] for sin.
A New and Living Way
19 Therefore, [c]believers, since we have confidence and full freedom to enter the Holy Place [the place where God dwells] by [means of] the blood of Jesus, 20 by this new and living way which He initiated and opened for us through the veil [as in the Holy of Holies], that is, through His flesh, 21 and since we have a great and wonderful Priest [Who rules] over the house of God, 22 let us approach [God] with a true and sincere heart in unqualified assurance of faith, having had our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is reliable and trustworthy and faithful [to His word]; 24 and let us consider [thoughtfully] how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds, 25 not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ’s return] approaching.
26 For if we go on willfully and deliberately sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice [to atone] for our sins [that is, no further offering to anticipate], 27 but a kind of awful and terrifying expectation of [divine] judgment and the fury of a fire and burning wrath which will consume the adversaries [those who put themselves in opposition to God]. 28 Anyone who has ignored and set aside the Law of Moses is put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much greater punishment do you think he will deserve who has rejected and trampled under foot the Son of God, and has considered unclean and common the blood of the covenant that [d]sanctified him, and has insulted the Spirit of grace [who imparts the unmerited favor and blessing of God]? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine [retribution and the deliverance of justice rest with Me], I will repay [the wrongdoer].” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a fearful and terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God [incurring His judgment and wrath].
32 But remember the earlier days, when, after being [spiritually] enlightened, you [patiently] endured a great conflict of sufferings, 33 sometimes by being made a spectacle, publicly exposed to insults and distress, and sometimes by becoming companions with those who were so treated. 34 For you showed sympathy and deep concern for those who were imprisoned, and you joyfully accepted the [unjust] seizure of your belongings and the confiscation of your property, conscious of the fact that you have a better possession and a lasting one [prepared for you in heaven]. 35 Do not, therefore, fling away your [fearless] confidence, for it has a glorious and great reward.36 For you have need of patient endurance [to bear up under difficult circumstances without compromising], so that when you have carried out the will of God, you may receive and enjoy to the full what is promised.
Understanding the redemption process is so foundational to our relationship with Father God. When we really grasp the depth of separation that sin brings and the remedy to restore, our hearts melt in gratitude. We truly need to comprehend, as far as is possible, the great sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father on our behalf. Part III of this series will look more closely at redemption and what our response to this righteous act of restoration should be.
Oh, the blood of Jesus, that washes white as snow…….