By Robert E Henson
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 teaches:
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
The TLB conveys the first portion of verse 20 in this manner: “For God has bought you with a great price.”
Along the same lines, 1 Peter 18-19 (NCV) says:
“You know that in the past you were living in a worthless way, a way passed down from the people who lived before you. But you were saved from that worthless life. You were bought, not with something that ruins like gold or silver,
but with the precious blood of Christ, who was a pure and perfect lamb.”
The Word of God declares four irrefutable truths regarding the availability of personal salvation.
– Every believer has been purchased or redeemed at a cost;
– The price for redemption was exorbitant;
– The purchase price was paid with blood; and,
– That blood was not just any blood – it was the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Pre-requisite of Blood
It is an irrevocable biblical fact that the shedding of blood is a pre-requisite for forgiveness. Consider the force of the dictum recorded in Hebrews 9:22, which says,
“Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”
To understand this mandatory requirement, one must have a mental grasp of the reasons for such a drastic criterion. The root problem is sin. According to Romans 6:23, the penalty for sin is death.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
According to the Scriptures, the only acceptable payment for sin and the only way to avoid death is blood. The reason for this precept was given through Moses In Leviticus 17:11 (NIV):
“For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.”
The NASU puts it this way:
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.”
Spiritually, without the shedding of blood, there is none of the following:
– Purification or cleansing;
– Atonement; and,
– Remission or forgiveness.
The Blood of Jesus – A Superior Substance
The blood of Jesus is the only blood that permanently makes atonement for sin, as seen in Hebrews 10:1-4 (NIV)
“The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming-not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.
If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.
But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins,
because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”
The very word atonement comes from the Hebrew word kaphar. One of its definitions is to cover (as with bitumen or pitch).
The plain truth is that the Old Testament sacrifices could not take away sins. The sins were not removed. They were simply covered and rolled ahead for one year. At the end of a year, an individual was not only guilty of the transgressions of that particular twelve months, but also of the accumulated sins for all the previous years.
The blood of Jesus is a superior substance. It doesn’t just cover sins. It removes, purges, and expunges them! Notice this truth in Hebrews 10:5-6; 10-12a; 14-22 (NLT):
“That is why Christ, when he came into the world, said, ‘You did not want animal sacrifices and grain offerings. But you have given me a body so that I may obey you.’
No, you were not pleased with animals burned on the altar or with other offerings for sin.”
“And what God wants is for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all time.
Under the old covenant, the priest stands before the altar day after day, offering sacrifices that can never take away sins.
But our High Priest offered himself to God as one sacrifice for sins, good for all time.”
“For by that one offering he perfected forever all those whom he is making holy.
And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so. First he says,
This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts so they will understand them, and I will write them on their minds so they will obey them.’
Then he adds, ‘I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.’
Now when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus.
This is the new, life-giving way that Christ has opened up for us through the sacred curtain, by means of his death for us.
And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s people,
Let us go right into the presence of God, with true hearts fully trusting him. For our evil consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.”
The blood of Jesus is indeed a superior substance. Through it we obtain marvelous mercy.
The Holy Scriptures’ valuation of the blood of Jesus is that it is precious blood. One of the denotations of the word precious is limited quantity.
An illustration of this definition is gold. It is considered a precious metal. This is, in part, because there is only a limited quantity available. In fact, it is estimated that if all the gold that has ever been mined were heaped in one pile, it would only be one-third as tall as the Washington Monument.
Jesus, as a human adult, had only some five quarts of blood. The limited quantity is one of the reasons His blood is precious. The good news is that limited quantity was sufficient as a remedy for sin because it was inherently and intrinsically pure.
His blood was not only pure, it also remains forever pure. It is the only detergent that can produce 1,000 percent cleansing.
All other detergents and cleansers break down in the time when brought into contact with uncleanness and contamination. The blood of Christ has flowed over many a filthy soul. Think of all the evil, the debauchery, and the wickedness that the Blood has washed away; yet, it remains as pure today as when it first shed on Calvary. The song-writer penned accurately, “The Blood will never lose its power.”
It was not just coincidence that the cross of Jesus had two arms. The Bible clearly teaches that those who are saved in the Old Testament looked forward to the saving work of Christ on the cross. Thos who are being saved today look to the same saving work by looking rearward to His cross.
Thus, one arm of Christ on the cross was outstretched to cover all the Old Testament believers all the way back to Adam. The other extended arm of Jesus reached forward to cover all New Testament believers. The one death of Jesus covered all Old and New Testament era sins.
A Stupendous Promise
In Hebrews 8:12, God promises:
“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”
When God forgives and remits, He promises to never again remember the offending transgressions.
Let’s compare and contrast this annihilation of our offenses with certain facets of the modern computer. The user of the computer can signal to delete data. A pop-up notice will usually inquire, “Are you sure you want to delete this file?” The user can then confirm the decision.
In comparison, on Calvary, Jesus signaled to delete our sins. It is up to you and me to confirm that decision in our personal lives. We do this through
conversion by obeying the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In contrast, with a computer, the deleted information can later be retrieved. This can be accomplished by using the undo button, or by visiting the recycle bin, or by bringing out a previously copied back-up disk, or by the genius of a computer expert.
Here’s great news. Calvary has no undo button, Jesus keeps no back-up disks, and Christians are encouraged not to develop a recycle bin. O, marvelous mercy!
Pleading the Blood of Jesus
It is not uncommon around Spirit-filled churches to hear believers speaking about “pleading the blood of Jesus.” I confess that for years I did not really understand the concept, though I saw obvious proof that, when used sincerely, it worked.
“I plead the blood of Jesus.” These are not some magical words. They are part and parcel of an important biblical principle. This plea refers back to the truth that each authentic believer has been purchased and redeemed by the blood of Jesus. The Hebrew word for plead is riyb. One of its definitions is to conduct legal proceedings.
Jesus is the rightful owner of every child of God and all of which he or she dedicates to the Lord. It is totally appropriate to plead the blood of Jesus over personal items such as these:
When genuine disciples plead the blood of Jesus in the face of demonic forces, it is a plea of legal consequence in the spirit world. It is a stark and jolting reminder to any and every imp of hell that the devil has no legal claim of ownership with regard to that follower of Jesus. Satan is an imposter.
By pleading the blood of Jesus, a child of God is demanding that the devil vacate the premises. Satan cannot legally (or spiritually) remain on property where Jesus holds the title deed. Satan is forced to respect the ownership of Christ, back off, and exit.
The blood of Jesus Christ is, quite literally, the “flag” that flies over territory that is owned by the Savior. It establishes an enforceable boundary line that satan has no choice but to respect. “Pleading the Blood” brings God into the controversy.
The Bible reports that this is the weapon that followers of Christ will use to triumph over the devil. Notice carefully this prescription in Revelation 12:10-11a:
“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb.”
An Unmatched Weapon
Many of the weapons of the Christian and the Church have been counterfeited by Satan or persons used by him. Consider the following list of opposing weapons:
– Holy Spirit vs. false spirits;
– Truth vs. lies;
– Prophets vs. false prophets; and,
– Messiah vs. Anti-Christ.
There is one weapon that satan has no counterfeit for, nor will he ever – the blood of Jesus Christ? You see, satan is a fallen angel. Angels have no blood. If satan did have blood, he would have to die to give it! He is not about to do that.
`The powerful blood of Jesus is a weapon without any counter-defense. Satan can’t defend against it. It is the Church’s and the Christian’s nuclear bomb! So, when the devil harasses you, “nuke” him. Drop a bomb on him – plead the blood of Jesus!