Jesus' Precious Blood
The recipients of the Epistle we call Hebrews were in spiritual jeopardy. Their feeble condition is described in such language as, "Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet " (Heb. 12: 12, 13). The danger they were facing was a return to the old Covenant in an attempt to obtain justification. The writer warns them, "But now hath he (Jesus, dm.) obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises" (Heb. 8: 6). The covenant of Christ was the "better covenant" because it was established upon "better promises." The writer proceeds to remind them of Jeremiah's prophecy that was fulfilled in the covenant of Christ (Heb. 8: 8-12, cp Jere. 31: 31-34). The Old Covenant to which they were contemplating a return had been dedicated by blood, but so had the New Covenant (Heb. 9: 19 ff.). The animal blood of the Old Order required repetition because it was imperfect (Heb.10: 1-4). However, Jesus' blood was so perfect that a one time offering was sufficient for all times, even to the redemption of those under the first covenant (Heb. 9: 15, 24-28). With this introduction in mind, please consider Peter's reference to Christ and his blood:
"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers: but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (I Pet. 1: 18, 19).
The Greek word translated "precious" is timios. Timios means costly or dear (Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, by W. E. Vines). Commentator Matthew Henry comments thus on "precious blood of Christ:"
"The blood of Jesus Christ is the only price of mans redemption. The redemption of man is real, not metaphorical. We are bought with a price, and the price is equal to the purchase, for it is the precious blood of Christ; it is the blood of an innocent person, a lamb without blemish and without spot, whom the paschal lamb represented, and of an infinite person, being the Son of God, and therefore it is called the blood of God, Acts 20:28" (Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary).
Let us now turn our attention to briefly considering some of the accomplishments of the blood of Christ.
One is made nigh unto God by the blood of Christ. Paul wrote to the Ephesians as follows: "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." The contextual reference is to the Gentiles. The Law of Moses had been a religion especially designed for the Jewish race (Deut. 5: 1-3). However, Jesus' blood made it possible for the Gentile to enter covenant relationship with God. All sinners can be "made nigh" (brought close) by Christ's precious blood.
Through Jesus' blood, perfect peace is given. Paul said that Jesus "made peace through the blood of His cross" (Col. 1: 20). This peace is so profound and complete that it "passeth all understanding" (Phili. 4: 7). Not only can Jesus' blood provide racial harmony (context of Colossians 1: 20), but also can cause man to be at peace with his God and with himself.
Redemption is obtained through the shedding of Christ's blood. The writer sought to encourage the Hebrews when he wrote, "by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us" (Heb. 9: 12). This redemption is one reason Jesus' blood is so dear and costly (I Pet. 1: 18, 19).
Through Christ's precious blood, we are reconciled to God. Paul wrote thus to the Christians at Colosse: "And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself " (Col. 1: 20). Man is estranged from God because of man's sins (Isa. 59: 1, 2). Only the blood of Christ can create friendship between man and God (2 Cor. 5: 14-21).
The blood of Jesus makes our sanctification unto God possible. Hear the Hebrew writer: "they counted the blood of the covenant," the writer states in showing the consequences of falling away from Christ, "wherewith they were sanctified, an unholy thing " (Heb. 10: 29). "Sanctification" means a separation unto God from evil things. The word of God is also said to sanctify (Jn. 17: 17). However, without Jesus' shed blood, sanctification would not be possible.
Through Jesus' blood, man is justified before God. The Roman Epistle is a great Epistle pertaining to justification. Justification or being pronounced right is not a result of the Law of Moses (Rom. 11: 6). Law only cannot justify man. This is why grace was made possible by God (Tit. 2: 11-14). Concerning justification, Paul exclaimed: "Much more them, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him" (Rom. 5: 9).
As a result of Jesus' blood, man can have forgiveness. Paul wrote to the Ephesians, "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" (Eph. 1: 7). Christians are a forgiven people (I Jn. 2: 12). When God forgives, he forgets (Acts 3: 19).
After having seen that Jesus' blood can make one nigh unto God, provide perfect peace, redemption, reconciliation, sanctification, justification, and forgiveness, we would be remiss not to state how one accesses the precious blood of Christ. In the first place, it is obvious Jesus' blood must be accessed; if not, all would unconditionally be saved (Matt. 7: 13, 14). It is also evident that all may be saved who desire to be; Calvinism to the contrary notwithstanding (Jn. 3: 16). As seen, the blood of Jesus is the means of "forgiveness of sins." Jesus said, "For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matt. 26: 28). The expression "for the remission of sins" is the key to establishing how one obtains forgiveness. Notice Peter's command, "Then Peter said unto them Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2: 38, cp. 22: 16). The Christian obtains forgiveness by confessing his sins unto God (I Jn. 1: 7 ff.).
In closing, it is through Christ's precious blood that we have access to God and can enjoy all the spiritual blessings God has in store for us. However, we must comply with God's teaching in order to enjoy Jesus' shed blood.