The Blood of the Lamb
This blog is based on the outline of a sermon preached by Jimmy Chrisman at Liberty Avenue Baptist Church, Berea, KY, on October 31, 1982; and edited on October 23, 2020 for this blog by J. David Chrisman.
Revelation 1:5-6: and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
“And washed us from our sins in His own blood” (v5) – the verb being used is in the past tense. We do not work for cleansing. We are not good for it. We do no penance for it. It is something we receive by faith from the gracious hands of our great God. He washed us in that mighty, atoning act in the day and in the hour of His cross. And all who receive by faith that atoning grace and favor are cleansed and washed and forgiven and saved.
This phrase can also mean that He has “freed us from our sins in His own blood.” That is, He has loosed us from our sins. All of us are bowed down by the weight of our iniquities. In Romans 7:24, the Apostle Paul cries out, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” All of the philosophies of the ancients are sterile and barren. All of the ancient helps and comforts are as dust and ashes until Jesus frees us from our sins in His own blood.
The theme of the Bible is the redeeming blood of Christ. From Genesis to Revelation, it is seen as a scarlet thread. Cut out the blood and what do you have? A Bible without a heart, a Gospel without saving power, and a message that is hopeless. The Bible magnifies the blood. Peter called it “precious blood” (1Peter 1:18-19: knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot).
The theme of every Christian should be the blood. The blood of Christ is the life of the Christian faith. Remove the blood from a body and all you have left is a corpse. Remove the blood shed at Calvary from Christianity and you have a lifeless creed instead of a living faith.
In “Redeemed,” Fanny Crosby wrote, “Redeemed – how I love to proclaim it! Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Redeemed through His infinite mercy – His child and forever I am!”
In “There Is A Fountain,” William Cowper wrote, “There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins. And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.”
In “There Is Power in the Blood,” Lewis E. Jones wrote, “There is power, power, wonder-working power in the blood of the Lamb. There is power, power, wonder-working power in the precious blood of the Lamb.”
The Blood in the Old Testament
When Adam and Eve sinned, God took from them their fig leaf aprons, typical of mankind’s efforts to cover sin, and placed upon them clothing of animal hides – coverings that could only be obtained by the shedding of blood (Genesis 3:21).
When Cain and Abel offered up sacrifices to God, Cain offered a sacrifice “of the fruit of the ground” (Genesis 4:3) – typical of mankind’s attempt to please God by his own religion; but Abel offered to God “the firstborn of his flock and their fat” (Genesis 4:4; Hebrews 11:4).
At the first Passover, recorded in Exodus 12, shed blood was the medium between God and man.
Offerings and sacrifices of the Old Testament foretold the death of Christ and His shed blood (Leviticus 16).
Animals used for offerings and sacrifices in the Old Testament, pointing forward to Christ, were to be without spot and without blemish (Exodus 12:5).
The Blood in the New Testament
When John the Baptist saw Jesus, he described Him as “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29)
In Matthew 26:28, Jesus noted that “the cup” represents “My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sin” (Matthew 26:28; Luke 22:20)
Acts 20:28 tells us that the church is “purchased with His own blood”
Romans 3:25 speaks of the “propitiation through faith in His blood”
Romans 5:9 tells us that we are “justified by His blood”
Ephesians 1:7 tells us that we have “redemption through His blood”
Ephesians 2:13 teaches “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”
Revelation 1:5 teaches that He “washed us from our sins in His own blood.”
The Importance of the Blood
How important is the blood of Christ? It is very important because it is the basis of God’s covenant with you and me.
Hebrews 13:20-21: Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete [perfect] in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
This is why we observe The Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:26-28): And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
The blood is important also because it is the basis of our relationship with God (Hebrews 9:18-20: Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept [command] to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.”
The blood is important because it is the basis of our fellowship with one another (1Corinthians 10:16-17: The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.
The blood is important because it is necessary for atonement (Leviticus 17:11 – For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul). And 1John 1:7 tells us that “the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” Apart from and without the blood of Jesus, there is no redemption, there is no atonement, there is no forgiveness, and there is no cleansing. It is His blood that is precious! It is His blood that satisfies an angry God – and no other blood and no other sacrifice will satisfy.
The blood is important because it is the basis of our condemnation (Hebrews 10:26-29 – For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?) – Your attitude toward the blood of Jesus Christ will determine your relationship to God.
It is important to note that the blood, to Paul and Peter, vividly symbolized Christ’s violent death on the cross as a means of restoring harmony between sinful man and the holy God. To them, the blood assured them of their redemption. The important thing to remember about the blood is that it symbolized the death of Jesus which effectively removes the guilt of sin. Thus, the blood stands for more that just the physical suffering and death of Christ; but it also speaks of the mental and spiritual suffering He went through for us.
The Accomplishments of the Blood
The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ makes us close to God. Ephesians 2:13-16 instructs us in this matter: “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.” Men are always trying to accomplish in their own strength what the blood of Christ has already accomplished.
The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ accomplishes peace between us and God (Romans 5:1-2: Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God).
Peace with God comes because Jesus shed His blood on Calvary. We can have peace with God, but not the peace of God. For the peace of God comes to the believer because he is walking in the light and resting on the Word.
The blood of the Lord Jesus purges sinners. Hebrews 9:13-14 – For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ cleanses believers (1John 1:7-9 – But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness). It is a continual application. The blood keeps on cleansing the believer from sin.
The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ has redeemed us (1Peter 1:18-19 – knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible [perishable] things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot). “Redeemed” here means “to set at liberty.”
The blood of Christ will be the theme of all the ages. Nothing takes its place in God’s plan and nothing should take its place in our thinking. We should ever hold it up before a lost and dying world. We should ever let its cleansing flow be applied to our own hearts. We should ever tell the praises of God because if it. It is through the blood that there will be a new song in Heaven (Revelation 5:9).
The blood cleanses. The blood overcomes. The blood sanctifies. The blood purges the guilty conscience. The blood redeems. It is sufficient for all time and for all eternity.
To the unsaved, I want to say to you that the blood can avail for you! If sin is letting its condemnation weigh you down and you strain beneath the heavy load of guilt and shame, there is freedom through the blood of Christ. Come to Him and accept His salvation through that blood.
Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power. Till all the ransomed church of God be saved to sin no more.
There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins; and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day. And there may I, though vile as he, wash all my sins away.
(lyrics from There is a Fountain Filled with Blood by William Cowper)
© 1982 by Jimmy Chrisman
© 2020 by J. David Chrisman
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.