THE CROSS OF CHRIST, PART 3

From “The Passion of the Christ”

THE BLOOD OF HIS CROSS

God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating.

We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.

He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross. (Colossians 1:13—20, JBP)

These are among the most powerful verses in the Bible concerning the Cross of Christ, but it is verse 20 that drives home the reality that God’s plan for man all hinged, not so much on the death of Christ, but of His shed blood.

1. What’s the big deal about Christ’s blood?

This is not an uncommon question asked by modern Christians. We are not used to talking about blood, and we are especially not used to thinking about bleeding out as being a good thing. So, at the very beginning of this message, we must distinguish the blood of Christ which was shed on the Cross from the blood shed on every other cross. It is true that a lot of good men and women have been martyred for their faith; the blood of uncounted thousands of Christians has been shed over the centuries, all over the world, for the cause of Christ. However, no amount of blood shed by the martyrs can atone for a single sin in God’s sight. We sing hymns about that “old rugged cross,” but our focus shouldn’t be on the Cross as much as it should be on the blood that stains it. The Son of God was nailed to His Cross, and as He hung there in His complete human holiness and His divine dignity, glory, and honor, He allowed His precious blood to pour out from His Body for the sake of those who crucified Him.

The Bible declares that “the life is in the blood,” therefore we know that when Jesus Christ allowed His Blood to flow out of His Body, He was allowing His life—His very soul—to leave His person so as to touch others. The shedding of His blood was the pouring out of God’s infinite wealth of holiness and purity, of love and compassion for sinful man.

These words are so easily said but they are very difficult to grasp with our finite minds. The Son of God gave Himself for us. We struggle to understand the eternal implications of that statement, realizing that only God is able to fully understand and appreciate the value of Christ’s Blood. All we can do is accept His sacrifice and rejoice.

2. What did Christ’s blood do for me?

The short answer to that is that Christ’s blood saved you. But what does that really mean? Theologically speaking, it goes like this:

The Blood of Christ is the foundation upon which God is able to righteously justify you, the ungodly.

Or, as we might put  it in everyday language, when Christ’s Blood flowed, so did God’s saving mercy and grace flow, having the potential to touch and save every single human being.

Looking a little closer, we may notice precisely what the Blood of Christ did for you:

Propitiation

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)

This idea of “propitiation” and “atonement” goes back to the early chapters of Genesis, when God covered the nakedness of Adam and Eve with the skins of slaughtered animals. Now, with the death of His Son, there is a suitable covering for every sinner who names Christ as Savior. This covering, which is available to every child of Adam, is made possible by the shed Blood of Christ. Proverbs 28:13 teaches us that one who “covers his own sins does not prosper.” Indeed, no man-made covering can hide your sins from God! There’s not a single a sinner who is able to “clean up his act,” so as to make himself acceptable to God. Only God’s sacrifice in Christ can do this.

Redemption

The shed Blood of Jesus Christ is not only a covering for sin, bit it is a ransom paid for the sinner. 1 Peter 1:18—

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

And Paul told Titus this:

…who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:14)

Redemption is a key doctrine of the Christian Church, because without it, there would be no Church! Read carefully this powerful verse:

Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. (Acts 20:28)

The Church exists because of the Blood of Jesus Christ! And for the individual member of the Church, there is this eye-opener:

You have been bought, and at what a price! Therefore bring glory to God both in your body and your spirit, for they both belong to him. (1 Corinthians 6:20, JBP)

You do not belong to yourself! The Christian belongs to the One purchased him: God the Father, with the Blood of Jesus Christ. Sin is not just a debt, it is also a crime against God, for which Christ was made a curse. His Blood, then, not only paid the debt of sin but it eliminated it to redeem the sinner from sin. The price was Himself.

Jesus didn’t need to do that; Jesus was not entangled by sin in any way. He owed sin nothing. Jesus did what He did for you, the one unable to do it for himself. You have been given a chance at complete freedom from sin! The price has been paid!

Forgiveness

The Blood of Christ not only covered your sin and purchased your freedom from sin, but it also provides forgiveness of sins!

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace… (Ephesians 1:7)

Jesus Christ came to earth—He was manifested in the flesh—for the purpose of taking away our sins. He bore our sins in His Body on the Cross and suffered the fate of all sinners to secure the forgiveness of YOUR sins. He had none Himself; He took care of yours. We are told that “the wages of sin is death” and Jesus suffered a death reserved for the sinner so that the sinner could avoid it. It only makes sense that if our sins are forgiven and the price paid, then sin does NOT own us any more. Sin has absolutely NO claim on the believer because the “sin debt” was paid off by Jesus and we stand completely forgiven.

How great is this forgiveness? How free is this forgiveness? Completely, because is it is based on the the riches of God’s grace. And because those riches never end, neither does His grace.

Cleansing

Our sins are covered, our ransom paid, we are forgiven and we are cleansed by the Blood of Jesus Christ. So great and unlimited is the power of that Blood, even the defilement caused by sin is taken care of.

In the Old Testament, we read of a very elaborate sacrificial system that was in place that served to foreshadow the Blood of Christ. The Jewish sacrificial system was complicated, it was burdensome, it meant the terrible deaths of unnumbered bulls, goats, and birds, yet it was completely ineffective. But it did show how impossible it is for any sacrifice short of God’s Son to cleanse the sinner from the stench of his sin.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)

While we live in the light of God’s presence, the always effective Blood of Christ keeps purging away the slightest taints of sin that would mar our fellowship with other believers.

Peace

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation… (Colossians 1:21—22)

This is a very special peace; it is not peace we make with God, but rather it is a God-made peace. The eternal struggle between sinful man and his holy God finally came to an end on the Cross of Christ. With our sins covered, atonement made, forgiveness secured, and the stains of sin washed away, God has made it possible for us to be at peace with Him.

As the Bible declares, “He is our peace!” This is peace that is real; it is not an enforced peace, or a “do as I say” peace. The Cross of Christ is the manifestation of God’s “peace plan” for the human race.

Nearness

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13)

It’s hard for us to realize how awful sin is. It is not only bad behavior or an “uncleanness” that makes us unfit to be in God’s presences, but sin is also outright rebellion against God, and this rebellion literally “pushes” people away from Him. But, thanks to the Cross of Christ, His shed Blood actually reverses that outward momentum away from God. It’s the love of sin that repels a person away from God, but it is love for Jesus Christ that draws him closer. How can a right-thinking human being NOT love the Man who literally saved his soul? To have fellowship with the Son of God is to be close to God, but to be in fellowship with sin is to be drawn closer to death.

This could well be the most overlooked and under-appreciated result of the Cross of Christ. We, as believers, are so used to the presence of God in our lives that we forget what life was like before we were brought near to Him! What a precious thing nearness to God is.

Liberty

Liberty is something so many people are looking for, but true liberty is only available to the Christian through the Blood of Jesus Christ. True liberty isn’t what most people think it is:

Once sins are taken care of for good, there’s no longer any need to offer sacrifices for them. So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body. (Hebrews 10:18—21)

True liberty has nothing to do with the freedom to do and act as you please, rather, it is the liberty to enter into God’s holy presence. This is the greatest privilege afforded a human being—to enter into the most Holy Place and stand in the presence of Almighty God. This liberty of access is the greatest result of Christ’s shed Blood, for by the Blood of Jesus the guilt of our sin has been removed and the pollution of sin cleansed from the soul, making us fit for God’s presence.

In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. (Ephesians 3:12)

Have you taken full advantage of the liberty you have in Christ? Or are you still living as though were a slave? Learn to live in the liberty procured for you by Christ. Remember that those who confidently approach God also confidently work for Him.

You have been set free. Live like it.

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1 Response to “THE CROSS OF CHRIST, PART 3”


  1. 1 Joseph Iwaye June 19, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    This is excellent. What the blood of Jesus did for us cannot be overemphasized – it cleanses, delivers,and bring us closer to God.

    Thank you Jesus for allowing your blood to be shed on the cross. Thank you for saving me.


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