Friday, 11 January 2019
And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. Hebrews 9:22
The idea is better expressed by the NAS, which says, “And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
There are exceptions where purification takes place apart from blood, but the overall idea of purification is that things “are purified with blood.” This is a general statement covering what has been said in the previous verses. The blood purifies because the blood testifies to the death of the covenant-victim. In such a case, that death must take place in order to ratify the covenant. Because of this, and because sin is dealt with through the giving of such a covenant, “without shedding of blood there is no remission.”
With this absolutely stated, it should be reexplained that though it is true that there is no remission without the shedding of blood, it is also true that not all shed blood can atone for sin. Rather, the blood shed under the Old Covenant (except for Christ’s fulfillment of it) merely anticipated Christ. Hebrews 10:4 will explicitly state that the blood of the animals sacrificed for sin could not take away that sin. Thus, it is an ineffectual, anticipatory, and merely typical system of sacrifices.
Further, no other shed human blood can atone for sins. This is because of the stain of original sin in man. All have sinned and, therefore, it is impossible that a sin-filled sacrifice could atone for the sins of another. This is true even with supposedly innocent babies which were sacrificed on altars throughout Israel’s history (based on the practices of surrounding nations). God rejected those sacrifices because original sin existed in them already. It was inherited from their first father, Adam. If these babies did not have sin, then they would have resurrected after being sacrificed, because “the wages of sin is death.”
But only Christ resurrected. This proves that only Christ’s blood can truly remit sins. To sacrifice another for sin, such as a baby, a young virgin, one’s own sibling, and etc, is simply committing an act of murder. They already had sin, they died in sin, and there was no atonement for the one who sacrificed that person in hopes of being purified from sin.
Life application: There are certain verses in the Bible that one would do well to remember because they carry key doctrine. When using such verses while discussing the gospel, salvation, sin, atonement, substitution, and many other major points, they will shed light on the subject matter. Hebrews 9:22 is one such verse. Many churches will no longer speak about the blood atonement mentioned in the Bible. But God’s word proclaims the necessity of shedding blood to atone for sin and – as clearly as could ever be stated – this verse avers “without shedding of blood there is no remission.” It is not those things cherished by many in today’s world which save. The bald guy on TV is completely wrong when he jangles a handful of gold and says, “This is the sound of security; this is the sound of gold.” When the gold is gone, those who trusted in it will be condemned for their misplaced trust. Rather, it is only through the precious blood of Christ that atonement for sin can be made. Don’t miss this key point. When God looks at a faithful believer, He sees the death of His Son and His shed blood – the Just for the unjust. Praise God! As is stated in Exodus, so the same truth carries through in us today, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you…”
Lord God, how can it be that You would send Jesus to the cross in our place? We have failed you since birth, and each day we continue to fall short of Your glory. And yet, You opened Your heart to us, giving us the precious blood of Christ as our atonement. Thank You for having covered us with His perfect righteousness. Glory belongs to You alone! Amen.