“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:12).
Our text verse contains the kernel truth of Christianity, that Christ, God the Son, shed His own blood on our behalf, and thereby “obtained eternal redemption for us.” In Old Testament times the high priest needed to make animal sacrifices continually for the sins of the people, but Christ only needed to do it “once,” fully satisfying God’s holy justice. A grand old hymn, seldom used these days, entitled, “No Blood, No Altar Now,” reflects this theme, and its verses can be used to remind us of it these next five days.
No blood, no altar now. The sacrifice is o’er!
No flame, no smoke ascends on high. The Lamb is slain no more;
But richer blood has flowed from nobler veins,
To purge the soul from guilt, and cleanse the reddest stains.
Since all of animal kind suffer under the effects of the curse, “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats [should] take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). A richer blood was needed. Thus we “were not redeemed with corruptible things, . . . But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Peter 1:18,19). As fully God and sinless man, He could pay sin’s penalty and “purge [our] conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Hebrews 9:14).
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).
The sacrifice is over-the penalty is paid. Reason dictates that we accept the forgiveness offered, and when we do, our guilt will be removed, our garments washed “white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). JDM