"For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matthew 26:28).
These words are quickly recognized as the words of Christ at the last supper with His disciples, instituting what we now know as "the Lord's supper" (I Corinthians 11:20). There He said: ". . . this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me" (I Corinthians 11:25). The next verse after our text makes it clear that "the cup" did not actually contain His blood, but the "fruit of the vine" (v.29) symbolizing His shed blood.
The blood which it represented, of course, was very real and very vital for the remission of our sins, for "without shedding of blood is no remission" (Hebrews 9:22).
The Greek word for "remission" (aphesis) is the same as for "forgiveness," and we desperately need to have our sins forgiven, for "all have sinned," and "the soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Romans 3:23, Ezekiel 18:4). In fact, "There is none righteous, no, not one" (Romans 3:10).
But thanks be to the Lord Jesus Christ, "In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace" (Ephesians 1:7). We do not deserve to be forgiven, and we can never manage to work off the penalty of our sins by any offsetting works of righteousness, "for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified" (Galatians 2:16). Instead, we are "justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:24).
Now the Lord says "that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations" (Luke 24:47).
The wonderful message that we are to preach is simply that "whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins" (Acts 10:43). HMM