“In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22 NLT)
When we’re speaking to someone about the Lord, we don’t always focus our conversation on His shed blood, but implicit in every person’s forgiveness is the sacrifice of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). It doesn’t matter who it is or whether or not they have a religious frame of reference, no one, Jew or Gentile, finds forgiveness of sin apart from Jesus. No Jesus = no forgiveness.
A dear Christian brother of mine was speaking with a friend of his who is Jewish. His friend was resistant to speaking with him about Jesus, believing His being a Jew was all that He needed to have forgiveness of sin and to go to heaven. So, my friend reminded him that according to the law of Moses, apart from the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. Then he asked him, “What blood has been shed for your sin?” That’s a fair question for anyone. Why?
Jesus said, in Matthew 26:27-28: “And He took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them (the disciples) and said, ‘Each of you drink from it, for this is My blood, which confirms the covenant between God and His people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.’”
If the blood of Jesus is the only payment for the sin of mankind, how can anyone find forgiveness of their sin and have a place in heaven without Jesus? They can’t! Isn’t that very narrow to think that Jesus is the only way to heaven?
Actually, it’s very generous. You see, before Jesus there was no way to be forgiven except through the sacrifice of animals. But it didn’t last. It was like putting a Band-Aid on cancer. The sacrifices had to be made over and over and over again. Hebrews 10:10 says: “For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.”
Imagine you’re hiking in a mountain area where you’ve never been before. It’s a beautiful day and you’re enjoying being in nature. Alone in the grandeur and beauty, then suddenly you take a step, but rather than solid ground, the path gives way, and you find yourself falling. You’re bouncing and rolling until you finally come to a stop. When you awaken it’s so dark you can’t see your hand in front of your face. Your leg is broken and there’s blood coming from your head. What provisions you had were lost in the fall. You’re hopelessly trapped and unable to find a way out without assistance.
In your desperation and despair, you see a light. You don’t know exactly where it’s coming from or who it might be, but all you can think to do is scream as loudly as you can and hope whoever it is hears you. Miraculously, they do hear you and with much effort, they lower themselves to where you are. The young man explains that there’s only one way out and it’s going to be painful.
But rather than exclaiming with gratitude your appreciation for him making his way to you and offering to get you out, you say: “Whoa, I don’t like the sounds of that. ‘Painful?’ And only ‘one way out?’ I think I’ll pass and just wait for someone else to find me. Surely, there’s got to be another, less painful way.”
As absurd as that sounds, that’s essentially what people are saying to Jesus every day. Jesus said in John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.” How was that one way made possible? Through the shedding of His priceless blood! The miracle is that there IS now a way where before no way existed.
Let’s praise the Lord for sacrificing His blood on our behalf and share that Good News with anyone who will listen.
Blessings, Ed 😊