Part 7 of 9 – Bigger Than… Series
In Genesis 3, we find God making the first sacrifice. When Adam and Eve sinned, God sacrificed an animal to provide skins to cover their nakedness. Why did God plan to have blood as the solution for mankind’s woeful and condemned condition? Could God have come up with some other type of solution? The answer must be no; the only solution was a blood sacrifice. In the New Testament we’re told of the blood of Jesus, the last sacrifice offered by God to cover the nakedness of our sin.
Hebrews 9:22 (ESV) Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
Here’s why. When Adam and Eve sinned the judgment was that their life would be taken from them. Once they sinned they were instantly dead. Yes, it would take years before they physically died, but spiritually they were instantly cut off from a right relationship with God. They died the moment they sinned. This is an important point to meditate on. Sin took our life!
Romans 6:23 (ESV) For the wages of sin is death.
Sin is so awful and so defiant toward a holy God that the only right and just action He could take was to give the guilty sinner death! How can a person deserving of death ever gain life? The only possible solution is that someone would need to give their life in the place of the guilty sinner. Someone would need to pay the judgment of death on behalf of the condemned sinner. But who would qualify? A sinner cannot pay with his life for the sin of another sinner; he must receive the death penalty for his own sin. The only person who would qualify to give His life on behalf of sinners was the perfect Son of God.
Leviticus 17:11 (ESV) For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.
Jesus’ Blood is not only the symbol of life, it is life; it is what keeps a person alive. Blood is messy. Blood is respected and feared. Blood is not something that people take lightly. God wanted us to understand the severity and gravity of our sin and the cost of what it would take to redeem us (buy us back) from our sinful state. He wanted us to know that sin’s nature is so depraved that the only way to bring us back to a place of life was for Christ to suffer the most bloody, the most excruciating, the most graphic death we could think of so that we never lose sight of the wonder of the cross. Blood was in the mind of God as the perfect way to display the supreme cost and infinite value of our salvation.
Our greatest need is to realize that we are a sinner in rebellion against God
Romans 6:6 (ESV) We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
We, you and I, are Barabbas in the crucifixion story; we stood guilty before God and deserving of death. Barabbas stood under the righteous condemnation of the law. Barabbas knew the One who was to take his cross and take his place was innocent. Barabbas knew that Jesus Christ was, for him, a true substitute. Barabbas knew that he had done nothing to merit going free while another took his place. Barabbas knew Christ’s death was perfect. Barabbas and Jesus changed places. The murders, curses, disgrace and mortal agony were transferred from him to the righteousness of Jesus. The innocence, safety and wellbeing of the immaculate Nazarene became the sin of all mankind.
Matthew 27:15-16 (ESV) Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. 16 And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.
Salvation is by grace through faith
Colossians 2:13-14 (ESV) And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
Jesus bore the penalty of sin and dying in our place. God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins having canceled the charge of our indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; He has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. God will never see believers in Christ as deserving the death penalty because our crimes have already been punished in the physical body of Jesus. In order for us to be saved, Jesus had to take our place and die for sin. He had to lay down His life as a sacrifice, because without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. His sacrifice was perfect in holiness, in worth and in power to save.
– contributed by Pastor Micheal Longfellow