Cross & Crown

Day 1 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

The Precious Blood of Jesus


When was the last time you heard a sermon or sang a song about the blood of Jesus? Some churches today find the concept antiquated or even gruesome. Songs that mention “the blood” have even been removed from hymnbooks. Yet without it, there’s no hope of a relationship with God, no assurance of salvation, and no confidence that our prayers are heard.


Scripture never shies away from the mention of blood. In fact, it runs like a red thread from Genesis to Revelation. If you eliminate the references to blood from the Bible, all that remains is a book of history and literature. Anything God considers this important should never be disregarded. 


Leviticus 17:11 tells us that God gave blood to make atonement because the “life of the flesh” is in it. The word “atonement,” as it is used in the Old Testament, means “covering.” Through the sacrificial system of worship established by the Lord, the sins of mankind were covered by the blood of innocent animals.


The seriousness of sin is revealed by the monumental cost of atonement—the penalty is death; and it must be paid by either the guilty one or an acceptable substitute. To cover transgressions, the animals offered had to be unblemished and perfect. Every sacrifice on the altar was a fulfillment of the death penalty required by God’s law.


The sacrificial system taught people that the Lord is holy, transgressions must be punished, and atonement for sin takes place only through the shedding of blood. This arrangement was a foreshadowing of what was to come. Because animal sacrifices can only cover sin, an “ultimate lamb” was needed to remove all of man’s iniquity.


One day as John the Baptist stood by the Jordan River, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” walked onto the scene of human history (John 1:29). The perfect sacrifice for sins had arrived. He was “foreknown before the foundation of the world” and came to earth to fulfill the Lord’s awesome plan of redemption by shedding His precious blood (1 Peter 1:18-20).


Jesus wasn’t just a man; He was the Son of God clothed in human flesh. His birth was supernatural because he was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin. Since no sin was transferred to Him through an earthly father, Jesus was the perfect, spotless Lamb of God—His was the only flawless life and, therefore, the only suitable sacrifice for the guilt of all mankind.