Message of Grace




The Blood of the Lamb

"And the blood of thy sacrifices shall be poured out upon the altar of the Lord thy God." Deuteronomy 12:27

One of the unchanging decrees of God's justice is that "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin" (Heb. 9:22). From the very beginning of man's fall into sin by the transgression of God's holy law, we have stood in need of an atonement (i.e., a reconciliation between us and the Holy God we have offended). We read in Leviticus 17:11; "it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul".

When the Lord gave the written law to Moses, He instituted the morning and evening sacrifices which were to be continually offered to Him for the sins of the people (Ex. 29:38-44). Then once every year the high priest went into the Holy of Holies (the special, innermost part of the tabernacle) with a blood offering for his own sins and the sins of the people (Heb. 9:1-8). We also find a reference to the lamb slain for redemption when the death angel passed over every house where the blood of that lamb was seen on the door posts and lintel and visited the houses of the Egyptians, where it was not seen, with the death of their first-born (Ex. 12:1-30). Thus the ordinance of the Passover was instituted as a remembrance of the Lord's words, "When I see the blood I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt" (Ex. 12:13).

The redemption of God's people through the blood of sacrifice is a continuing theme throughout the Word of God. Yet in all those sacrifices which were made by men through the ages, not one sin was ever remitted (forgiven). "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins" (Heb. 10:4). All of those ordinances and sacrificial lambs were but figures, types, and pictures of that Lamb, who was to be slain for sinners, whose blood could wash away sin.

The law's demand for blood is simply a requirement of the life of the sinner. Leviticus 17:11 says, "the life of the flesh is in the blood". The law not only demands the death of the flesh but the death of the soul as well. "The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezek. 18:4). Those lambs and bullocks which were sacrificed could not truly be the souls substitute, for they had no souls. Yet we read of Christ, that He made "His soul an offering for sin" (Isa. 53:10). On the cross, He cried, "My God, my God! why hast thou forsaken me", for at that moment His soul was separated from the Father and He endured the rightful reproach of a Holy God who cannot look upon sin. He who had no sin had become sin for us even to the death of His soul that He might redeem us to God.

Jesus Christ was the only truly acceptable sacrifice for sin for He took upon Himself the nature and flesh of men, yet was free from the curse of the law because He had no sin of His own. Therefore, when He died a sinner's death, He could and did take the place of guilty sinners and perfectly satisfied the law's demand for their eternal death. No lamb or bull could ever have an equal value with the souls of men, yet because the Lord Jesus Christ is the infinite God, the value of His death as the Son of God is sufficient to wash away the sins of all men.

So we see that; every time the morning sacrifice was offered, it pointed to Him, who in the very morning of creation, was the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8). Every time the high priest went into the Holy of Holies to make an atonement for himself and the people with the blood of sacrifice, it pointed to Him who "knew no sin" who would shed His blood that the angel of God's avenging wrath might pass over those houses where it is displayed.

My friend, I ask you; 'Is that blood your hope for eternal life?' 'Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?' Nothing else can avail to give you a place in the eternal kingdom of God but the blood of the "Just One". Nothing else is sufficient to cleanse you from the filthiness of your sin and heal the breach, between yourself and God, which your iniquity has opened. Christ alone is the remedy for us all. No sin is so black that His blood cannot cleanse it. No sin is so large that His grace cannot overcome it. And no sin has removed a man so far from God that His mercy cannot find him and bring him back. Christ died not for the good folks but for sinners, not for the righteous but for the ungodly. Come now to the throne of grace bowing the knee in repentance and pleading the blood and righteousness of Christ as your only hope for eternal life and that blood shall avail you.

No, not despairingly come I to Thee;

No, not distrustingly bend I the knee:

Sin hath gone over me,

Yet is this still my plea,

Jesus hath died.

Lord, I confess to Thee sadly my sin;

All I am tell I Thee, all I have been:

Purge Thou my sin away,

Wash Thou my soul this day,

Lord, make me clean.

Faithful and just art Thou, forgiving all;

Loving and kind art Thou when poor ones call:

Lord, let the cleansing blood,

Blood of the Lamb of God,

Pass o'er my soul.

Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)


This is a generation bent, as few have been, on reconciling the claims of religion with those of pleasure, and thus solving the problem of making the best of both worlds. Would that our eyes were really open to what is passing! To dissuade Christians from going to the theater would be very tame advice these days, when the theater with rapid strides is pushing itself into the church and home. To tell the disciple of Jesus to "love not the world, neither the things that are in the world," (1 Jn. 2:15) would seem very mild dissuasion, and almost unkind when the world has come to such friendly terms with the church that it willingly lends all its machinery of entertainment and art and amusement to make the Gospel "more attractive." Our power is in our separateness from the world, not in our affiliation with it.

A. J. Gordon

(taken from the Old Faith Contender)

Volume 2

Originally published: August 1978

Number 2