Excerpt from Living in the Spirit, pages 27-31
This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. Romans 3:22-25
Simply and scripturally, Jesus died in our place. We’ve already established that we’re all sinners, unfit for any mercy from our creator. As unrepentant sinners we’re also unfit to even seek forgiveness. But that same creator set in motion the means of our justification, our sanctification and our glorification before we drew our first breath.
Starting in Genesis, nearly every holy moment of the Old Testament is sealed with blood. Why blood? Man had already determined that life was bound to the blood. Men and animals survived many types of wounds, but died quickly when bled out of even a minor seeming cut. God already knew that he planned to come down as the ultimate sacrifice. So he established blood as a specific symbol.
Blood is first mentioned in Genesis 4:10-11, “The Lord said [to Cain], “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.”
Immediately we see that blood had significance beyond its life-sustaining function. Blood is a symbol for life itself and for guilt and innocence.
A hundred times in the Old and New Testaments, blood is connected with atonement, and note that it is always something for God, not for man.
So, the value of Jesus’ blood is not what we estimate it to be, it’s what God knows it to be: the Paschal Lamb—sinless, without spot or blemish. “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
(All Bible references are from the Holy Bible New International Version ® NIV ® Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved.)