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“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.”
The verse above shows the importance of the blood to God and it is emphasised over and over again in the Old Testament sacrificial system. On at least twenty occasions, the command is given that the blood of the sacrificed animal must be sprinkled on the altar and this must have been done hundreds of thousands of times throughout the centuries.
These sacrifices were all pointing forward to sinless Lamb of God who had to shed His blood in order for sins to be taken away. Indeed, we are told in Hebrews 10:4, “It is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.” They could only cover sins, (the Old Testament word is ‘atonement’ meaning ‘covering’), but the Lord’s blood meant that sins could be taken away, (John 1:29), to be remembered no more, (Hebrews 10:17).
In some way, on that central day in the plans of God, the Lord’s blood would need to be shed. No doubt that was partially true when He was scourged, when the crown of thorns was placed on His head and when the nails were driven through His hands and feet, but John gives us a vital part of the story as far as this particular truth is concerned.
As the day wore on, an unknown Roman soldier wanted to hasten the proceedings along. To speed up the death of the victims, he broke the legs of the two crucified with Jesus that day. Looking at the figure of Immanuel, he saw that He was already dead, but he thought he would make sure. Taking his spear, he plunged it into the side of dead body of our Saviour.
Out of that wound flowed the blood of the sinless Sacrifice, through which the sins of all believers of every age can be washed clean. The soldier had no idea that he was taking part in the eternal plan of God conceived before the world came into being, but that was the case. As one preacher expressed it, “The blood of all the thousands of animals who were sacrificed in the Old Testament could never wash away sin but one drop of the blood shed on Calvary was of sufficient value to God to cleanse the sins of millions.”
No wonder Peter speaks about “THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST” in 1 Peter 1:19. It couldn’t be more precious to those of us who know the Lord Jesus as our Saviour, for through that blood we have come into all the blessings of God both in this life and the next. Let us hold fast to the truth of 1 John 1:7, “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from ALL sin.” There will be NO charge laid against us on the day of judgement because of the blood shed on that day! Praise God!