The Gospel of the Blood
“For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.”
This verse is so very important.. I saw the following report in a newspaper on Friday, January 28. There was a member of the Jehova’s Witnesses named Wol-Sun Park, whose twelve year old daughter, Kyung-Suk Kim lay in danger of dying of hepatitis. She had been close to death for ten days, after having discharged blood. Despite this critical condition, the mother refused to allow the daughter to have blood transfusion, based upon the Jehova’s Witnesses erroneous religious doctrine of the blood. Finally, the beautiful young girl died.
I was extremely shocked upon reading this report, and, as a pastor, could not let it pass in silence. I am therefore going to preach a sermon entitled “The Gospel of The Blood.”
The doctrine of the blood as mentioned in the Bible is for the purpose of saving one’s soul and spirit, and bringing eternal life to man. However, the erroneous doctrine applied by the mother resulted in the death of a person.
The river of blood flows throughout the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. The constant teaching is that the blood atones for your sins, because it represents life, whereas the wages of sin is death.
The wages of sin is death. Death means separation. Death can be regarded as the separation of one’s soul and spirit from his body – that is, it can be regarded as the separation from God, the origin of life.
Blood is the life. Because blood is the representative of life, it alone can revoke death and wash away sin. Through the blood of atonement, every person already separated from God and destined for eternal punishment, will again be united with God, and receive eternal life.
Leviticus 17:11, tells us, “The life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.” The Bible clearly says, “The life is in the blood, the blood makes atonement for one’s life.”
Sin is death, while blood is life. God has therefore told us that only the blood can atone for your sins.
Let’s look at an overview of the atonement for sin throughout history.
1. Historical Overview of Atonement for Sin
Around A.D. 1300 in Mexico, an epidemic disease brought calamity to the people, who believed it was the wrath of god called down upon them for their sins, and offered sacrifices. They chose an innocent handsome youth, a virgin, and granted him a last wish. They then stripped him and painted his body colorfully in red, black, blue and white tones. The officiating high priest then presented him to the congregation which transferred their sins to him, while shouting, “Take my sins, take my sins.” With all watching, the youth was stretched upon the high pyramidal altar and stabbed directly in the heart, with a sword, shedding great amounts of blood. Through this sacrifice, the wrath of god was appeased.
In the then cultural center of the world, Athens, a terrible disease in the city was seen as God’s wrath for the Athenian’s sins, and sacrifices were offered accordingly. A poor old man was bought and led before the congregation, which transferred their sins to him, and then stoned him to death, so that his blood ran freely. The Athenians believed that this sacrifice appeased the wrath of god and brought them forgiveness for their sins.
In Saxony, in what we now call Europe, animal blood was offered as sacrifice for sin. Later, the blood of human sacrifices was offered - captives taken during the Persian War.
In ancient Thrace, there is a record of blood sacrifices intended to cleanse the city of sin.
Ancient Egypt records human sacrifices on New Year’s day, when three men were pierced in the heart.
The Scythians, who once roamed the continent of Euraisa, stabbed their victims in the heart, catching their blood in bottles to be offered as a sacrifice to appease the wrath of god.
In Dahomey, African tribes offered the blood of hens, ducks and cows at the palace every year. Later they offered the shed blood of prisoners taken during wars.
Even in our own country, we can see this custom practiced. Exorcists will dance for a time before stabbing a pig in the neck, shedding its blood. They then cut a cross on the pig and plunge the knife into the center of the cross.
In looking at the world’s history of sacrifice, we can see that most of the peoples in the world shared the custom and tradition of making sacrifices to atone for their sins with blood.
In his famous book “The Golden Bough” Professor Frazer states that 90 percent of the worlds’ people offered sacrifices through the shedding of blood on their religious festival days.
The Christian anthropologist, Dr. Alexander Grigola, concluded that 95 percent of the people in the world offered blood sacrifices to god. Regarding the custom or tradition of receiving forgiveness of one’s sins through blood, he says, “In committing sins to god, or in evil deeds, it is the nature of human beings to believe in the receiving of forgiveness of their sins through blood alone, regardless of the type of blood involved.”
If this is so, where did the custom of believing in the atonement of sin through the sacrifice of blood begin? Is it a superstitious custom which came about by chance? If not, is it based in history, or in the Bible? The answer can be found in the Bible. God, the Creator of human beings, revealed the manner of being saved to each person destined to eternal punishment due to his sins. This manner is the receiving of atonement for one’s sins through the blood.
2. Biblical Overview of Atonement for Sin
Now let’s look at what the Bible has to tell us concerning the atonement for sin. Leviticus 17:11 has already told us, “The life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that atone’s for one’s sin.”
Hebrews 9:22 says, “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
In Old Testament days, animals such as sheep or cattle were used to supply the blood for sacrifices. But since Jesus Christ, true God and true man shed His blood on the cross, we do not need to offer sheep or cow blood sacrifices, as was done in the days of the Old Testament. This is because the atonement for our sins has already been completed when Jesus was crucified and died on the cross. Animal or human blood does not have any special significance. Therefore, you need not avoid it. This also means that you need not refrain from having blood transfusions.
Therefore, no matter who has committed many sins, if he believes in the blood of Jesus Christ, shed on the cross, he will receive both forgiveness for his sins and eternal life, and enter into heaven.
The day before He was crucified on the cross, Jesus broke bread with His disciples, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body.” He poured wine for them, saying, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:28.
In the days of the Old Testament, the temple altar held horns onto which blood was smeared. No matter how sinful a person was, how much they deserved to be hung, if they held the horns of the altar, no one could kill them. The Covenant can be explained in the same manner as the knobs of the horns; even though we are so wicked and have committed many, many sins, if we believe in the blood of Jesus Christ, shed on the Cross, God will forgive us of our sins, and save us.
Christianity is closely related to the blood. Christianity is not a moral or ethical thought system, but a religion of redemption through the blood of Christ.
In 1 Peter 1:18-19, we read, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”
In Ephesians 2:13, it is written, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”
Even though you are removed from God through your sins, your complete reliance in the blood of Christ shall bring you closer and unite you with God again.
Romans 5:9 says, “Since we have been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!”
By the blood of Jesus we are justified, and through the blood of Jesus we are saved from everlasting destruction. Further, the blood is a weapon which can be used to resist and overcome Satan.
Revelation 12:11 says, “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.”
We can repel and then overcome the devil by the blood of Jesus. Jesus’ blood is a shield of power which we can use to repel those accusations of the devil which make appeal to our consciences, by reason of our sins.
In Hebrews 9:14, it is said, “How much more then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”
In addition to these verses, the Bible contains numerous others concerning the precious blood of Jesus Christ.
Adam and Eve’s fig leaf coverings, which they made by hand to cover their own shame, after having committed the original sin, represent man’s fruitless attempts to solve the problems of sin, through his own morality, cultivation or philosophy.
The sheepskin garments made by God for Adam and Eve with which He clothed them in His mercy represent the cloth of blood of Jesus Christ, the eternal ransom. Therefore, from now on even though a person be sinful and without any meritorious deeds, if he sincerely relies on the merit of the blood of Jesus Christ, sent to us by God, his faith shall make him a righteous man, and he shall enter the heavenly Kingdom.
Cain, who brought some of the fruits of the soil, raised by his own hands, as an offering to the Lord, but did not receive God’s favor for them, stands for a man who thinks of himself as saved through his own efforts and good deeds. Abel’s offering, of sheep blood, which God looked upon favorably, shows us how to be righteous and saved through the merit of the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of the Lord.
Cain had no belief in the blood, but Able had. Therefore, God looked with favor upon Able and his offering.
Likewise, these days God does not accept anyone who comes forward to Him on his own power, effort and means, even though that man might be making every effort, doing much good work and spoken of by others as a righteous man.
But, only through the reliance on the merit of the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb, who atoned for our sins, will you be accepted by God and saved.
During the first Passover, Pharaoh called a plague upon the firstborn sons of Egypt, and every one of them was put to death that night, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh himself to that of the slave girl, and even the cattle. However, the Angel of death passed those houses by which had painted the blood of lambs on the sides and tops of the doorframes. In the same way, one who believes in the blood of Jesus Christ and paints the sides and tops of the doorframes of his heart with it shall escape the judgment of God, and will be saved.
The Israelites crossed the Red Sea safely, but the Egyptian army did not, and was overwhelmed by its waters. This is because the soldiers did not cover themselves with the blood of lambs.
A well painted front gate will not save you, even if it is painted with gold. Neither will our good deeds or acts of wisdom lead us to be saved. Exodus 12:13 says, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.”
The conquering of death, the blessing with eternal life and the entry into the Heavenly Kingdom are only possible by the faith that Salvation is only allowed him who, in his heart, believes in the merit of the blood of Jesus, the Lamb.
The standard of Judgment used to decide whether we will be saved or not is dependant on the depth of our faith in the blood of Jesus Christ in our heart.
Once we are saved, we are no longer subjected to God’s judgment for our sins, but only rewards for our deeds.
Once, Yoo Je-Doo, a world champion boxer, was defeated by his competitor, Wazima in a championship match. The chief referee was Korean. Even though the referee might have wanted to take sides with Yoo as his countryman, he had to assume a fair position and declare Wazima the winner. Yoo lost his championship belt, even though the referee loved him in his heart.
Brothers, when the first ancestors of human beings, Adam and Eve, surrendered themselves to the temptation of the devil, God had to take a fair position despite his love toward them. So God allowed the devil to deprive human beings of their rights, saying the wages of sin is death. As a result, we lost eternal life.
But God loves us so, that He sent us the second Adam, Jesus Christ, and let Him struggle with and conquer death. Unfortunately, we cannot avoid our destruction because we are descendants of the first Adam, but we can become righteous and unconditionally saved without having to pay the wages of sin – by believing in the second Adam, Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!
Once, a young man, the son of a judge, was driving his car rather recklessly, and caused a traffic accident. When he was brought to trial, he found that the judge assigned to his case was his father. He stared deeply at the judge, thinking – this is my father, surely he will forgive and release me. But after looking at his son with a strict expression for some time, he said, “Let’s call this case to order! Accused, please tell the court your name.” The young man said, “Father, it’s me, it’s me,” but the judge ignored him and instead thundered, “This is a court of law. There are no private discussions here. Tell me your name.”
Finally the young man had to answer, “My name is John.” “What is your address?” asked the judge. “The same as yours,” answered the young man. Again the judge grew angry and yelled, “Tell the court your address!” The young man had to repeat his address. After putting a deposition on record, and reading it aloud, the judge sentenced the young man with a fine of $780. The young man sat on the floor, indignant over his father’s unfair treatment, crying bitterly. Yet, the moment he took off his robe and put on his suit jacket, the judge returned to his warm-hearted role as a father. He approached his son and asked, “How can you be surprised by my actions? I’m a fair judge and must observe both the letter of the law, and the rules of our nation. How can I break the law for a private affection?” Then his father gave him $780, so that he could pay his fine, saying, “Take this and pay the fine. Once this paper is signed, you may go.” The son truly did not know his father’s will until that moment.
To uphold the law, the father had to try the case and punish the son with a fine. Yet knowing that his son could not pay the fine, he gave him the money to do so, and let him pay the fine himself, so that he could go free.
Likewise, even though we can’t avoid being destroyed due to the wages of our sins, God did send his only Son, Jesus Christ, into the world, and let Him shed His blood on the Cross, because there can be no forgiveness without the shedding of blood. Through such a work, God offered His righteousness and saved human beings.
Therefore, believe that whoever believes in Jesus Christ will be forgiven and blessed with eternal life. I want to close this sermon by quoting John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”