By Kyle Campbell
In Hebrews 12:18-24, the apostle Paul describes the glory of the new covenant as compared to the old. His comparison is derived from Mount Sinai and Mount Zion. Mount Sinai represents the old covenant while the Mount Zion represents the new covenant. In verse 24, Jesus is placed last in the listing of the heavenly citizens as a climax because it is his single offering that has made perfection possible (10:14) and because his blood brings men to God.
In saying that he is the mediator of the new covenant and that his blood benefits, the author again repeats his main theme. The sprinkled blood is not a reference to the sprinkling of blood at the Passover but to the covenant blood, which ratified the agreement God made with the Israelites (Exod. 24:4-8), and in Hebrews represents the blood of Jesus that ratified the new covenant (Heb. 9:18; 10:22). It speaks “better things” because its message reveals the true extent of God’s grace. The blood of Abel cried for vengeance against Abel’s murderer (Gen. 4:10), but the blood of Christ opens the way to heaven. The blood of Christ says many things to a lost humanity, and it is the purpose of this article to investigate what the “voice of the blood” says.
The Blood of Christ Speaks of Sacrifice
In Hebrews 9:22, there can be no forgiveness without the shedding of blood. The blood makes the atonement and Christ readily sacrificed his for our salvation. Atonement is merely the act by which God restores a relationship of harmony and unity between himself and human beings. It was clear that animal blood could not remove sins from God’s sight (Heb. 10:4). Animals cannot make moral judgment, either right or wrong, and therefore are incapable of sin. But man is a free moral agent and Jesus, the Son of Man, was spotless and unblemished or sinless, even though he was tempted as we are (Heb. 4:15). Therefore, his shed blood made the perfect sacrifice to separate the world’s sins from God (1 Pet. 1:18-20).
The Blood of Christ Speaks of Satisfaction
Romans 3:24-26 states that Christ was a propitiation or covering of our sins. He satisfied the wages of sin (Rom. 6:23). Justice demanded that he chastise sins committed under the old covenant. The death of Jesus allowed God to be righteous in passing over the sins committed before the coming of Christ and in justifying sinners who obey Christ now. Colossians 1:20 says that the blood of Christ made peace between God and man. Only the blood of Christ could satisfy the separation that existed between the two.
The Blood of Christ Speaks of Substitution
It was sinful man who deserved to die on a cross, but because of the wonderful love of God, we can be spared from spiritual death (Rom. 5:6). All of our iniquity was placed upon Christ (Isa. 53:5-6), although we deserved to die in recompense for our sins (Isa. 53:8; Rom. 6:23). The only way we could have ever become righteous like God is to have Christ’s substituting blood (2 Cor. 5:21).
The Blood of Christ Speaks of Submission
In Matthew 26:39, when Jesus prayed at Gethsemane, we see the portrait of our Lord willingly submitting himself to the agonies of the cross and separation from his Father in heaven. Jesus learned obedience from the things he suffered (Heb. 5:8-9). No one made our Lord give up his life. He did this of his own accord (John 10:17-18).
The Blood of Christ Speaks of Salvation
In Matthew 26:28, Jesus states that his blood was poured out for the forgiveness of sins. Without the forgiveness of sins, there could be no salvation. Ephesians 1:7 reiterates that redemption and forgiveness of trespasses is obtained through the blood of Christ.
The Blood of Christ Speaks of Security
Although Christians are saved by the blood of Christ, they must remain faithful unto death (Rev. 2:10). Inevitably, they will sin (1 John 2:1; Rom. 3:23). John wrote in 1 John 1:7 that if we walk in the light, the blood of Jesus will cleanse us from all sin. This is a constant source of security for the faithful Christian.
Have you answered in obedience (Rom. 6:3-4)? Man owes a debt because of his sin (Rom. 3:23), but he cannot pay it. God can pay the debt, but he does not owe it. The answer is the blood of Jesus, which speaks of things far too wonderful for man to truly appreciate.
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