Summary: The Bible tells us that "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins." Blood is the cleansing agent. But why should blood purify my soul?
A woman once wrote that at a garage sale she had spotted a handsome antique copper kettle for only $2.50. It was badly tarnished, so she asked the woman running the sale if the discoloration would come out.
She cheerfully offered to try some copper cleaner on it and disappeared with it into the house. Reappearing with the gleaming kettle, she handed it to the buyer for inspection. It was indeed a more attractive item, plus it also had a new tag attached. It read: "Like new-$10."
APPLY: Interesting. When the copper kettle 1st went on sale, it’s owner practically gave it away.
But something changed its worth. What made the kettle more valuable? A simple cleansing.
When the owner took the trouble to clean away the grime/ removed the discoloration and stains it was worth 4 times as much
Almost everything IS more valuable once it has been washed and cleaned up - and so it is with us.
The Bible tells us we are stained with sin. The guilt and shame of our past behavior takes away our value Romans 3:23 tells us “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
And that has created a unique problem for us... because Habakkuk 1:13 tells us God’s “eyes are too pure to look on evil; (He) cannot tolerate wrong….”
But the Bible also tells us: God loved us so much, He offered us a way to “wash away” our sins. A way to cleanse our souls so that we might regain the value He created us to have.
I. What is intriguing is, that in cleansing us, God has chosen a VERY UNUSUAL method of cleaning us up.
Look at Hebrews 9:22 “…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” Blood sacrifices happened all the time throughout the Old Testament. And here in Hebrews, we find that the Blood of Jesus is what purifies us.
What is there about blood that would make it a “cleansing agent?” If I recall, blood is one of the most difficult stains to get out of your clothes.
ILLUS: I’ve even read of a new police technique using a chemical called “Luminal.” In a particularly heinous crime in Northern Indiana, a man who had ruthlessly killed several people in his own house had attempted to cover up the signs of his crime by using soap and water to remove the blood stains and then applied fresh paint to the walls. However, when the police arrived, they sprayed “luminal” on the walls and floors. Every blood stain again became apparent.
In researching this sermon on the Internet, I ran across one site sponsored by an atheist who mocked the very idea that blood could clean anything.
As harsh as the atheist’s arguments may have been, he raised a reasonable question: how could blood remove grime from our souls, when blood itself is a stain producing agent and can ruin many of the things it comes in contact with?
ILLUS: As I thought about this question, my mind drifted to thinking about the many soaps and cleansers I have in my home. There a mild soaps for washing our hands and our dishes. We can use them for just about anything.
But there are stains that are more difficult, which require stronger detergents and abrasives.
(read a couple of labels - bleach, etc.)
The stronger the cleanser, the more damage it will do to materials it wasn’t meant to clean.
The Bible tells us the most powerful cleansing agent in the world is blood.
In fact, God created blood to be a cleansing agent. In your body blood takes oxygen and other supplies TO cells AND REMOVES waste and impurities from those cells. Blood literally cleans out the filth from your body. That is one of it’s major responsibilities. There is NO OTHER cleansing agent known to man that can purify our bodily system as well as the blood that courses thru our veins.
So also there is no other cleansing agent known to man that can rid your soul of its filth and shame than the Blood of Jesus.
Blood was designed by God to be used to forgive you and I of our sin.
II. God used blood for several reasons.
1st = “life is in the blood”
Leviticus 17:11 “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.”
In other words, God intended for blood to take away our sins because life is in the blood. The Bible also teaches us: Sin brings death. Romans 6:23 tells us “… the wages of sin is death…”
But God desired to give us life – and since blood was identified with life - Blood was the most natural substance for God to use.