Summary: The price of political freedom has been the blood of our soldiers (a very high price indeed). But the price of our spiritual freedom is even greater —it cost the blood of God’s own Son.
The Price of Freedom: Blood
Freedom—it’s a sweet word for us Americans. This weekend we are celebrating our political liberty. Aren’t you glad that we can come together like this and worship God without being afraid that some Gestapo is going to kick in the door and arrest us all? Aren’t you glad we can teach our children about God without fear that some official is going to take them away and indoctrinate them for the state? Think about how the Jews in Germany and Poland must have felt during WWII. Think about the terrible persecution the Tootsies have gone through in Rwanda. Life is good for you and me. It may not be perfect. There may be some trials and disappointments at times. But this weekend is a good time to put it all in perspective. This is a good time to praise God for our political liberties.
It is also a good time to consider the cost of liberty. What has our freedom in America cost? It has cost a lot. People have laid down their lives to make all this possible for you and me. What we are enjoying as a nation has not come cheap. Even today American blood is being shed in Afghanistan and Iraq to keep us safe. Political freedom is costly.
But if political freedom is costly—spiritual freedom is much more costly. The price of political freedom has been the blood of our soldiers (a very high price indeed). But the price of our spiritual freedom is even greater —it cost the blood of God’s own Son. Peter reminds us of this in his first epistle. 1 Peter 1:18-19 “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, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” No doubt Peter is thinking about Israel’s Independence Day—the Day of the Passover.
The story is told in Exodus 12. There God is freeing Israel from slavery in Egypt. The tenth plague is about to fall on the land. In that plague the firstborn of each household will die. But God provides a way of protection for His people. He tells them to sacrifice a lamb and put the blood of the lamb on the top and side posts of the door. Then He promises in Exodus 12:13 “...when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.”
There was one essential distinction that fateful night between the Israelites and the Egyptians. The blood applied by faith in obedience to God’s instruction made all the difference. God didn’t say I’ll review your works and decide whether you deserve protection or not. If He had done that, all of Israel would have been in big trouble. This is an awesome demonstration of God’s grace. God Himself provided the way of salvation. All they had to do was take Him at His word and do exactly what He told them to do. The blood applied to the door posts was the essential difference.
Of course, we know that the blood of those lambs was only a foreshadowing of the blood that would provide the eternal protection we all need. Jesus is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world. Our deliverance from bondage—our protection from destruction comes because His blood has been applied by faith to our hearts.
I want to show you how God revealed this essential truth in Scripture. On the overhead you will see a graphic of the progressive revelation of the atonement. God showed Israel this truth line upon line and precept upon precept until the fulfillment came through Jesus’ blood sacrifice on the cross. One reason the OT is so important is that it lays the foundation for New Testament truth. There is no way to understand what God is saying in the NT if we disregard or neglect the Old Testament.
1st God revealed the General Purpose of Blood
That revelation began in Gen 9:1-6 “Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. 2 The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. 3 Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. 4 "But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. 5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man. 6 "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.”