Summary: A communion meditation on the all-sufficient work of Christ.
THE SHEPHERD’S BLOOD
Big Idea: A communion meditation on the all-sufficient work of Christ.
9 This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. 10 They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings —external regulations applying until the time of the new order.
11 When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 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!
15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance —now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.
16 In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, 17 because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. 18 This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. 19 When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20 He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” 21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. 22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
THE SHEPHERD’S BLOOD
In 1972, a shepherd had brought his sheep into a walled-off, enclosed area for the night, and he had just gone to sleep when he heard a commotion. He quickly rushed over to where the sound was coming from and to his horror he discovered that a wolf was in the process of dragging off one of his sheep through a hole in the wall. He was mauling this sheep and blood was flying.
The shepherd quickly began hitting the wolf, and the wolf turned on him and began attacking him. He bit him over and over while the shepherd was striking him with his staff, and finally with one final blow of his staff, he killed the wolf as he himself collapsed into a bloody heap.
He managed to crawl over to the half-dead sheep and began to bandage its wounds. He gave it some water, and then took it in his own bloody arms, and shepherd and sheep went to sleep together. The next morning the shepherd was found dead, his body literally draped over the sheep to comfort it and keep it warm. The following day the headline in the Jerusalem paper said, “Sheep Alive, Covered in Shepherd’s Blood.” (From a sermon by Jason Jones, More Than Fringe Benefits, 4/18/2011)
What a graphic example of the work and cost that Jesus Christ paid to secure our salvation.