Evening in Jerusalem closed around Jesus as he shared a last meal with his disciples in the Upper Room. When supper was nearly over, he took a cup of wine and announced God’s new covenant to save them–“an agreement sealed with the blood I will pour out for you” (Luke 22:20, New Living Translation).
No longer would sins be forgiven by sacrificing blemish-free lambs, goats, and bulls to God. God’s new covenant would soon be sealed for all time with the blood of his Son–the one Person who (1) was born sinless and (2) lived an entirely sin-free life.
Weeks later, Peter clearly declared to all who would listen the identity of that sinless One–“Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the man you crucified, but whom God raised from the dead. There is salvation in no one else! There is no other name in all heaven for people to call on to save them” (Acts 4:12).
But why do we need to be saved? What does Jesus’ blood save us from?
From God’s judgment. When we sin–no matter how small, we bring down on our heads the penalty of death. First, spiritual death which makes us slaves to sin here on earth. Later, when our bodies die, the judgment includes another death–eternal separation from our loving God who is “so rich in kindness that he purchased our freedom through the blood of his son, and our sins are forgiven” (Ephesians 1:7).
Imagine! If we want it, we can have it–our sins forgiven, our slates wiped clean by the blood of Jesus–the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. If we will only accept the precious shed blood of Christ Jesus as payment for our sins (Ephesians 2:13).
God’s Word tells us that “without the shedding of blood, there can be no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22). Yet God knew the debt we owed him was far beyond our ability to pay, so he paid that debt himself! He died in our place and rose from the dead. What other response can we give to Jesus our Savior than to shout for joy.
Focus: “All praise to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us” ~ Revelation 1:5, New Living Translation.
How about you? How do you instinctively respond to the idea of your sins forgiven through Jesus?