What is the significance of the blood of Christ?
The blood of Christ is mentioned specifically on four occasions in the New Testament and discussed in many other places. In 1 Corinthians 10:16, Paul referred to the drink used at Communion as "participation in the blood of Christ." Here, the blood of Christ represented the suffering and death Jesus endured as a sacrifice for our sins.
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Ephesians 2:13 states, "But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ." Here the blood of Christ refers to the sacrifice of Jesus that provided access to God and a relationship with Him. The previous verse highlights this fact, stating, "remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world" (Ephesians 2:12).
Hebrews 9:13-14 speaks directly about the importance of the blood of Christ as well: "For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God." Here, the sacrifice of animals under the Mosaic Law is contrasted with the sacrifice of Jesus and the shedding of His blood. This blood offers access to God through Jesus. The Old Testament sacrifices were a signifier of what Jesus' blood would ultimately accomplish.
In 1 Peter 1:18-19 we read, "… you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot." Peter notes the blood of Christ serves as a ransom or payment for our sins, allowing salvation by faith in Jesus.
In addition to these passages, it is clear the blood of Christ poured out on the cross serves to cleanse us from sin. First John 1:7 teaches, "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin."
The apostle Paul especially focused on the blood of Jesus and its power. Romans 5:9 teaches, "we have now been justified by his blood." Ephesians 1:7 adds, "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace." Colossian 1:19-20 shares, "For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross."
When the apostle John wrote to the seven churches, he greeted them with reference to the blood of Jesus, saying, "Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen" (Revelation 1:5-6).
The shed blood of Christ is the price of our redemption and the symbol of its completion.
"Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself" (Hebrews 9:22-26).
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