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So Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, "This is the blood of the covenant," which the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words." — Exodus 24:8

Forgiveness Comes Through the Shedding of Blood

A Jewish believer in Jesus, Murray Tilles, of Light of Messiah Ministries, uses an analogy to explain the Jewish sacrifices in the temple that pointed to Jesus’ once-and-for-all sacrifice: “I liken it to a credit card statement that we get in the mail today. When we get a credit card statement in the mail, let’s hypothetically say we have a $5,000 balance. Well, everyone looks at that credit card statement, and the first place they look is the little tiny box that says, minimum payment due. Well, there’s a minimum payment due, it may be $100 or $150. If we pay that minimum payment, then the credit card company is satisfied. However, the debt is still there. Now, Jesus came along and said, ‘I am coming to be your Passover Lamb. In My crucifixion, in My death, and in My Resurrection I am becoming the final sacrifice, and I am going to pay your debt.’

“In the Jewish community today there is no sacrificial system. And so, on Yom Kippur, on the Day of Atonement, Jewish people go into the synagogue and fast and pray and ask God to forgive their sins, hoping that they will be written in what the rabbis call the Book of Life. I grew up going to synagogue on Yom Kippur. When I left the synagogue, I never really knew that my sins were forgiven. I could only hope, I could only pray that God would write me in the Book of Life. But when I came to faith in Jesus as Messiah, I knew that my sins were forgiven.”

Oh, how proud we are of our differences. We like to think of ourselves as superior to this one or to that one, and we become very indignant to anyone who would be “holier than thou.” We are not really so concerned about them being holier than thou. What we are really concerned about is their being holier than we are.

However, God says there is no difference. If you look down upon men on the streets of New York from the height of the Empire State Building, you don’t see the tall, the short, the fat, and the thin. They are all just a bunch of tiny little ant-like creatures crawling around the streets.

We are all sinners in the sight of God. We are condemned already. “There is none righteous, no, not one.…Together they have become worthless” (Romans 3:10, 12). And yet, thank God, we find that we are justified freely by His grace. How is that? Because He has set forth a propitiation, which is Jesus Christ, the sacrifice to pay for our sins.

How do we receive it? Through faith. Through faith in what? Through faith in His teachings? In His preaching? In His example? Ah, His teachings, preaching, and example are nonpareil. There is no equal to them anywhere in the world. He was the greatest teacher, the most profound preacher, the most marvelous exemplar the world has ever seen.

He bought us with His own precious blood. “Do you not know…you are not your own? You were bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20). What a price that is—the very blood of God.

John R. W. Stott, in his book Our Guilty Silence, tells of a missionary in Pakistan who was invited to speak at one of the universities where most of the students were Muslims. He spoke about the Christian faith and about Christ. Afterward he invited people who wanted to speak to him personally to come, and 121 Muslims came to talk to him.

Did they want to argue with him about theology? Did they want to debate with him about the Trinity or the deity of Christ or His resurrection? No. Almost every one of those 121 had one question: “Is there a way of release from our soiled conscience that torments us?” “How can I get rid of my guilty conscience?” They said things like this: “I was fully aware that I was leading a corrupt life.” “I know that I am guilty before God.” “I was fully conscious of my sin and guilt. I wept over them.” “I hated my own shortcomings.”

As the hymn writer stated, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”