The Shedding of Blood

Key Verse: “Almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”
—Hebrews 9:22

Selected Scripture:
Hebrews 9:11-22

IT IS WELL TO REMEMBER that when the New Testament was written during the first century after the death of Christ, it was a period of transition. Jewish beliefs still were strongly influenced by the rites and ceremonies associated with the Law Covenant in which Moses served as its mediator. “For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat.”—Heb. 9:2-5

The sacrifices associated with the Tabernacle arrangement on the Day of Atonement were of a temporary nature and had to be repeated each year because the blood of bulls and goats could not actually remove sin. (vss. 6-14) There was a purpose for these ceremonies, however, since the old Law covenant was to prepare the Jews to accept Christ’s sacrifice for sin. (Gal. 3:23,24) This was the means whereby they could be justified and enter into a new and living way, rather than remaining under condemnation because of their inability to keep the Law.—Rom. 8:1-4

As the Jews gained further understanding about the meaning of and necessity for the atonement sacrifices to typically cleanse them from their sins, God explained why eating blood was prohibited. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”—Lev. 17:11

As a typical illustration, the old covenant was formally instituted by sprinkling with blood the book of the Law, as well as all the people, following their departure from Egyptian bondage. In antitype, the blood of sprinkling represents the merit of Jesus’ ransom sacrifice that has been imputed on behalf of the church, thereby providing each consecrated believer justification by faith in Christ and the cleansing power of his blood.—Heb. 9:18-21; Rom. 3:24-26

Our Key Verse emphasizes that redemption from the curse of sin and death can only be obtained through an equivalent sacrifice. In this instance, Adam’s forfeited perfect life was atoned for by Christ’s meritorious death as a ransom, or corresponding price.—Rom. 5:18,19; I┬áTim. 2:5,6

Under Moses’ leadership, the general population of Jews received their deliverance after crossing the Red Sea. Similarly, the human family at large will be given an opportunity for deliverance from sin and death under the reign of Christ and his church during the kingdom of righteousness when Satan is bound.—Rev. 20:1-4,6

What a magnificent privilege has been provided for the church, the antitypical firstborn, to assist our Head, Jesus Christ in blessing all the families of the earth and to end this present night of sin and death. Truly, we can “sing unto the Lord,” as we anticipate the joy which will come in the morning of the kingdom!—Heb. 12:22-24; Gen. 22:18; Ps. 30:4,5