1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God>
2. The same was in the beginning with God.
3. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.
4. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5. And the light shineth in the darkness: and the darkness comprehended it not.
6. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
10. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
14. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
15. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake. He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.
16. And of his fulness have all we received , and grace for grace.
17. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ,
18. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
19. And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?
20. And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.
21. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he said, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
22. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? That we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
23. He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
24. And they which were sent were of the Pharasiees.
25. And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?
26. John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;
27. He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
28. There things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
29. The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
30. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.
31. And I knew him not; but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
32. And John bear record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode on him.
33. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water; the same said unto me, Upon whom thou see the Spirit descending and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
34. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
35. Again, the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;
36. And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
37. And the two disciples heard him speak,, and they followed Jesus.
38. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master) where dwellest thou?
39. He said unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day; for it was about the tenth hour.
Our last few messages have been on the Old Covenant teachings on the meaning of the power of the shed blood of animals with respect the forgiveness of sins. Today we continue the series, but this time we look at the shedding of blood as far as the New Covenant is concerned and the first thing I want to emphasize is the fact that Jesus was the offering Lamb as far as anyone who calls himself or herself a Christian is concerned.
I want to make it very clear that anyone who rejects the shed blood of Jesus in their life is immediately lost into eternity. I will not enlarge on this statement right now, for we will discuss it in a later message. What I want to point out is that you MUST get to grips with the full meaning of the blood of Jesus if you want to stay on the right course in living for Jesus.
John introduced Jesus to the people who were being baptised in the Jordan River, with the following words: “Look, the Lamb of God,who takes away the sin of the world!” or as the KJV so
beautifully puts it, “BEHOLD, the Lamb of God!” Every Jew standing there that day knew exactly what John was referring to, for you see, they were at that time actively participating in the offering system of the Old Covenant at the Temple in Jerusalem. They knew all about the offering lamb, that it had to be without blemish, etc. They knew that John was a prophet from God and that God reveals things to the nation of Israel through His prophets, so they knew what John was saying to them.
Among them were men who studied the Scriptures and they knew the prophecies about the coming Messiah, but what they refused to believe was that the Messiah was to be a suffering Messiah. Isaiah is very clear in his prophecies about the Messiah. These learned men were the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. Because they were under the yoke of the Roman Empire, all they were looking for was a Messiah that would release them from the bondage they were under.
Yet Isaiah warned, in his revelation from God, that what was revealed to him would not be easily believed. Isaiah 53 is the chapter that prophesies about Jesus, and the first verse reads as follows: “Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” Readers, there are many today who still do not believe what God has put in His Word. They take out what they WANT to hear, and many do not want to hear that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, that He IS God and that He is the ONLY way by which we may receive access to the Father in heaven. Jesus did away with the Old Covenant offering system by becoming the last and final offering Himself. “Behold,the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.” Your sins can only be taken away if you come under the covering of the shed blood of Jesus Christ Himself – there is no other way whereby man may be reconciled to God, other than by the Lamb of God and the work of the Cross. With this introduction to the Lamb of God let us take a look at the work of the shed blood of Jesus and what it means to each one of us who call on the Lord.
1. THE BLOOD OF JESUS CLEANSES
The Book of Hebrews gives wonderful teaching on the blood of Jesus and we will be referring to portions in Hebrews during our study on the Blood of Jesus. In Hebrews 9:21-22, the writer tells us about Moses, “In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.“We cannot be cleansed from our sins unless it is through the work of the Cross. We CANNOT come into the presence of the Father unless it is through the work of the Cross. We can talk to people about Jesus and many other things in the Bible, but when we mention the Blood of Jesus; when we mention full water baptism; when we mention the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, they get hot under the collar and they switch off. ALL these are important to God. To those outside of Jesus the mention of the Blood is offensive to them, but to those who claim to be a Christian, ie, a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, Blood that was shed on the Cross for the forgiveness of our sins should be sweet words upon our ears!
2. WITHOUT THE BLOOD OF THE OFFERING WE CANNOT COME INTO THE
PRESENCE OF THE FATHER
Exod 30:30, “Once a year Aaron shall make atonement on its horns. This annual atonement must be made with the blood of the atoning sin offering for the generations to come. It is most holy to the Lord.” Heb 9:7, “But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.” We can see here the importance that God placed on the shedding of blood. Without it no-one could, or can, ever enter the inner sanctuary.
What happens when we come under the protection of the blood of Jesus by accepting Him as our Saviour and our Lord? It opens heaven up to us. We may enter in. But anyone without Jesus may never enter in! Heb 10 :19-22, “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, (how?) by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” The reference here to water is the symbolic washing of the body by full immersion water baptism. The importance that God places on Baptism will be brought in a future message. Unfortunately many preachers and theologians have, in the past, made light of it, and even pushed it aside thereby depriving many of God’s blessings.
We see from verse 19 that THROUGH of the blood of Jesus we can have the CONFIDENCE to enter INTO the Most Holy Place where God resides. Hallelujah for the Shed Blood of Jesus! Now I can go straight to God with my prayer requests – I do not have go through anybody else. No priest can say to me that I have to approach God through him – I can do that direct!
3. THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST IS VERY SPECIAL
By special, I mean that the blood that flowed in Jesus’ veins was not human blood, it did not have human qualities. Jesus’ blood was not ordinary blood. His blood was godly blood. Let me back up my statement by quoting some well known medical facts. It is a well known fact that the blood line of any species is propagated through the sperm of the male species. The female is only the carrier, but the blood of the child is formed by the sperm of the father. An example of this is that when there is a dispute over the fathership of a child, blood tests of the father are made to confirm or acquit the allegation.
Turn with me to Luke chapter 1, where the angel was telling Mary that she would be with child, and she asked the question in verse 34, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” the angel answered, “The Holy spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” We see here that God was the Father through the Holy Spirit. If one could describe it this way ,one would say that the sperm of the Holy Spirit entered Mary’s body and so fertilized her. As the sperm of the father determines the kind of blood and the manufacture of the blood, we see now that the blood of Jesus was not ordinary blood, but absolutely godly blood, completely pure and unblemished by any human contact. This is the reason that the Scripture calls Jesus’ blood as priceless blood. That is why we are bought by blood that is so expensive that it is without price. One of it’s kind in the whole Universe!
It goes beyond my comprehension that Someone so important would shed His blood for me, a sinner! Thank God that I am a sinner saved by grace!
I want to close with a Scripture from 1 Peter 1:18-19, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the PRECIOUS blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”
Listener, if you have not yet Jesus as your Saviour, then I plead with you to ask Him into your life today so that you may come under that protection of the Blood. Without the blood you will be lost. Because you were brought up in a Christian home is no guarantee that you will be saved from the Pool of Fire.
Each commitment to Jesus has to be a personal one, an active commitment and then you have to show the repentance that follows that decision. Repentance simply meaning a change of attitude and mind, away from the things of the world to the things of God. Repentance comes from the Greek word METANOIA from which we get our English word Metamorphosis, to change.
I ask you this morning “What is your decision going to be?”