Written on January 3, 2007
Hebrews 9:22 states that “without shedding of blood there is no remission [of sin].” I am becoming increasingly concerned about the fact that many well meaning Christians seem to feel that verses like this imply that there is a mystical power in the mere act of Jesus’ blood being drawn. Although they mean well, those who get that idea are leaning more toward Catholicism than biblical Christianity. As one example of this misunderstanding of the gospel, Mel Gibson made the following statement in Christianity Today:
“In the Old Covenant, blood was required. In the New Covenant, blood was required. Jesus could have pricked His finger, but He didn’t; He went all the way”
What Mel Gibson and many others fail to fully grasp is that Jesus’ atonement for our sins was a matter of God’s justice being satisfied. I believe that they mean well, but I am concerned that many people have heard the Bible taught wrong for so long that they no longer grasp what it is saying in concern to Jesus’ atonement.
First of all, if Jesus would have “pricked His finger”, then we would all still be dead in our sins. The pricking of one’s finger or the mere drawing of one’s blood has nothing to do with God’s justice being satisfied, so that is my concern here.
Leviticus 17:11 states that “the life of the flesh is in the blood”, and this is why the blood makes atonement for the soul. In fact, the phrase “shedding of blood” refers to a killing. So the atonement in Jesus’ blood was in the fact that it was poured out unto death.
But there is more to it than that: Since we were all born “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), this means that “the wages of sin is [both physical and spiritual] death” (Romans 6:23). For this reason, the Bible makes it clear that Jesus also “poured out His soul unto death” (Isaiah 53:12). This is the most overlooked part of His sacrifice for our sins.
Since the wrath of God is already abiding on those who do not have Christ (See John 3:36), this has to mean that His wrath is the penalty for sin. Although some people have used Isaiah 53:5 to say that Jesus’ scourging is part of what saved us, the Hebrew word which is translated as “stripes” in Isaiah 53:5 (which is chabburah – or chaburah) is singular, and not plural. This indicates that Jesus received a single blow in punishment for our sins, which means that the Roman soldiers abuse of Christ could not have saved us (as many believe that it did, and as Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion Of The Christ portrays)…but what saved us is that “it pleased The Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief… [The Lord made] His soul an offering for sin” (Isaiah 53:10).
So although we don’t fully understand it, the Bible does show us that the wrath of God was involved in Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins – otherwise His wrath was not satisfied. I have already shown that the wages of sin is both physical and spiritual death. So even though we don’t fully comprehend it, I hope it is now more clear what is meant by the statement that Jesus “tast[ed] death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9) as He “bore our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). This is one of the things that I was briefly trying to clarify in my first article about the penalty for sin. I want people to understand that “the wages of sin [which] is death” (Romans 6:23) was placed on Him as He bore our sins. This had to involve more than just physical death since the Bible tells us that His soul was "poured out...unto death" (Isaiah 53:12). Since Jesus did become sin for us (See 2 Corinthians 5:21), this has to mean that the wrath of God which was due for every sinner (See John 3:36) was poured out on Him.
On the other hand, if the Roman soldiers abuse of Christ is what saved us, this would have to mean that any of these sinful men who got saved have actually helped bring about their own salvation by torturing Christ. That does not make sense, and since it is not in line with Scripture, we must conclude that it is a false gospel. It was the evil in their hearts that caused them to abuse Christ, and that was also sin for which Christ died.
Christ Died For Our Sins, by Dave Hunt
I Will Never Be The Same, by The Benjamen Gate (Song on You Tube)
In Christ Alone, song on You Tube
Did Jesus Pay The FULL Penalty? (Radio show) - Click here for the You Tube version.
How Could Jesus Suffer Eternal Death? (Radio show)
What Is The 'Power' Of Jesus' Blood? (Radio show)
Problems With The Passion of The Christ (This is one of my articles)
WHAT IS SALVATION?
BACK TO MY HOMEPAGE