April 23, 2012
The One Requirement
“Almost all things are by the law purged with blood;
and without shedding of blood is no remission.”
Don’t allow the minor exception here to dim the truth of this verse. Yes, there was an occasion when the poor could bring grain for their sin offering. God graciously accepted it as it became linked with the blood of the burnt offering (Lev 5:11). But while the “almost” is a reminder of the tender compassion of God, the remainder of the verse is a reminder of the inflexible holiness of God. Sin demanded death; blood had to be shed.
While we begin to trace the truth of sacrifice and acceptance as early as Genesis 3, it is not until we come to Exodus that we read of blood being shed for sacrifice. With the introduction of the law, man now needed a way back to God from the depths of his sin. In Exodus 12, blood was shed to redeem. The blood on the side posts and lintel witnessed to the necessity of a substitute for each firstborn in Israel.
The perfect life of the Lord Jesus brought infinite delight to the heart of God. As a Servant, He pleased His Master. As a Son, He glorified His Father. As a Man, He honored His God. It was impossible for that life to have been any more pleasing than it was. But His life could not bring about remission of sins.
His “crying and tears” (Heb 5) in the Garden must have had a corresponding grief in the Father’s heart. As He bowed and breathed words of incalculable worth to the ear of heaven – “Not my will but Thine” – what joy must have filled the heart of the Father. But His tears and sorrows in the Garden could not avail for sin.
When they impaled Him to the tree and when He endured the physical sufferings linked with crucifixion, it must have demanded all the Father’s power to restrain His voice from flooding the scene with praise for His Son. But His physical sufferings from man did not bring about remission.
“Without the shedding of blood;” He must endure the stroke of God and die! His life must be given. He must “pour out His soul unto death.” Gaze upon a lifeless victim on the tree and begin to measure how great our guilt; and then to measure how great His grace!
1. Earlier in the chapter, in verse 13, we read of ashes (the Red Heifer of Numbers 19) which purified. Read that section and see how the ashes were linked with the blood. Is this the only occasion when blood was burnt?
2. What is meant by “the shedding of blood?” All the Old Testament sacrifices had their blood shed prior to being placed on the altar. As lifeless victims they endured the flame. But His death was different!