French philosopher Voltaire and American President John Adams are famous for their criticisms of Christianity as a bloody religion, pointing to the Bible’s frequent wars, mention of blood, and bloody death of Jesus Christ.
Why then do Christians celebrate the blood of their Founder when blood is usually considered grotesque? What follows are six gifts the blood of Jesus Christ affords those who believe in Him.
1. We gain bold access to God in worship and prayer
The Bible is clear that every person is separated from God because of our sin (Romans 3:23; Colossians 1:21). That means even the best of us are unable to approach God and offer worship or prayer. Because of our sins, we remain at a distance.
But the Bible tells Christians to come boldly into God’s presence, “We have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 10:19). If you are a Christian today, you can have confidence as you approach God with your prayers and worship, because you are no longer far away from God, but “have been made near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13).
2. We receive the forgiveness of our sin
In addition to being able to enter into God’s presence through the blood of Christ, we are also forgiven of our sins. Ephesians 1:7 says, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” Because of Christ’s shed blood, God is able to forgive us of sins because He took our punishment. While we deserve hell because of our sin, Jesus’ sacrifice makes heaven our eternal destination.
Christ explained the forgiveness He offers to His disciples at the Last Supper (which was also the meal celebrating the Passover Lamb): “For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28; emphasis mine). Just as the blood of the Passover lamb delivered the Israelite people from the night of terror in Egypt, Christ’s own blood would deliver from the judgment of God. This truth is expressed beautifully in the hymn, “Nothing But the Blood”:
What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh! Precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Take joy, Christian, that the blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed you from your sin!
3. We have our consciences cleansed
“[T]he blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, [will] purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Hebrews 9:14)
This is an amazing promise, Christ cleanses our consciences from acts that lead to death! How does He do it? He offered Himself—His unblemished, perfect life—as a sacrifice to God for us on account of our sins.
Even though our minds have been corrupted by sin, Christ can cleanse us. We are able to live and think the way God wants us to once again. This is great news for those who are burdened by a sinful past and corrupted consciences.
4. We are progressively cleansed from more and more sin
The blood of Christ not only offers forgiveness of sin, but also sanctification. Hebrews 13:12 tells us that “Jesus also suffered…in order to sanctify the people through His own blood.” It makes sense that God wants us to be in a new relationship with the sin that previously condemned us. That is why He gives us the power, through the blood of His Son, to be cleansed from our sinful behaviors.
5. We are able to conquer the accuser of the brethren
Because of Christ’s sacrifice, we can trust in the righteousness of Christ and not our own righteousness when we are accused by our enemy. Revelation 12:11 says, “And they have conquered him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” As believers, we know that we cannot stand on our own merit or because of our own deeds. Christ’s righteousness attributed to us is how we can stand up against accusations.
Charles Spurgeon knew this truth well and spoke these comforting words:
I know what the devil will say to you. He will say to you, ‘You are a sinner!’ Tell him you know you are, but that for all that you are justified. He will tell you of the greatness of your sin. Tell him of the greatness of Christ’s righteousness. He will tell you of all your mishaps and your backslidings, of your offences and your wanderings. Tell him, and tell your own conscience, that you know all that, but that Jesus Christ came to save sinners, and that, although your sin be great, Christ is quite able to put it all away.
6. We are rescued out of a sinful way of life
…you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. (1 Peter 1:18-19)
Being ransomed from futile ways is another benefit Christians have through the blood of Jesus. We are rescued from a life lived devoid of meaning and are brought into a relationship with God and the ability to live in His will and with purpose. The world’s most valuable items like gold and silver can’t compare with the lasting and eternal value of the blood of Jesus Christ shed to redeem sinners from sin.
There Is Power in the Blood!
Does the blood of Jesus cover your sin? If not, these glorious benefits are not for you. But if you humble yourself and cry out to Jesus Christ for forgiveness, He will save you. There is no greater gift than reconciliation with God. Trust in Jesus today!