There is Power in the Blood
June 8-9, 2019
There's a theme that runs all the way through the Bible. You might call it a scarlet thread because it's the blood of Jesus Christ. It begins in Genesis and it runs all the way through Revelation. Because you see, here's the thing, God has one plan, one plan for humanity, and one plan only. What He's done then is that He weaves that plan of salvation into the fabric of Scripture, all Scripture. It's like that verse in Acts 4:12 where He says, "There is salvation and no one else, for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved." He weaves that into the Scripture.
When you get to Leviticus 16, it shows us the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. If you were to ask a Jew, "What is the one holiest greatest day on the calendar?" He would say, "It's this day that is shown to us in Leviticus 16." It's called Yom Kippur, the day of Atonement. It is on this day that the high priest will make atonement for himself and for the people of Israel. It is on this day, and this day alone, that the high priest could enter into the holiest of holy places in the tabernacle, the temple, and that in that holiest of holy places, that was where the mercy seat covered the Ark of the Covenant, the very presence of the Living God was there. In the holy of holy days, that should glory of God, and no man could enter. No one could draw near to the presence of God in that place. Only the high priest, and he only once a year, and then only because he was carrying blood.
Now, part of that day, part of that event, part of that celebration included a goat, well, actually two goats. One goat was to die giving his life as payment for the sins of Israel, and the other goat would live. What would happen is that the high priests would lay his hand on the goat that would live, and then he would confess the sins of the nation, all the sins of the nation would be confessed as he lays his hands on this goat, and then someone would stand up ready to take this goat out into the wilderness, to set that goat free and never to return. It's a picture, of course, of that our sins.
It's like Psalms 103:12, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." It's a glorious truth. It's pointing to Jesus Christ. In fact, many of the sacrifices and the offerings that you're studying in the Old Testament, they had to do with blood. It's one of the most important things in the Bible. It's that scarlet thread that runs from Genesis throughout Revelation.
We know, of course, any student of the Bible knows that the Jews were restricted from eating blood. Life is in the blood, and life belongs to God. How precious is that blood, that stream of life? It tells us, "Hey, the blood of bulls and goats, they cannot take away sins." Now, this is a picture of the blood of Christ. Because I tell you, words cannot convey the preciousness of that blood. We're talking about the Son of The Living God, the Word made flesh, the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. By that blood, sinners are reconciled to the Living God. Now, right there is an amazing thing.
I. Everyone Needs the Blood of Christ
Sinners, can have a relationship to the Holy Righteous God? Yes, because of that blood that Christ shed, and by the blood, you are made right with God. If you are being made right with God, it's the foundation of everything being made right in your life. Let's read it. We're in Leviticus 16. We're going to begin in verse 3. Moses was told by the Lord, "Tell your brother, Aaron, that Aaron shall enter the Holy Place with the bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering." They're two very different things. Then he was to put on his holy linen tunic. He's going to describe what he is to wear.
When you read this, you might notice that there's something interesting and different. He's not describing the glorious, wondrous, beautiful, colorful, ornate, majestic, that the robes of the high priest. No, this is different. Simple, humble. Just a simple, humble garment, on this glorious day? Exactly. He says that he should put on his holy linen tunic, and the linen undergarments will be next to his body. He shall be girded with Linen Sash. A Linen is just basic, white, simple, and then retired with linen turban. These are holy garments.
Then he shall bath his body in water, put them on. Then he shall take from the congregation of the sons of Israel two male goats for a sin offering and one ram for a burnt offering. Then, Aaron shall offer the bull for the sin offering for himself, that he may make atonement for himself and his family. Then he shall take the two goats, and he shall present them before the Lord of the Tent of Meeting, and therein shall cast lots for the two goats, one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat. Now, you've heard that phrase, scapegoat. What you might not know is that it actually comes right out of the Bible.
A lot of phrases we use in our modern vernacular actually come from Bible phrases, and this scapegoat comes right out of this verse. Then verse 9, "Aaron shall offer the goat on which the lot fell for the Lord. He shall make it as a sin offering. In other words, he's going to give his life sin offering for sin. The goat on which the lot fell for the scapegoat, the living goat, he shall be presented alive before the Lord to make atonement on it and send it into the wilderness as a scapegoat. Okay, these are the verses I want us to see. We'll look at the other verses around it on Wednesday. Because these verses apply to our lives in a powerful way.
We want to see the application, starting with the fact that everyone needs the blood of Christ. This is the provision of God, and the only provision of God by with sinners can have a relationship to the Holy Righteous God. Everyone, therefore, needs the blood of Christ. Aaron, it said, had to offer a bull for a sin offering for himself. Now, if the high priest needs the blood of Christ, then everyone does, and there are no exceptions. Whether I don't care if it's Mahatma Gandhi or Mother Teresa or Billy Graham, everyone, anyone needs the blood of Christ. In other words, what he's saying is this, "You come to God through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, or you don't come to God at all." That's what he's saying.
A. His blood has power to save
You come to God through His Son or you don't come at all, because he's telling us this power, this blood, this blood, His blood has the power to save. Save? Save from what, you might say? Saved from the condemnation of the law of judgment. You see, the righteousness of God is found in the requirements of the law. The requirements of the law are the standard of righteousness, and everyone fall short, everyone. Moses, himself, Aaron, the high priest, everyone, you, me, everyone. There is none righteous, the Scripture says, "Not even one."
Every single person has fallen under the curse of the condemnation, and the judgment of falling short. That's the point. In fact, Galatians 3:10 makes it so clear, "Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law." To perform them. We're all under the curse of that law outside of the blood of Jesus Christ. Can you imagine living in the days of Moses? What heavy difficult thing it would be to live under all of those requirements, all of those prohibitions all the time? What a heavy, heavy burden laid upon you?
In fact, the famous preacher, CS Spurgeon, wrote a great description of it. I wanted to just read it to you. He says, "The life of a Hebrew, happy as it was compared to that of a heathen, was perfect drudgery compared to your life and mine in Christ." He was hemmed in. The Hebrew was hemmed in with 1,000 commands and prohibitions. He was always in danger of making himself unclean. 1,000 Sins of ignorance were like so many hidden pits on his way. He must perpetually be in fear, lest he should be cut off from his people, the people of God. When he had done his best one day, he knew he had not finished, for no Jew could ever talk of being finished.
The bull was offered, but he must bring another. The lamb was offered this morning, but another must be offered this evening, and another tomorrow and another the next day. The Passover is celebrated with holy rights, but it must be kept in the same manner the next year. This thing is never finished. It never comes any nearer to the end. What a heavy burden to live under such a thing. In fact, Hebrews 10 describes the comparison between living under that and being in Christ. Listen, Hebrews 10:10-11, He says, "Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time, the same sacrifices which can never take away sins, but Jesus, having offered one sacrifice for all time, that’s himself.
He sat down at the right hand of God because it was done, it was completed, it was finished, and He finished it for you. When Jesus was on the cross, and He cried out in Greek tetelestai, He was declaring, it's done, it's finished, it's been completed for you. You see, that's that glorious truth applied to our lives, Galatians 3:13, “Christ redeemed us from such a curse.” We're not under it anymore, we are free. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. For it is written, cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.”
Now, you see, we read Leviticus with joy, with pleasure. Can you imagine I described on Wednesday the Word of God in the Old Testament is like a cavern, you might say, that's filled with the gems and the jewels and the treasures of truth, but it's in the cavern that's dark. When you bring a light into that cavern, all of those gems and diamonds and jewels, they light up and they’re brilliance of that light. It's like this, you bring the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ into the Old Testament, into the Book of Leviticus, it's like bringing a light into that cavern, and all of a sudden, the gems and the jewels of truth light up.
Today, we read Leviticus with joy, with pleasure. Look at how excited you were when I announced that we were going to study Leviticus. You were so excited, because now when we read the book of Leviticus, we're just discovering joys, we're discovering treasures, we’re discovering truths. It’s a joy to read it, but not them. It was a heavy thing to read it because it contained condemnation and requirements. I could cut you off from the people of God, but you see, here's the thing. The worst Thunders of the law cannot touch us because we are under the blood of the Lamb. We have been set free. Everyone needs the blood of Christ, I said, because everyone has fallen short of the righteous requirements of God, everyone is falling short. Now, I tell you, there are many people today who insist they don't need the blood of Christ. It's not necessary for them, because, you see, they're convinced that because they do good things, they are good people. They do good things, that makes them good people. They do good things. They recycle, they do good things, they help save the whales. They help old ladies across the street, they do good things.
In fact, you could do a survey. Many have done this, where they do these on the street questions. Pastors, and various Christian leaders have done this, where they go and ask people, and they say, “If you were to die and meet God at the gate of Heaven, then why would God let you into heaven? On what basis would God let you into heaven?” You would be surprised how many people would say, "Well, because I've done good things. I’ve lived a pretty good life. Really, I have. I’ve lived in a pretty good life." There's a very common understanding. Here's the thing. God does not weigh the good on one side of the scale and the bad on the other side, I pointed this out on Wednesday. Many people have this thought. This is how God recons our sins, He takes the good things, He puts them on this side of the scale. He takes the bad things He puts them on this side of the scale. Then He weighs them and compares them, and a lot of people would say, “I've done good things.” Okay, I've done bad things. I've done a lot of bad things, but I've done good things, and it’s okay. God should accept me.
Here's the thing, no matter how much you have on the good side of the scale, it's not because of what you have on the good side of the scale that qualifies you for heaven, it's because of what you have on the bad side of the scale that disqualifies you from heaven. That's the point. In fact, all it takes is one bad thing on the other side of the scale, and you're disqualified. One stain makes it stain. Is it not true that there is a day fixed in which God will judge the world? Is it not true that there is a day fixed in which God will judge the world in righteousness?
When you think of judgment, you should think of a court and a judge. When you think of a courtroom and a judge, here's what God is saying to you, "Let's settle this." When you think of a lawsuit or whatever, you can settle it before you get to court. God is saying to you, "I have an offer, let's settle this. Let's settle this matter, and let's settle this matter right now, because of the blood of Jesus Christ that is offered to you freely, I will pay for everything that's on that bad side of that scale." Here's a great truth. Romans 8:1-2, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” That is a glorious verse right there, there is no condemnation. For those who are in Christ Jesus, for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.
B. You can now draw near to God
The consequence for that is that now sinners can draw near to God, you can draw near to God. How is it possible that sinners like you and me can have a relationship to the living God? He says, “The life of flesh is in His blood, and I've given it to you to make atonement for the souls.” Neither by great diligence of effort nor deep repentance alone, will your sin be taken away. It's the blood of Christ, and the blood of Christ alone that does that. That's why those two goats on the Day of Atonement are like Old Testament sermons, pointing the way to the shedding of Christ's blood and the removing of our sins far from us. Once your sins have been taken away, you are free. You are free to draw near, you are free to enter into the courts of God, you are free to worship, you're free to have relationship to the living God, because it tells us that when Christ died on the cross, that veil that was in the temple that separated the holiest of holy places, was torn from top to bottom. That was a picture of His body broken, that opened the way for sinners to enter into the very holiest place.
That's why Hebrews 10:19-22 is so powerful. "Therefore, Brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place", that is an amazing statement. Actual confident sinners, like you and me, can have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus by a new and living way which he inaugurated for us through the veil, that is His flesh. Since we have a great high priest over the house of God, that's Christ, let us draw there, and let us draw near with a sincere heart, and in full assurance of faith. As you see, here's the point, God does not require you to get your act together before you can approach Him and draw near. I cannot tell you how many people have told me. I get this together.
I'll work this thing out, I'll work it out, which I always have the same answer, “No, you won't.” You trying to work it out is what got you into the trouble in the first place. What you need is God's answer, you need the blood of Christ applied. That's how you are reconciled to God, and that, and that alone.
Today, our modern culture, Eastern religions have seemingly got a new foothold in our culture. The idea, of course, is that you can become one with the universe. You can meditate, you can empty your mind, you can repeat the sound of the universe. The whole idea is if you do these things, then you can become one with the universe, to which I say, why would you want to become one with the universe when you can become one with the one who made the universe? That's just the offer that He's giving through His blood Jesus Christ. You can climb mountains and shout holy phrases; you can memorize all holy writings ever written. You can pray until your knees become calloused and hard, but without the precious blood of Christ, you cannot draw near to God. If you have the precious blood of Christ, you simply need to come near.
Hebrews 10:22, “Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water."
C. Christ’s blood removes every stain
This is the thing we got to see. Christ blood removes every stain. Not only does it have the power to save, not only does it allow you to draw near, His blood removes every stain. The Scripture speaks of sin like staining the soul.
This last week, our granddaughter, Aviah, whom we have adopted, she just finished school. The school year is over. We were talking about this, and she's so excited, because now she says, "Now I get to sleep in." She is excited about this, "Now school is over, I get to sleep in." I said, "When I was your age in school that we didn't get to sleep in. No. We actually had to get up even earlier, because we had to pick berries. When I was your age, we got up early, and we'd pick berries in the snow."
I made that last part up. Not everyone had to pick berries, but you could always tell the ones who did. Stains. I was ashamed of my stains, because a lot of kids, when school got out, they would pick berries for maybe two, three weeks, pick their strawberries, and they had their money, but not us. We had to pick this and then that and this all summer long. When we got to school, when I got to school, my hands were stained, I was ashamed of my stains. No matter what I did, I couldn't get them off, but it's a picture, isn't it? It's a powerful picture.
Jeremiah 2:22, "Although you wash yourself with lie and use much soap, the stain of your iniquities before Me, declares the Lord God." It's like a plague to the one stained by it, and grievous thing too, God who opposed it. He says, "You must be made clean, you must have your sins, the stains washed away." I tell you that the blood of Christ washes away every stain, so that He even cleanses your heart from the stain as well. Here's my point, the awareness of the sin, the knowledge of the sin is very troublesome. It's shame. Many people have a dark shame that they carry. It's a stain on their soul, and they hide it. Many people see themselves as permanently stained, and so they figured there's no use in trying because they can't do anything about it. The shame remains. I suggest that one of the greatest revelations is that He pays it in full and He removes the stain of it, even from your heart. That He would set you free even from the shame.
Hebrews 9:14 says, "How much more with the blood of Christ who, through the Eternal Spirit, offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience, your heart from dead works, to serve the living God." That is exciting, that ought to make your heart leap for joy, the reckon to understand what He has done. It says in Isaiah 1:18, "Come now, let's reason together, says the Lord, though your sins are like scarlet, they will be white as snow, though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool."
II. Draw Near with Full Assurance of Faith
The result of it, the consequence, the application of it is amazing, because now you can draw near, but He says, "Draw near with full assurance of faith." Full assurance. Draw near understanding the power of this blood and what it has done for you, that you draw near with this full assurance.
It would have been a frightful thing to be a High priest in the days of Moses. I didn't read verse 2. Verse 2 says, "Tell your brother, Aaron, that he shall not enter at any time into the holy place inside the veil before the mercy seed, which is on the ark, lest he die." It's just a heavy thing, make a mistake. You see now in Christ, that burden, that weight has been taken away. Jesus entered into heaven itself to appear in the presence of God for you in your behalf.
Hebrews 9:24, "Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands." A mere copy of the true one, but He entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for you. That changes everything. Because of what Christ has done for you, now you can draw near with a confidence, knowing that God is for you. Everything He did in Leviticus 16 points to Jesus' work on the cross, and He did it for you. The point being is, God now is for you, and God is with you. This is the substance of faith. Do you believe it? God is for you, and God is with you.
A. God is for you and God is with you
Leviticus 16 is a picture of all that God has done. He did it because He wants relationship to you. He pursues you; God pursues sinners. This does not compete for a lot of people. They're convinced that God repels sinners, "Be gone with thee." He says to those who sin. That's not God's heart. What does He say? God pursues sinners. He sent His Son to be both the goat that died as payment for sin, and the goat that carried the sins far away. He did it for you. He did it for a relationship. He did it so that you would not walk alone. If you're alone, you're powerless. If God is with you, and God is for you, the Scripture says, "Then who can be against you." This is a great truth. If you're alone, you're walking alone in this life, then you are powerless. If God is with you, and God is for you, then who can be against you?
I recently read an article written by an atheist. It was a criticism of the Christian idea of vicarious atonement. Vicarious atonement is the idea that Christ would pay for the sins of sinners for other people. He says, "Oh, that's offensive, the idea of vicarious atonement, that one would pay for the sins of another is offensive." He says because, he says it takes, it robs the individual of responsibility, but this only shows how much he misunderstands it. For Jesus paid the debt of sin on the cross, and when He paid it, it was paid in full. He paid the debt that you had to God. Listen, this is key, He paid the debt that you had to God, He removed the sin that disqualified you from heaven, every last bit of it, He removed the sin that disqualifies you from relationship to the Holy and Righteous God, but he does not take away your responsibility.
Let me give you an illustration. If you robbed a bank, this is just an illustration, God forbid, don't even think of it. If you robbed the bank, I ask you a question, can God forgive the robbing of a bank? Let's answer the question together. Can God forgive the robbing of a bank? The answer is yes, but you're still going to have a conversation with the sheriff. Is that not true? You're still going to face a judge. If you have sex outside of marriage, and you get pregnant or make someone pregnant, I asked you a question, can God forgive this? Let's answer it together. Can God forgive this? Yes, He can, but you're still pregnant. Here's my point, once you find forgiveness from God, once you have been made right with God, you have now found an advocate. He is now for you. Even in the midst of what you did, He is now for you.
1 John 2:1-2, "My little children, I'm writing these things to you so that you may not sin, but if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous and He himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world." If you sin, you can find forgiveness with God, and once you find forgiveness with God, you have found an advocate. He will walk with you in it. He will show you the way out of this mess. He will strengthen your character in the midst of it. He will show you the way to walk, because you're not alone anymore. You are not alone in the trials, the troubles, even the message that you make yourself, because you have an advocate with God in heaven. Amen.
Let's give the Lord a praise. Can we do that?
The glory is true.
B. Let God be your confidence
Therefore, we can say, let God be your confidence. That's the application. That's the point. You can walk now in the confidence of knowing God's heart is for you, that God is with you, that God will never leave you, that God will never forsake you. If God is for you, who can be against you, that brings confidence. If anyone understood how to live and walk according to faith, it would have to be David, and David wrote some amazing things.
Psalms 71:5, "For you are my hope, oh Lord God. You are my confidence.". You're my confidence. I love that phrase. Walk in that truth, walk in that confidence, Lord God, you've been my confidence since my youth.
Hebrews 10:35-36 and verse 38. Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. You have need of endurance, for the one who is righteous shall walk and live by faith.
Let's pray. Father, we are so thankful to you for what you have revealed to us in your Word. What you have shown us about your Son, Jesus Christ. What He's done for us with this precious blood of the Son of the living God. Now we can have this confidence to know that you are with us. That you're for us, that you never leave us nor forsake us. We can walk in that confidence of knowing that we have an advocate. Church, this morning, as we are before the Lord, I say, would you say to the Lord this morning, as we are praying, as we're praying before the Lord, would you say to the Lord this morning, God, I want to say it. I want to declare it. I want to walk with you every step of this life. I want to walk knowing that you are with me, that you never leave me nor forsake me, and that you're for me, and that who could be against me if you're for me. I want to walk with you every step of this life. Church, would you say that to the Lord by simply raising your hand in a boldness and in a confidence to the Lord? I want to just see it. I will want to walk with you every step of this life. God, I trust your heart. I trust your heart. Pour out your heart. Pour out your Spirit. Thank you, God, that if you're for me, who could be against me. I give you thanks, we give you honor and praise. God, we give you praise this morning in Jesus name, and everyone said--