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Why Was Jesus’ Blood Important to Mankind?


Jesus’ blood is important to mankind, but why was it?  Why did Jesus have to die?  When Jesus died, he literally painfully bled for mankind’s sins so they could be reconciled to God and so they could receive eternal life.  Jesus Himself said that it was necessary for His disciples to symbolically accept His sacrifice by drinking His blood and eating his body in order to have eternal life (John 6:53):  “In most solemn truth I tell you," said Jesus, "that unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no Life in you.”  Notice the later teaching of Paul in Romans 3:23-26 about the importance of having faith in Jesus’ shed blood, which is the source of reconciliation with God and forgiveness by God:


“for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,  being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; whom God has set forth to be a propitiation [source of atonement] through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness through the passing by of the sins that had taken place before, in the forbearance of God; for the display of His righteousness at this time, for Him to be just and, forgiving the one having the faith of Jesus.”


However, in order to understand this general concept better about why Jesus’ blood is important, it’s helpful to first review the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament that foreshadowed the actuality of Jesus’ sacrifice.  Ultimately, to demonstrate the seriousness of sin and to foreshadow the complete solution to come, God instituted the animal sacrifices and the ritualistic system under the old covenant.  The death of an animal imposed a high financial cost on the person surrendering it to God.  But additionally, as the New Testament reveals (John 1:29, 36), the animal sacrifices had a teaching function for Israel, since they foreshadowed the Solution to come, when "God [would] provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering" (Gen. 22:8).  Consider the support Lev. 17:11, 14 gives for the Christian theory of atonement:


‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement. . . . For as the life of all flesh, its blood is identified with its life. . . . “You are not to eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off.”’


Since giving up life (which spilled blood symbolizes) is associated with atonement, this corresponds with Christian teaching that Jesus gave up His life in order to reconcile mankind with God.  The scholar Michael Brown explains the central theory of the blood sacrifices:  “They operated on the principle of substitution, i.e., on the principle of life for life.”

Jesus' sacrifice was once for all time, and didn't need to be keep being repeated, unlike the case for the animal sacrifices.  Note the teaching of Hebrews 10:4 (RSV):  "For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins."   When a bull, sheep, goat, or dove was sacrificed for the sin or offense of a man or woman, that sacrifice would need to be repeated if the sin or offense was repeated.  But in the case of Christ's sacrifice, it covered all human sins for all time for any reason.

Interestingly enough, Hebrews 9-10 explains this distinction in detail.  For example, it notes that unlike the Jewish high priest, Jesus' sacrifice doesn't need to be repeated (Hebrews 9:25-26):  "Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the Holy Place yearly with blood not his own; for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."  Likewise, Hebrews 10:12, 14 says:  "But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God . . .  For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified."  The blood of God in the flesh is worth far more than the blood of the animals He created:  He could create any number of them, but He was uncreated and thus of a totally different, and superior, class.  But then, one could ask why did the Creator decide to die for His creatures?


This question overall relates to the profound issue of the theory of atonement.  Let's first begin with who the human race was in debt to begin with and why.  For example, in Romans 5:1, it notes the consequences of Jesus' sacrifice after Christians have accepted it by faith:  "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."  Similarly, there's v. 10:  "For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life."  So Jesus' sacrifice served to reconcile humanity to God the Father.  Because of sin, humans are in debt to God, since violating God's law causes an automatic death penalty to be assessed against us (Romans 3:23):  "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  So Jesus' sacrifice paid the penalty of the human race's sins to God the Father.  Since God is the Creator, He owns us intrinsically and has the right to tell us what to God based on His law, which expresses His law.


The theory of atonement generally explains about why Jesus had to die.  After all, someone theoretically could ask:  "Why couldn't God just look down from heaven, and say, 'You are all forgiven if you repent'?"  Why did God Himself, meaning, the Son, have to die for humanity's sins?  This is a mystery at the deepest level, but a good way to look at this ultimate puzzle stems from God's desire to impress upon all created intelligences, human and angelic, His love for His creation.  Therefore, by dying for created beings, He shows His love for us, which means we shouldn't doubt his love despite all the pain and misery that occurs to so many in the world.  God didn't want us to doubt His love while giving us free will that would result in pain and misery for many as we exercised it.  For God is in the process of making beings like Himself who have 100% free will yet also will choose to be righteous and obedient to His law 100% of the time. The latter takes time to develop, for its a matter of settled character that God wants to develop in us and see over time if we'll manifest it.  Jesus' sacrifice also rescued us all from the death grip of Satan (Heb. 2:14-15):  "Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage."  Much more could be said on this issue, but it is very important and relates to the question about why Jesus' blood was worth more than that of animals.

 If the atonement has no ontological foundation (i.e., based on an absolute moral law), but was a mere arbitrary cancellation of the penalty of God's law for sin, how can men and women know that God is just in His actions?  How could one know whether or not He will punish sins when they should be punished?  Ultimately, the source of redemption has to be the Lawgiver Himself, since God's moral laws are intrinsic to His eternal character and divine nature.  Having been the Lawgiver to Israel through Moses, Jesus was the originator of the Law for humanity.  Having been the reason for its existence, He also could take in His own Person the penalty resulting from that law, and stand in humanity’s place for it. The one who put the moral law in motion has to be the Creator, and thus be God.  The violation of the moral law demanded human death as the penalty for its violation.  Consequently, Jesus had to become human to save us by becoming just like us.  He also had to become human in order to die, and to give up His life temporarily so Christians may live eternally themselves.  Although Jesus was our Creator physically, and thus His life was worth more than all of humanity's combined, He also had to be the Lawgiver in order to be able to receive the penalty of sin in His own Person in humanity’s place.  


Jesus’ blood had to be shed in order to make possible the promise of “the golden verse” (John 3:16):  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 


Eric V. Snow


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Why does God Allow Evil? Click here: /Apologeticshtml/Why Does God Allow Evil 0908.htm

May Christians work on Saturdays? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Protestant Rhetoric vs Sabbath Refuted.htm

Should Christians obey the Old Testament law? /doctrinalhtml/Does the New Covenant Abolish the OT Law.htm

Do you have an immortal soul? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Here and Hereafter.htm

Does the ministry have authority? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Is There an Ordained Ministry vs Edwards.html

Is the United States the Beast? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Are We the Beast vs Collins.htm

Should you give 10% of your income to your church? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Does the Argument from Silence Abolish the Old Testament Law of Tithing 0205 Mokarow rebuttal.htm

Is Jesus God? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Is Jesus God.htm

Will there be a third resurrection? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Will There Be a Third Resurrection.htm



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