No Blood, No Forgiveness


When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, ‘This is the blood of the covenant, which God commanded you to keep.’ In the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in the ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (Heb. 9:19-22).

Blood as a cleansing agent? Sounds contradictory, doesn’t it! Blood is one of the most difficult stains to get out of fabric. Forensic scientists know that, even after a murder has been committed and the blood cleaned up, the evidence remains. A substance called Luminol, sprayed on the place where blood was spilt, will cause the stains to glow in the dark, revealing the crime that the murderer tried to conceal. Blood spilt by a murderer will still cry out even when the stain has been washed away. It’s a bit like the blood of Abel, isn’t? His blood cried out from the ground for vengeance and God heard.

But blood within the body, both human and animal, serves a different purpose. Blood is vital for life. Without blood, nothing can live. Blood has many functions within the body. It forms an efficient transport system, carrying oxygen and nutrients to the remotest cells in the body. It can flow through tiny tubules no bigger than a hair, its red cells moving in single file to do their work.

Blood also has a unique function as a cleansing agent. Where there is an injury, it rushes cells to the spot to plug the hole, stop the bleeding and transport soldier cells to fight invaders that would move in to contaminate the entire body. Its transport system also does an efficient job of removing waste products from the cells via the lungs and kidneys. A build-up of the waste products of breathing, eating and burning fuel will kill as surely as an assassin’s bullet, without the blood.

But human and animal blood cannot cleanse the soul of the pollution caused by sin. God’s covenant with Israel gave them clear instructions about living God’s way but it also made provision for failure. And fail they would because their hearts were tainted with the rebellious nature of Adam. No amount of self-effort would satisfy God’s perfection. His standard demanded nothing less than perfection. There had to be provision for forgiveness for their sheer inability to live up to His holiness.

Was God being too demanding? Why couldn’t He just lower the standard a little, taking into account their human frailty? He cannot change His own nature and the nature of sin. His solution was to pay the penalty for sin Himself because He is the only one who can measure up to His own standard. How did He do that? He became human in the person of His Son.

Sin demands the payment of blood, but pure blood, unblemished by sin. Of course we understand that blood represents life. The life in is the blood. When blood is shed, life is sacrificed. When the life of a sinless person is given in sacrifice, the demand is met and paves the way for forgiveness.

Animal sacrifices prescribed for forgiveness under the old covenant were a picture of what had already taken place in the eternal realm – Jesus, God’s provision for forgiveness and cleansing to remove sin. The old covenant came into effect through the sprinkling of animal blood, providing ceremonial cleansing from sin. The new covenant came into effect through the sprinkling of Jesus’s blood, providing eternal redemption, the forgiveness of sins, for all sin, for all people, for all time.

How tragic that so many of God’s children have not grasped this truth. When bad things happen in their lives, the accuser cashes in. ‘God is punishing you for this, that or the other that you have done,’ he whispers, and they believe him. Satan is a liar and the father of lies. He can only speak the language of lies. Why listen to him?

God is perfectly just. Even in our human systems of justice, no one can be punished for the same offence twice. Since Jesus has paid for the sin of the whole world, God will never judge His children, not even those who do not acknowledge Him, unless they refuse to accept His forgiveness. How He must grieve that the blood of His Son has been wasted on so many who will not embrace His forgiveness and live in His love!

No blood, no forgiveness! Yes, it is true, but . . . blood has been shed, pure, unblemished human blood, for the forgiveness of sins. All it requires is acknowledgement that I, the sinner, need forgiveness and cleansing for breaking God’s law and from the pollution of my sin, and grateful acceptance of the blood of Jesus that He shed in my place so that I can go free.

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Luella Campbell

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>