Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 73 of the Bible 2021 podcast. By my calculations, we are now 1/5th of the way through 2021, since 73 is 1/5 of 365. 20 percent of the year done and gone – thank you for spending part of it with us hearing God’s Word! We are reading Hebrews 9 today and our focus is how the blood of Jesus cleanses people.  We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in South Australia, Parts unknown, China, Odisha, India, Delhi, India, Manitoba, Canada, Tampa, Florida, Houston, Texas and Fort Wayne, Indiana + shout out to Denmark and Belgium.) Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and moreGREATTRUTHGREATSERMON – Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan

What is the bloodiest chapter in the entire Bible? If you answered Hebrews 9, then you are spot on. I don’t mean bloody as in violent, but bloody as in the chapter of the Bible where the word ‘blood’ is used the most. Hebrews 9 is king in that department with 12 appearances of the word blood – I can’t find another chapter in the Bible with more than 10 mentions of the word, with one exception. Blood is obviously a big, big deal in both the Old and New Testaments, but why? Isn’t blood kind of gross and cringe-worthy? Doesn’t the sight of blood and the mention of blood make some people recoil? Why is the Bible fixated on blood? It is a great question, that the Bible answers in a very clear way in the Old Testament:

11 For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have appointed it to you to make atonement on the altar for your lives, since it is the lifeblood that makes atonement…14 Since the life of every creature is its blood, I have told the Israelites: You are not to eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood; (Leviticus 17)

If you guessed Leviticus 17 has the second most mentions of blood in the Bible, then you are absolutely correct! Life is in the blood, says the Word of God…and spilled blood makes atonement – the ONLY thing that makes atonement. What is atonement, I hear you asking? Quite simply, atonement is a reparation (think ‘repairing) for a sin or error. In other words, atonement makes something right in the eyes of the offended party. If you back up and run over somebody’s $300.00 bike, and break it beyond repair, and it is obviously your fault, you would atone for your mistake by paying $300.00. That’s simple. How do you atone for sin, however? That’s not so simple when you are dealing with a perfectly holy God. His ways of atonement – His ONLY way of atonement – is lifeblood. Blood is the only thing that atones, or covers/repairs sins. This brings us to our verse of the day, which is one of the pillars and foundations of theology, Judaism and Christianity. If you don’t understand this verse and its implications, then Christianity will be a mystery to you.

22 According to the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Hebrews 9:22

It bears repeating: In God’s economy – In God’s eyes…there is NO forgiveness without the shedding of blood. Why? Because ONLY blood can cover/atone/repair the damage done by sin. You might think this is a bit out there or extreme, but it is likely you think that because you and I both undervalue how damaging, wrong and dangerous sin is. We are flawed, and therefore it is quite easy for us to overlook our flaws (though quite a bit more difficult to overlook the flaws of others.) God, however, is utterly flawless in every way – and sin is an offense to His very nature. The only way to cleanse sin is by lifeblood. Sin is just that serious. Let’s turn to Spurgeon to help us understand this in a deeper way:

Your real want is to know how you can be saved; if you are aware that your sin must be pardoned or punished, your question will be, “How can it be pardoned?” and then point blank in the very teeth of your enquiry, there stands out this fact: “Without shedding of blood there is no remission.” Mark you, this is not merely a Jewish maxim; it is a world-wide and eternal truth. It pertaineth not to the Hebrews only, but to the Gentiles likewise. Never in any time, never in any place, never in any person, can there be remission apart from shedding of blood. This great fact, I say, is stamped on nature; it is an essential law of God’s moral government, it is one of the fundamental principles which can neither be shaken nor denied. Never can there be any exception to it; it stands the same in every place throughout all ages—“Without shedding of blood there is no remission.” It was so with the Jews; they had no remission without the shedding of blood. Some things under the Jewish law might be cleansed by water or by fire, but in no case where absolute sin was concerned was there ever purification without blood…And note how decisive this is in its character: “Without shedding of blood there is no remission.” “But, sir, can’t I get my sins forgiven by my repentance? if I weep, and plead, and pray, will not God forgive me for the sake of my tears?” “No remission,” says the text, “without shedding of blood.” “But, sir, if I never sin again, and if I serve God more zealously than other men, will he not forgive me for the sake of my obedience?” “No remission,” says the text, “without shedding of blood.” “But, sir, may I not trust that God is merciful, and will forgive me without the shedding of blood?” “No,” says the text, “without shedding of blood there is no remission;” none whatever. It cuts off every other hope. Bring your hopes here, and if they are not based in blood, and stamped with blood, they are as useless as castles in the air, and dreams of the night….

But as there is no remission without blood-shedding, IT IS IMPLIED THAT THERE IS REMISSION WITH IT. Mark it well, this remission is a present fact. The blood having been already shed, the remission is already obtained. I might now conduct you to a garden and another mount to shew you the grand proof of the remission… Aside from the haunts of this busy world, in it was a new sepulchre, hewn out of a rock where Joseph of Arimathea thought his own poor body should presently be laid. But there they laid Jesus after his crucifixion. He had stood in guarantee for his people, and the law had demanded his blood; death had held him with strong grasp; and that tomb was, as it were, the dungeon of his captivity, when, as the good shepherd, he laid down his life for the sheep. Why, then, do I see in that garden, an open, untenanted grave? I will tell you. The debts are paid, the sins are cancelled, the remission is obtained. How, think you? That great Shepherd of the sheep hath been brought again from the dead by the blood of the everlasting covenant, and in him also we have obtained redemption through his blood

C. H. Spurgeon, “The Blood-Shedding,” in The New Park Street Pulpit Sermons, vol. 3 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1857), 90

End of the Show: Bible memory verse for March: Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore, [Jesus] is able to save completely those who come to God through him, since he always lives to intercede for them.”

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