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THE BLOOD ATONEMENT : IN JESUS' OWN WORDS
Authored By : Bill Kochman (aka The WordWeaver)
Published On : October 4, 1997
Last Updated : January 3, 2009
A Plea To Those Who Deny The Sacrifice At Calvary
It is important that we as Christians truly understand the Plan of Redemption; and that we have a strong foundation in the Word upon which to stand during times of doubt and testing. This will become even more important in the near future when the Lord allows strong delusion to overcome the world revolving around events in the Middle East. While I have explained God's Plan of Salvation quite fully in other articles such as "Message to the World", "Not Everyone is a Child of God" and "A Fantastic Party! Are You Coming?"as well as delved into the topic of Christ's Blood Atonement on the Cross, I feel it is necessary to write another article which concentrates specifically on Jesus' own words regarding His approaching Death on the Cross, and subsequent Resurrection. After all, it is this very act which is the pillar and foundation of our Christian faith. Regardless of how many other things we claim to believe about the Bible, if we deny this one most important fact, then we have missed the whole reason for the many Old Testament prophecies which were fulfilled in Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Regardless of how much we fill our heads with Biblical facts and figures, unless we have absolute faith in the Cross at Calvary, we are lost; for as Jesus said:
". . . I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
John 14:6, KJV
One of the first verses I would like to take a look at in this study is found in the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus tells us:
"Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
Matthew 20:28, KJV
This very same message from Jesus is repeated in the Gospel of Mark:
"For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
Mark 10:45, KJV
The usage of the word "ransom" is very important in these verses. The American Heritage Dictionary defines ransom as: "The release of a person or property held captive in return for the payment of a demanded price." What a fitting word to describe exactly what Jesus did for us. We were indeed dead in sin, captives of the Devil; but through His sacrifice on the Cross, Jesus freed us into the glorious liberties of the Children of God. Consider one of the very first things Jesus said when He began His ministry after spending forty days in the wilderness fasting:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,"
Luke 4:18, KJV
Jesus had gone into the synagogue at Nazareth to teach and was actually reading from Isaiah 61:1. The book of Isaiah is actually full of many verses regarding Jesus' ministry. A few verses later, He told those present:
". . . This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears."
Luke 4:21, KJV
This was Jesus' opening announcement so-to-speak of exactly what His ministry was all about. Like Moses of old, He had come to set the captives free. But unlike Moses who had primarily liberated the Hebrews in a physical sense from the bondage of Egypt, Jesus had come to fulfill the other half of God's plan: to liberate all mankind in a spiritual sense from the bondage of death and sin. Consider Jesus' own words to the unbelieving Jews regarding Moses:
"For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?"
John 5:46-47, KJV
Exactly what was it that Moses said about Jesus? Almost two thousand years before, in a prophetic vision of the future, Moses said:
"The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him."
Deuteronomy 18:15-19, KJV
This is such a wonderful revelation, that it excites me just to write about it. In the Old Testament, we have the Lord's physical Liberator, and in the New Testament we have the spiritual Liberator. How fitting then that Moses should join Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration! Exactly how did Jesus free us? By providing Himself as the ransom for our sins; just as He said He would do in the previously-quoted verses from the Gospels.
To further confirm exactly why He had to die on the Cross, Jesus shared the following words with His Disciples at the Last Supper:
". . . Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
Matthew 26:26-28, KJV
Jesus' words have double meaning. First, His physical body was broken, crucified on the Cross for the physical healing of our bodies, for our many infirmities. Furthermore, through the torture, death and resurrection of His body, He would become the FirstFruits of the Resurrection; thus proving beyond a shadow of a doubt, that those who believe in Him will experience the same. Consider these things that Jesus said:
". . . Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again."
Luke 18:31-33, KJV
". . . An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
Matthew 12:39-40, KJV
As Jesus explained in the above verse and in other Scriptures which cover the Last Supper, our Salvation is two-fold. It requires both the Resurrection of our bodies, and the Salvation of our souls or spirits. The Lord made it clear that His Blood was shed for the remission of our sins. In previous articles I explained this very thing stating that from the Old Testament to the New, without the spilling of blood, first through the symbolic sacrificial lamb, and then ultimately through the very Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, there can be no remission of sins. It is His Blood alone on the Cross at Golgotha that cleanses us from sin and raises us from spiritual death:
"Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Romans 6:11, KJV
"And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness."
Romans 8:10, KJV
Throughout His brief ministry, Jesus preached this same message of Atonement and Salvation over and over again. In John chapter six we find Him again prophesying His own death that we might obtain forgiveness of sins and Eternal Life:
"I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you."
John 6:51-53, KJV
Again, in John chapter ten Jesus compared His approaching death to a shepherd who gives His life for the sheep:
"I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep."
John 10:11, KJV
A few short chapters later, Jesus again made mention of His imminent death in John chapter fifteen:
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
John 15:13, KJV
In speaking privately to His Disciples during the Last Supper, Jesus said:
"For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end."
Luke 22:37, KJV
In this case again, Jesus was quoting from the prophet Isaiah who in the fifty-third chapter described the sufferings of Christ and His ultimate victory over death. Jesus had a world vision. He knew full well in advance that His death on the Cross -- that is, being lifted -- would signify Liberation and Salvation for ALL men everywhere, IF they would only believe:
"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."
John 12:32, KJV
Some, such as those who blindly follow the teachings of that demon-inspired Urantia Book, the Unbelief Book as I prefer to call it, have claimed that Jesus didn't have to die on the Cross. They erroneously claim that He could have lived out a normal human life span. This idea is in total contradiction to the Scriptures I have presented thus far. Jesus knew that He had to go all the way. Even when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, in His moment of biggest weakness, Jesus committed Himself to do His Father's will. Everything would have been in vain if He hadn't. But once He knew that all had been completed, look at what Jesus' final words were:
"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."
John 19:30, KJV
It wasn't until this very moment that Jesus completely fulfilled what He had come to do. Until His innocent Blood was shed on the Cross, His mission was not fulfilled. There was no chance of Salvation for us. As Jesus had said on a number of occasions, He had come to fulfill the Law, that is, to put an end to it by His final Blood Sacrifice on the Cross. It is for this very reason that at the time of Jesus' death on the Cross, the veil in the Temple of Solomon was ripped in half. God was giving a clear sign to the Law-keeping flesh Jews, that the day of keeping the Law, the Torah, was over. Now they had to accept the Sacrifice of His beloved Son as the ONLY Atonement for their sins. In comparing Jesus' Final Sacrifice to the original tabernacle of Moses, and the yearly sacrifices performed by Aaron the High Priest, the Apostle Paul likewise explained how this was merely a foreshadow of things to come in which Jesus would give His life as the Final Sacrifice once and for all:
"But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in ONCE into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us . . . Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now ONCE in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself . . . So Christ was ONCE offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation . . . By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE for all."
Hebrews 9:11-12, 25-26, 28, 10:10, KJV
Notice Paul's repetitive use of the word "once". That is all it took. There is no longer a need for any blood sacrifice by anyone else, be they Jew or otherwise. Paul continues by explaining how the Blood of Jesus Christ was the Ultimate Sacrifice, and much greater than any sacrifice performed by the Old Testament high priests:
"For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"
Hebrews 9:13-14, KJV
Paul then goes on to explain that in order for God's New Testament, or New Covenant, to be valid, Jesus had to die on the Cross first. There was no other way to activate the New Agreement He was making with the world except through the shedding of Jesus' Blood on the Cross:
"And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood . . . And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission."
Hebrews 9:15-18, 22, KJV
For emphasis, I have chosen the key verses in the above quotes. I encourage you to read the ninth and tenth chapters of Hebrews in their entirety to obtain a fuller understanding of what Paul was saying. Despite Jesus' own testimony, plus the words of the writers of the epistles, due to the hardness of their hearts, the Jews still didn't get the point; and that is why some forty years later, God allowed the Roman legions, lead by General Titus, to come in and completely destroy the Second Temple of Solomon. The Lord brought a forceful end to their false religion of keeping the Law and Temple sacrifices. For two thousand years now, they have been without a Temple; even though they were offered several opportunities to do so. In each attempt, according to what I have read, God confounded their efforts! As I have fully explained elsewhere, the true Temple of God is a Temple of the Spirit of which Jesus Christ, the slain Lamb of God, is the Chief Cornerstone:
"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."
Ephesians 2:19-22, KJV
"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded."
1 Peter 2:5-6, KJV
It is for these very reasons that if the Orthodox Jews do manage to rebuild their Temple in coming years, under a seven-year agreement with the Palestinian National Authority, Syria, Egypt and other Arab nations, it will be a complete farce! It will be a lie and a delusion! It will be a continuation of their blasphemy against God and the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ! God does not want any more sacrifices from them, because Jesus has already paid the price in full for our Salvation! Please don't forget this, because even many Christians are going to believe in this lie of Satan and his rebellious followers! Many in Christian America have already swallowed this lie, so beware!
To reiterate, Jesus came to fulfill, or to meet the requirements of the Law. Through His Perfect Sacrifice, He did what we can never do, and thus opened the way for us to receive Salvation and inherit Eternal Life. In short, He put an end to the requirements of the old Mosaic Law for Salvation, and introduced the Law of the Spirit. He said:
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."
Matthew 5:17, KJV
The Apostle Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, confirmed that through our faith in Jesus' death on the Cross, we are now dead, or freed, liberated, from the bondage of keeping the Laws of Moses in order to obtain our Salvation:
"Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God."
Romans 7:4, KJV
Moses and Jesus both spoke of how they each played a vital role in the Salvation of humankind. Moses brought the Law of Commandments, the Torah, to carry the Old Testament Jews up to the time of Jesus; and then Jesus, through His death on the Cross, introduced the New Covenant, the Law of the Spirit. Paul confirmed this, and preached on this many times during his ministry to the flesh Jews as I have already shown above. Peter and Stephen were likewise familiar with this and pointed back to Moses in two of their dissertations:
"For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people."
Acts 3:22-23, KJV
"This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear."
Acts 7:37, KJV
After Jesus had risen from the dead and accomplished all things according to His Father's Perfect Will, notice what He said when He appeared unto His Disciples:
". . . These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me."
Luke 24:44, KJV
You see, He was literally saying, "The demands and requirements of the Mosaic Law have now been met. To obtain Salvation and Eternal Life, all one must do is believe in my Sacrifice on the Cross. I have paid the price for you. I have paid the ransom." The Apostle John clarified Jesus' Mission in the very first chapter of his Gospel when he said:
"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."
John 1:17, KJV
In fact, in the Book of Revelation, in chapter thirteen where he describes the coming reign of The Beast and the False Prophet, John uses the phrase "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" in order to show that Jesus' death on the Cross was foreordained since the beginning of the world:
"And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
Revelation 13:8, KJV
It is because of Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross that we have now entered a period of grace and free will. All we have to do now is to believe in and to accept what Jesus did for us. It is just that simple. As Paul wrote in a number of his epistles, we are now saved ONLY by the Grace of God through the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and NOT by our own works:
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;"
Titus 3:5, KJV
"Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;"
Romans 3:24-25, KJV
"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement."
Romans 5:10-11, KJV
Many years ago, I learned an easy way to remember exactly what the word "grace" means. Perhaps it will help you as well to remember Who alone is the Author of our Salvation:
G = Gift
R = Received
A = At
C = Christ's
E = Expense
Sadly, as I already pointed out, in our modern day, most flesh Jews continue to reject this Eternal Truth. Being the self-righteous legalists that they are, they continue to insist that one must keep the Mosaic Law in order to merit their Salvation. Because they have rejected Jesus Christ as their Messiah, they still rely upon their "good works" to save them, in total contradiction to all of the Scriptures I have presented in this article. For those who fall under this delusion, the Grace of God is not good enough for them. They want to be able to take part of the credit for their Salvation; and this is why they strive to rebuild the Temple of Solomon on Mount Moriah in East Jerusalem. They believe that it is imperative that they re-institute animal sacrifices to please their "God".
However, the worst tragedy of all has to be the fact that even some of those who claim to be Christians have likewise fallen for this Satanic lie! Some churches preach a doctrine of Salvation which is an odd combination of grace and works. They say, "Yes, we are saved by the Blood of Jesus Christ, BUT we still have to keep the Sabbath; or we have to do this; or we have to do that." In other words, they are basically saying that the Blood of Jesus Christ is not enough. They are indirectly saying that we have to help Him save us. Those who teach such things are misguided false brethren! Beware of them! Do not fall for their lies! They are seeking to put you back under the bondage of the Law! The Apostle Paul fought tooth and nail against such heresies. Consider what he said to the Galatians:
"I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain."
Galatians 2:21-3:4, KJV
The bottom line is, either we are saved alone by our faith in the precious Blood of Jesus Christ shed on the Cross; or else we are saved by our own "good works". There are no two ways about it. Paul again clarified this for us when he said:
"And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work."
Romans 11:6, KJV
You simply cannot mix oil and vinegar, or gasoline and water. You can forcefully try to mix them, but given time, they will separate back into two distinct liquids. So it is with grace and works. Your faith is either in one, or in the other. Where is your faith? Do you honestly believe that you are good enough to merit your own Salvation by keeping the Law? If you do, then you deceive yourself and call God's Word a lie when it says:
"They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one."
Psalms 14:3, KJV
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
Romans 3:23, KJV
"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."
Galatians 2:16, KJV
As said earlier, today there are all kinds of books which claim to have the "truth" and which supposedly point to the way of Salvation. These modern books, like the Urantia Book and the Book of Mormon, claim to contain "new" revelations from God. Those who have been deluded by these lies claim that these modern writings are superior to what was given so long ago. So deceived are they, that the supporters of these false teachings insist that these writings were given to humanity by angelic messengers. For example, according to the Urantia Book, we no longer need to believe in the atoning Blood of Jesus Christ. The adherents of the Urantia Book claim that the Bible is wrong, or that it has been interpreted incorrectly; or that it is full of errors. In fact, some of the Urantians use "The Encyclopedia Of Biblical Errancy" to refute the Bible, in order to exalt their own book of darkness! How can such people even claim to be Christians? The Urantians also claim that we just have to be good people and to forgive each other in order to inherit Eternal Life. That's all God requires of us for Salvation, they insist. In light of the overwhelming evidence I have presented in this article, how do these people dare say such things? The Mormons also place their own writings above the Bible and only use it as a supplementary text to the Book of Mormon. The very manner in which the Book of Mormon was received and translated is highly suspicious and questionable in my view.
Again I say to you: Beware of such false doctrines and of such false brethren! There is absolutely no room for doubt about this! The Scriptures are very clear concerning the manner of our Salvation. They speak for themselves without any need of interpretation. Those people who deny the one true way to Salvation resist the very Spirit of God! As Stephen said to the hardened Jewish religious persecutors of his day, just before they stoned him to death:
"Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye."
Acts 7:51, KJV
As you read this Truth taken straight from God's Word, will you also resist and fight against God's Spirit until it is too late for you? I certainly hope not. You are being given a fair chance to accept the Messiahship and Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. At this very moment, God is speaking to your heart. It is not His desire that you, or anyone, should perish:
"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
2 Peter 3:9, KJV
"Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?"
Romans 2:4, KJV
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8, KJV
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,"
1 Peter 1:3, KJV
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
John 3:16, KJV
I truly pray that if you are one who has resisted and denied the Sacrifice that Jesus made on the Cross, that this message will prick your conscience and wake you up before it is too late! God is very merciful and lovingly and patiently waits for you to repent of your hard-heartedness and unbelief; however, He is not going to wait forever. Some day soon He is going to stand up and shake Himself off; and when He does, the whole universe is going to know about it. In that day, you are going to have to do some explaining as to why you fought against Him, and why you resisted the Truth He tried to show you. All of your fast talking about why your book, or why your science, or why your philosophy, or why your knowledge, or why your religion is superior to the Bible isn't going to help you then! One blast of His nostrils and all of these things will become ashes in your hands! Please, for the love of God, wake up!
With these words I will bring this article to a close. I hope that you have found it informative, and I pray that it has been a blessing and an inspiration in your life.
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For additional information, you may want to refer to the list of reading resources below which were also mentioned in this article, or which are related to this article, and which are likewise located on the Endtime Prophecy Net web server:
A Fantastic Party! Are You Coming?
Message to the World
Not Everyone is a Child of God