[forthright] Blood and Water in the Plan of Salvation (I)

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From: "Forthright Magazine" <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2007 13:40:05 -0300
Forthright Magazine
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Straight to the Cross

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COLUMN: Square One

Blood and Water in the Plan of Salvation
Part One
by Richard Mansel

When Jesus was on the cross, the Sabbath Day was
approaching and the Roman soldiers were unable to
leave prisoners on the cross. Therefore, they came
to break the legs of the criminals so their deaths
would be expedited. When they came to Jesus, he
was already dead. "But one of the soldiers pierced
His side with a spear, and immediately blood and
water came out" (John 19:34, NKJV).

Blood and water have an interesting relationship
in Scripture. This study can yield a deeper
appreciation of the inspiration of Scripture and
of salvation. They can also enrich our
understanding of how the blood of Christ and the
new birth occur (John 3:3-5). God's Word is an
endless well of knowledge sufficient for a
lifetime of study.

Moses said,

   "For the life of the flesh is in the
   blood, and I have given it to you upon the
   altar to make atonement for your souls;
   for it is the blood that makes atonement
   for the soul" (Leviticus 17:11).

Atonement means making amends for a wrong
committed. Blood was part of God's plan for
dealing with the sins of men. And God's plan is
consistent in both covenants.

In Exodus 24, sacrifices were offered before the
Lord. Moses read the Book of the Covenant to the
people and they committed to be faithful to God.
And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the
people, and said, "This is the blood of the
covenant which the Lord has made with you
according to all these words" (Exodus 24:8).
Through the blood, God made a covenant with the
people of physical Israel to be their God and
remain faithful to them, if they would do the
same.

In the first covenant, the Law of Moses, the blood
of bulls and goats was offered for sins but now in
the second covenant, God has a better way (Hebrews
8:6). Jesus' blood was offered for the sins of men
(Hebrews 9:12-14). Jesus, who was without sin (2
Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 9:14; 2 Corinthians
5:21), was offered before God as the sacrifice to
make men justified.

Christ's blood, though, only had to be offered
once. "But this Man, after He has offered one
sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right
hand of God" (Hebrews 10:12). The greatness of
God's plan would cover all the men who ever lived
and were willing to be the disciples of his Son
(Ephesians 2:11-18).

The first covenant was made before the Lord that
they would be faithful to God for the remainder of
their days. Likewise, the second covenant expects
the same level of faithfulness (Revelation 2:10).

When the physical nation of Israel abandoned God
by committing spiritual adultery (Ezekiel 16:23-
30), their unfaithfulness led them to captivity
and death. When the spiritual nation of Israel
commits spiritual adultery by being unfaithful to
God, they will also find death and enslavement to
Satan (Hebrews 6:4-6; Hebrews 10:26-29). Either
way, the shed blood was counted as useless by the
people of God.

Imagine Jesus shedding his blood and dying for us.
We are there looking at his face marred by
terrible violence. In his bloody pain, he
struggles against the tearing flesh for the
smallest breath. As he slowly suffocates, we look
in his eyes, deep into his soul, and say, "Sorry,
it wasn't good enough." Would we count his
sacrifice as a complete waste of time? Can we
imagine? Christ can (Matthew 7:13).

----
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