There’s BLOOD on the Altar
INTRODUCTION: One of the most important doctrines from the Word of God finds its foundation on “The BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST.” This being communion Sunday, and since one of the areas we are instructed to remember is the cup symbolizing the blood of Christ shed for our sins, I would like to preach on “There’s Blood on the Altar.”
The happiest day in the life of the nation of Israel was the Day of Atonement. This yearly celebration was held on the tenth day of the month called “Tishri” in the Hebrew calendar. That would be comparable to the month of October in our calendar.
Every year on the tenth of October, on the day of Atonement, the high Priest taking the blood of the sacrificial animals, would go into the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood upon the mercy seat to make an atonement for the sins of all the people of Israel.
Do you suppose you and I could keep up with all the sins we’ve committed since last year at this time? My soul! We would have to get all the calculators on earth to bring it all together.
Can you imagine a congregation of several million anxiously waiting for the day to come when their high priest would go from the Brazen Altar with the basin of blood into the Holy Place, pass the veil and into the Holy of Holies and make an atonement for all of their sins! What a happy day that must have been!
The happiest day in the life of a sinner is when Jesus washes his sins away. No wonder the song-writer wrote:
O happy day that fixed my choice
On Thee, my Saviour and my God!
Well may this glowing heart rejoice
And tell its raptures all aboard.
Happy day, happy day,
When Jesus washed my sins away!
He taught me how to watch and pray
And live rejoicing every day;
Happy day, happy day,
When Jesus washed my sins away!
There was a day, 70 years ago on June 30, when I came to know the freedom of sins forgiven – all because of the Blood of Calvary.
It was on that day I found my sins washed in the blood of Calvary, having believed that Jesus died for me and shed his blood to cover all my sins.
It was on that day, I received Eternal life and forever settled the question of where I would spend eternity.
If you have not had that experience,
If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior,
If you have not the peace of the soul about heaven as your eternal home,
Then you need right now to trust the living Christ as your personal Savior.
Would you please turn with me to the book of Leviticus and follow as I read chapter 17, verse 11, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement of the soul.”
Now in view of this passage, let me share with you four very important thoughts.
NUMBER 1. A DIVINE PRONOUNCEMENT: Again notice the first part of the verse, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood…” Science caught up with the Bible on this when scientists discovered the biological truth that life is in the blood. It is the blood circulating through our bodies that gives to us what we call life. For example:
The blood that flows to your brain brings with it life-giving oxygen.
If the blood supply is cut off from your brain, the oxygen is cut off and you die.
If the blood is no longer circulating to your feet, ultimately your feet will die.
Understand the Bible is not a book of science as such. But when the Bible speaks scientifically, it speaks with scientific accuracy. Here then is a divine pronouncement, a scientific fact: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood…” What God has already said, is corroborated by science.
NUMBER 2. A DIVINE PRESENT: The second thought is in the phrase where God said, “…and I have given it to you upon the altar…” Here we have a God-given gift. According to James 1:17; we read,
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
Everything that you and I have in life we have received from God. Whatever powers of reason, physical stamina and strength we possess; whatever we have today materially, physically, emotionally, psychologically, financially comes from God. Our text reads “…I have given it (the blood) to you upon the altar…” Listen to the presents God has given to us spiritually!
In Romans 6:23; we read, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
In II Corinthians 9:15; we read, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”
In Ephesians 2:8-9; we read, “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.”
In John 3:16; we read, For God so loved the world (the whole world of the human race) that He (God) gave His only begotten Son (the perfect, sinless son of God), that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
You and I can give without loving, but we cannot love without giving. Love always produces giving. “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
God said, in Leviticus, “…and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls.” A divine present is God’s gift of the Lord Jesus Christ.
NUMBER 3. A DIVINE PROVISION: The third thought is a divine provision, “…for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” The greatest commentary on the Bible is the Bible, itself. The book of Hebrews in the New Testament is the commentary on the Book of Leviticus. Hebrews 9:22, “…without the shedding of blood is no remission” is the commentary on Leviticus 17:11, “…for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” The only way a man can be saved is through the blood of Jesus Christ.
The BLOOD is the divine thread that runs through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. The Bible is the Book of Blood. Salvation is by the BLOOD.
There are church denominations who are not preaching on the BLOOD of Christ that saves. They like their robed choirs and formal worship, but don’t talk about the Blood of Jesus that saves.
There are groups that are removing the hymns that mention BLOOD from their hymn books.
The cross and the BLOOD of Christ are revolting to human nature. Social gospel rejects the blood. It says live a good life, join a church, be baptized and hope for God to let you in the pearly gates.
In Peter 1:18-19; we read, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers. But with the precious BLOOD of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
It is the BLOOD that saves.
It is the BLOOD that makes atonement.
It is through the BLOOD that we have remission of sin.
Every time we have communion, as we will at the end of the service, it is a reminder of the blood of Jesus that was shed on our behalf.
In I Corinthians 11:25; we read where Jesus said of the cup, “After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped saying, This cup is the new Testament in MY BLOOD; this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.”
Think of all the hymns that teach us of the BLOOD.
In the old rugged cross, stained with BLOOD so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see:
for t’was on that old cross Jesus suffered
and died to pardon and sanctify me.
Would you be free from your burden of sin?
There’s power in the BLOOD, power in the BLOOD.
Would you over evil a victory win?
There’s wonderful power in the BLOOD.
Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?
There’s power in the BLOOD, power in the BLOOD.
Sin-stains are lost in its life-giving flow;
There’s wonderful power in the BLOOD!
Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?
Are you washed in the BLOOD of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you washed in the BLOOD of the Lamb?
There is a fountain filled with BLOOD, Drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
And sinners plunged beneath that flood, Lose all their guilty stains.
Dear dying lamb, thy precious BLOOD shall never lose its power,
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved to sin no more.
What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the BLOOD of Jesus.
What can make me whole again? Nothing but the BLOOD of Jesus.
Nothing can for sin atone, Nothing but the BLOOD of Jesus.
Naught of good that I have done, Nothing but the BLOOD of Jesus.
Again we read in Leviticus 17:11; “…for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” Think about this,
Without blood on the altar there is NO PEACE. If there is blood on the altar there is peace in the heart. In Colossians 1:20; we read, “and , having made peace through the blood of his cross…”
This is all my hope and peace, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
This is all my righteousness, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Without blood on the altar there is NO POSITION with God in Christ. It is written in Ephesians 2:13; “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”
Without blood on the altar there is NO PURCHASE for our souls, because in Acts 20:28; Paul admonished the church leaders at Ephesus to “feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”
Has it ever dawned upon you the precious price God paid when He gave His son and purchased you with His own blood? There is no purchase of your soul without blood.
Without blood on the altar there is NO PARDON because it is written in Ephesians 1:7; “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace…”
For my Pardon this I see, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
For my cleansing this my plea, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Without blood on the altar there is NO PROPITIATION which means covering, because Romans 3:25; says, “whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood…”
Without blood on the altar there is NO PURIFICATION. In Revelation 1:5-6; we read, “Unto Him (Christ) that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.”
It is through the BLOOD we are forgiven.
It is through the BLOOD we are pardoned and justified.
It is through the BLOOD we are positioned in Christ.
It is through the BLOOD we are purchased by Christ.
It is through the BLOOD we are given peace.
NUMBER 4. A DIVINE PROGRAM: In this divine program let me point out three things about this blood on the altar. Remember, God said, “I have given it to you upon the altar.”
In order to understand this point we need to go to Leviticus 16, where we have described for us the “Day of Atonement.” It was on this day that God would see the blood and forgive the sins of the nations for that year.
First: Only One Man. I want you to notice, first that the work of atonement was done only by the high priest. In Leviticus 16:17; we read, “And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he (that is the High Priest) goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place.” When Aaron, the High Priest, went into the Holy of Holies, he went alone. Again, picture if you would this day:
The high priest would offer a sacrifice on the brazen altar in the courtyard of the tabernacle.
He would take the blood of the lamb and walk through the Holy Place inside the tabernacle, past the huge veil into the Holy of Holies.
There he would sprinkle the blood of the lamb on the Ark of the Covenant.
He would then come back into the courtyard and place his bloody hands upon another goat, called the scapegoat, which would then be taken out into the wilderness to be lost forever, symbolizing when God forgives our sins that are forever forgiven.
Remember this was to be done year after year by the high priest.
Second: Only One Day. The second thing I point out to you this high priest could only go in on the Day of Atonement, for we read in Leviticus 16:30 & 34,
“For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. (34) And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.”
It was all accomplished on the tenth day of October. On this day and only on this day would he sprinkle the blood, and then come out from the presence of God. He had to do this yearly for the sins of the people.
Third: Only One Nation. Not only did the high priest perform the atonement alone and on one day, but he did it for all the sins of all the people in that one nation – the people of Israel.
Please notice Leviticus 16:5, 21-22, 34; “And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering. (18) And he shall go out unto the altar that is before the LORD, and make an atonement for it; and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about. (19) And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel. (20) And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: (21) And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: (22) And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. (34) And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.”
Now, this High Priest who did the work alone, on the day of Atonement, for the sins of the nation of Israel set the stage for Jesus who alone did the work of atonement on the cross of Calvary.
In Hebrew 1:1-3; we read Paul’s commentary. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, (2) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; (3) Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”
Over in Hebrews 9:11-15; we continue to read. “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; (12) 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. (13) 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: (14) 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? (15) 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.”
The hymn writer wrote,
I know a fount where sins are washed away;
I know a place where night is turned to day.
Burdens are lifted; blind eyes made to see.
There’s a wonder-working power in the Blood of Calvary!
When the High Priest went beyond the veil into the Holy of Holies, there was no place for him to sit, no resting place. Do you know why? Because the next day, and the next month, and the next year, he would continue offering sacrifices.
However, our HIGH PRIEST, Jesus Christ is seated today. The work of atonement, in Aaron’s case, was done by one man on one day, for one nation. But in our case, on the cross of Calvary, our eternal lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ, one person, on one day for ALL people completed the work of atonement by His shed blood.
Listen to this:
Abel’s LAMB in Genesis 4 provided redemption for one man.
The Passover LAMB of Exodus 12 provided redemption for one family.
The LAMB on the Day of Atonement provided redemption for one nation.
But I can hardly wait to tell you that Calvary’s lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ, redeems all mankind. He washes away all of our sins, all of our transgressions, all of our iniquities.
In I John 2:2; we read, “He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world!”
In Isaiah 53:6; we read, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
In Hebrew 10:11-12; we read, “And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man (speaking of Jesus, our High Priest), after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.”
There will never be another Garden of Gethsemane,
There will not be another Pilate’s judgment hall of cruelty,
There will never be another Calvary’s cross!
“…but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by sacrifice of himself.” And He (Jesus) sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Once for all, O sinner, receive it.
Once for all, O brother, believe it.
Cling to the cross, the burden will fall;
Christ hath redeemed us once for all!
If God has spoken to your heart, after reading the sermon “There’s BLOOD on the Altar” right now talk to God about what He has spoken to you.
Do you have the assurance that one day you will go to heaven? If you have no assurance that you know Jesus Christ, then I trust you will decide to accept Him as your personal Savior. The Bible tells us in
Acts 16:31, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This prayer is here for those who need to ask Jesus to be their personal Savior: “I do want to go to Heaven. I know I am a sinner, and I do believe Jesus Christ died for me. I realize I cannot buy this great salvation, nor can I earn it. Knowing Jesus died on the cross and arose from the grave to pay my sin debt and to purchase my salvation, I do now trust Him as my Savior, and from this moment on I am completely depending on Him for my salvation.”
If you made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, please let me know. Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you some literature that will help you in your Christian life.
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