How does the blood of Jesus purify us from all sin?
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. .”—I John 1:7.
“Sin” means relational breakdown. The phrase above in bold picks up the ancient picture of sacrifice restoring that relationship.
But how does “blood” work? In Leviticus 17:11 : “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.” “Atonement” means providing covering, or satisfaction for an offence, resulting in the restoration of that broken relationship.
“According to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22).
Under the Old Covenant there was atonement through the blood of sacrificial animals, but Jesus brought the real sacrifice for sin. “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4).
High priests in the Old Testament offered the blood of animals. Our High Priest, Jesus Christ, gave His own life as a sacrifice for sin: “Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:12-14).
Christ could pay the penalty for our sin because He was without sin. Since He was not under the same condemnation, He could voluntarily take our place.
He “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24).
Thus God’s grace is given through the blood of Christ. We are “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith” (Romans 3:24, 25).
The blood of Christ is the blood of the New Covenant.
“Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:54).
This is a “hard saying” which was explained in the Lord’s supper: “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.’ Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins’” (Matthew 26:26-28).
The blood of Christ shows God’s love.
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (Romans 5:8, 9).
Jesus “loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Revelation 1:5).
God proves His love by the high price He was willing to pay for our salvation.
“You were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold,… but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:17-19).
As John the Baptist testified of Jesus: “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
Cleansing by the blood of Christ is offered to all.
The Old Covenant was given to the people of Israel. The New Covenant is for everyone. To non-Jewish Christians Paul wrote: “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13).
The blood of Christ enables us to stand before God’s throne in white.
“Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, ‘Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?’ And I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ So he said to me, ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’” (Revelation 7:13, 14).
Lord, thank you for cleansing me through your blood. Thank you that when you said “It is finished” you meant that the work of redemption was totally complete. Your blood can make the worst offender completely clean. I believe it, and I receive it. In Jesus’ name.