Chapter 5
The Holy Blood of Jesus

It was of absolute necessity that the Saviour of the world possess three qualities:

(1) The Saviour of the world had to be a Man.

Man had sinned, and therefore man had to suffer the punishment of that sin.

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage…Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren… (Heb. 2:14-17; cf. Rom. 8:3; Gal. 4:4-5)

Jesus was required to be a real and proper Man, as well as the living God. To be able to redeem us, the Son of God had to take upon Himself a full humanity to make it possible for Him to offer Himself as a sacrifice.

The wages of sin is death, and God, as infinite Spirit, cannot die. Therefore God had to take upon Himself “flesh,” or human nature, to be able to die in our place and redeem us.

This is beautifully depicted in the Old Testament, in the book of Ruth, when Boaz became Ruth’s “kinsman-redeemer.” To be her “redeemer” he first had to be her “kinsman.”1

So to become our Redeemer, the Son of God first had to empty Himself,2 and be “made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7). Notice He was made in “the likeness of men,” or, as Paul says, “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom. 8:3). Jesus’ humanity was a full and genuine humanity3 – spirit, soul, mind and body – only He was sinless.

Consequently the Mediator between God and man is “the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5).

(2) The Saviour of the world had to be God.

The Saviour had to be God Himself to be able to provide a sacrifice of sufficient value to redeem us.

If it were only necessary for the Saviour to be holy and human, then God could have sent a holy angel (Matt. 25:31) down to take upon himself flesh and die in our place.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that Jesus was not God, or equal with God, but was Michael the archangel. However, if it were only an angel that died on the cross then there would be no salvation for humanity, because angels are created beings and therefore finite. God alone is infinite, and therefore He alone could be the sacrifice of infinite value to redeem man from the punishment of his sins (Ps. 49:7-8).

It was impossible for God to save anyone unless He Himself died for us (Matt. 26:39). It had to be God’s blood. So, since man cannot become God and die on the cross, God became man (1 Tim. 3:16) and died on the cross. The saving power, or efficacy, of the blood of Jesus lies in the fact that He was God.5

The blood of Jesus is powerful and efficacious because it is God’s own blood. It is not just blood; it is the blood of Jesus. And Jesus is not just some man who died; Jesus is God. God died. God shed His blood (Acts 20:28; 1 John 3:16).

(3) The Saviour of the world had to be pure and holy.

Only the innocent can bear the punishment of the guilty. Only the holy can take the place of the unholy. The Saviour had to be perfectly holy.

One sinner cannot die for another sinner. Imagine, if you will, two men on “death row,” both of whom are personally guilty of awful crimes and sentenced to death. Can one of them offer to pay the penalty of the other and die in his place? Would that be acceptable to the judge? Obviously not! Each is guilty, and each can only give his life to pay the penalty for his own sin. For someone to come in and die in the place of the guilty, in order for the guilty to go free, he (i.e., the substitute) must be innocent.

Jesus could only bear our penalty if He was innocent and deserving of no penalty Himself. The Saviour had to be pure and sinless; and Jesus was holy and pure.

The Old Testament Sin Offerings Were Most Holy

Leviticus 6:25-29 reveals that the sin offering, which was a type of Christ, was always “most holy”:

…This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the LORD: it is most holy…in the holy place shall it be eaten…it is most holy.

It is a common teaching today that Jesus was pure and holy until He died on the cross, when He became sinful with the sin of humanity. But the Bible says that the sin offering, like Jesus whom it typified, was “most holy” before, during and after its death. So to teach that Jesus died spiritually and became sinful on the cross is to ignore totally the fact that the sin offering in the Bible was always most holy.

Leviticus 22:17-25 teaches that for an offering to be accepted by God, it had to be absolutely perfect. If it was anything less than perfect it would not be accepted by God:

…it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein…[if] blemishes be in them: they shall not be accepted for you. (Lev. 22:21, 25)

If Jesus were sinful on the cross, or at any time, that means that according to God’s stated requirements He would not have been accepted as a satisfactory substitute for men. Anything corrupt or blemished was not accepted as an offering by God. If Jesus died spiritually and became sinful on the cross, then He was not accepted as a sacrifice for sin:

But whatsoever hath a blemish, that shall ye not offer: for it shall not be acceptable for you. (Lev. 22:20)

And if there be any blemish therein, as if it be lame, or blind, or have any ill blemish, thou shalt not sacrifice it unto the LORD thy God. (Deut. 15:21)

Thou shalt not sacrifice unto the LORD thy God any bullock, or sheep, wherein is blemish, or any evilfavouredness: for that is an abomination unto the LORD thy God. (Deut. 17:1)6

If Jesus were sinful on the cross, then He would not have been accepted by God as a sacrifice for sin, no atonement was made, and there is no salvation for humanity! That is the seriousness of saying that Jesus died spiritually and became sinful on the cross. If Jesus were sinful on the cross, or at any time, you are yet in your sins, and have no hope of salvation!

Furthermore, if Jesus became sinful at any time then He would have needed a saviour! Not only would He have been unable to provide salvation for anyone else, but He would have needed to be saved Himself! That is the logical conclusion of the whole error: if Jesus died spiritually and became sinful, then who died for Jesus to redeem Him? The Redeemer would have needed a redeemer!7

But the Bible doesn’t teach that Jesus needed a redeemer! Quite on the contrary, it teaches that Jesus was the Redeemer, and as the Redeemer He was always personally holy, pure, sinless and innocent.

Leviticus 6:24-29 establishes that the sin offering remained most holy before, during and after its death. It was called “most holy” when it was killed:

…In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the LORD: it is most holy. (Lev. 6:25)

And after it was killed it was still described as being “most holy”:

All the males among the priests shall eat thereof: it is most holy. (Lev. 6:29)

It was so holy it had to be eaten in the Holy Place:

The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it: in the holy place shall it be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation. (Lev. 6:26)

Furthermore, it was still so holy that whatever touched it, instantly became holy itself:

Whatsoever shall touch the flesh thereof shall be holy: and when there is sprinkled of the blood thereof upon any garment, thou shalt wash that whereon it was sprinkled in the holy place. But the earthen vessel wherein it is sodden shall be broken:11 and if it be sodden in a brasen pot, it shall be both scoured, and rinsed in water. (Lev. 6:27-28)

Moreover, for the burnt offering – which was another type of Christ – to be accepted by God, it also had to be completely “without blemish” (Lev. 1:3); and at every point in the offering process it was always considered to be “most holy.”

The other types of offerings – the “meat” or grain offering, the peace offering and the trespass offering – were also offered “without blemish” to God; and again were considered, at all points of the offering process, to be “most holy.”

The Passover lamb, which was a type of Jesus’ sacrifice for sin, was required to be “without blemish” as well:

Your lamb shall be without blemish… (Ex. 12:5)

There was never an animal offered as an acceptable sacrifice to God in the entire Old Testament, which was sinful, corrupt or blemished in any way. In fact, God says that priests who offered blemished sacrifices upon His altar didn’t honor Him but rather “despised His name” by doing so:

…O priests, that despise my name…Ye offer polluted bread [i.e., blemished sacrifices and offerings] upon mine altar…if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil?…ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD. But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male [i.e., a healthy animal fit for sacrifice]…and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing… (Mal. 1:6-8, 13-14)

In similar manner, Paul declares, in Hebrews 10:29, that to count the blood of Jesus as “an unholy thing” is to trample under foot the Son of God, and is to “insult” (Greek) the Spirit of Grace.

Jesus Was Holy on the Cross!

Despite the fact that some have taught that Jesus on the cross was “impregnated with sin,” became “the very essence of sin” and was therefore “banished from God’s presence as a loathsome thing,”18 the Bible teaches that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament types and was perfect, sinless and unblemished in every respect, and at every point throughout His death, burial and resurrection.

…by His knowledge shall my righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities. (Is. 53:11)

In Isaiah 53:11, Jesus is called God’s “righteous [not unrighteous] Servant” when He was suffering on the cross, bearing the iniquities of His people. It was “the Just One” who was betrayed and slain (Acts 7:52).

In direct contradiction to what the Bible clearly teaches – that Jesus died physically and was holy on the cross – some have taught that Jesus died spiritually and became sinful on the cross. One man has written:

He [Jesus] died two deaths...physical and spiritual. He opened Himself and received sin. God made Jesus to be sin. He literally BECAME SIN...He gladly swallowed up sin...[He] became as a serpent, that He might swallow up all evil.

This same man defines spiritual death as referring to the state of a being when he is “under the dominion of sin, destitute of grace or divine life.” He goes on to teach that Jesus experienced spiritual death, thereby implying that, at some point, Jesus – the eternal, holy Son of God, and Sovereign Lord of the universe – was not only “under the dominion of sin,” but was also “destitute of divine life” which would make Him, for a time at least, less than God!

Another man has written:

The universe went into mourning when God made Jesus sin...He is spiritually dead. The worm...He had been lifted up as a serpent. Serpent is Satan. Jesus knew He was going to be lifted up, united with the Adversary...the God-forsaken Son of God...When He was made Sin, He was turned over by God to the Adversary...Satan became His master...[He was] yielded to his [Satan’s] dread control...He is suffering the torments of the damned...His spirit absolutely became impregnated with the sin nature of the world.

Another has stated: “The righteousness of God was made to be sin. He [Jesus] accepted the sin nature of Satan in His own spirit.” This man goes on to say that it was the “sign of Satan that was hanging on the cross,” and that Jesus accepted spiritual death in His own spirit and “the Light was turned off.”

This teaching, of which we could give many more examples, is completely false, and it is a good example of what the Bible calls “profane and vain babblings,” and “perverse things.” Indeed the teaching as a whole could accurately be described as being “another gospel” setting forth “another Jesus.”

Men may teach that Jesus was sinful on the cross, but the Bible is clear. When Jesus offered Himself to God, in perfect fulfillment of the Old Testament types, He was “without spot” (Heb. 9:14). When Jesus shed His precious blood to redeem us He was “without blemish and without spot” (1 Pet. 1:19). When Jesus was suffering for sins He was “just” or righteous (1 Pet. 3:18).

Of course He was pure and holy! Jesus was God on the cross:

For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (Col. 2:9)

How could God whose name is “Holy” and who is infinitely holy, pure and righteous, suddenly experience a change of moral nature and become sinful? How could the God-Man become unclean?

The Holy One shed His blood on the cross. He was without spot and without blemish and perfectly sinless at all times. In Him was no sin (1 John 3:5). How could God who is infinitely holy suddenly become sinful? Of course He can’t and He didn’t! Men may teach that He did, but God is quite plain:

For such an High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; (Heb. 7:26)

Jesus was “holy...undefiled...[and] separate from sinners.” Jesus was “without sin” (Heb. 4:15). Jesus “knew no sin” when He was made a sin offering (2 Cor. 5:21).21 There was “no unrighteousness” in Him (John 7:18). Jesus was, at all times, the holy, pure, righteous Lamb of God.

Furthermore, if Jesus died spiritually and became sinful on the cross, that means His blood was not the “precious blood” described in 1 Peter 1:19. Sinful blood is not precious blood but worthless blood (Zeph. 1:17). If the whole world put together isn’t valuable enough to pay the price for the redemption of a man, then the corrupt blood of a sinner certainly isn’t!

However, Jesus was not sinful, but He was the holy Son of God; and His blood was not corrupt and worthless, but it was the pure, sinless, precious blood of God. Hallelujah!

These then were the three vital attributes that had to be found in the Saviour of the world, and that were perfectly present in Jesus Christ: He had to be Man, He had to be God, and He had to be holy.

All for sin could not atone,
Thou must save and Thou alone.

(Augustus Toplady)


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