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Under the Law of Moses, the High Priest entered the Most Holy Place once a year. That was on the Day of Atonement when he brought the blood of a bull, slain as a sin offering, behind the veil to sprinkle it upon the Ark of the Covenant (Lev. 16). The veil that separated the Most Holy from the Holy Place symbolized the barrier that kept sinful man from coming before God. Without blood, the atonement for sin, man could not approach the holiness of God’s presence.
The blood of sacrificial animals under the Old Covenant did not atone for sins, however. It only foreshadowed the shedding of the blood of God’s own Son, the atoning sacrifice by which the forgiveness of sins would truly be made possible. In Hebrews we read: “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come . . . he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance . . . ” (Hb. 9:11–15).
Through the blood of Christ, therefore, the way to God’s presence is now open to all people. Speaking of both Jews and Gentiles, Paul wrote: “For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father” (Eph. 2:18). If we are genuinely sorry for our sins and seek God’s forgiveness, we may come to God through Christ, no matter who we are. All are welcome. And we need not fear that God will reproach us or treat us harshly. To the contrary, we can know that our Father waits for us at His throne with lovingkindness. Because Jesus Christ shed His blood for us, we do not have to fear the wrath of God’s justice; we may rest our hearts in the confidence of His mercy. By the blood of Christ, we may “receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hb. 4:16). Throughout this week, may we remind ourselves of the blessing of Christ’s sacrifice: by the blood of Christ we have access to God’s presence.
Monday: Hebrews 10:19–22
Key Idea: By His blood, Christ made it possible for us to draw near to God.
Questions for Family Growth: What does the writer say we have “boldness” (NKJV) to enter by the blood of Christ? How did the Old Testament foreshadow what is now possible in Christ? What is the “pure water” spoken of in v.22?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 10:13.
Tuesday: Revelation 1:5
Key Idea: Christ washed us from our sins in His own blood because He loved us.
Questions for Family Growth: How is Jesus Christ described in this verse? What does it mean that He “washed us from our sins in His own blood” (NKJV)? Consider the “washing” mentioned in Eph. 5:25–27. What did love have to do with this?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 10:14.
Wednesday: Acts 20:28
Key Idea: The church consists of those who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ.
Questions for Family Growth: What did Paul instruct the elders from Ephesus to do? In what sense did Jesus “purchase” (NKJV) the church with His own blood? Should knowing this make a difference in our attitude toward the church?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 10:15.
Thursday: Revelation 7:13–17
Key Idea: Heaven will be for those who have been cleansed by the blood of Christ.
Questions for Family Growth: What scene is described by John in this passage? What do the white robes represent? How did these robes get to be white? What assurances are given to the Lord’s people in these verses?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 10:16.
Friday: 1 Corinthians 6:19,20
Key Idea: We ought to live as people whose salvation was bought by the blood of Christ.
Questions for Family Growth: How should we live if we truly understand that our bodies are the temple of God’s Spirit? What does Paul mean that we “were bought with a price”? How do we “glorify God” in our bodies?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 10:17.