Paul says here that we receive a right relationship with God by the ‘blood’ of Christ. Of course, he means by the death of Christ. However, his use of the word ‘blood’ here interests us. It shows that he is thinking about the system of sacrifices in the Old Testament (the first part of the Bible).
The sacrifices were the animals that people killed in order to offer them to God. Leviticus 17:11 says that God provided the blood of sacrifices to make atonement for the lives of his people. ‘To make atonement’ means to provide a right relationship with God.
In other words, the people were guilty of wrong and evil deeds. They had offended against God’s holy law. God could not accept their prayers because his judgement was against their evil deeds. However, God wanted to have a right relationship with them, so he allowed them to offer a sacrifice. The animal was innocent. It suffered death so that God could accept his people.
In the same way, Christ accepted death so that people can have a right relationship with God (Hebrews 9:11-28). The sacrifices themselves could not actually give people a right relationship with God (Hebrews 10:1-4), Rather, they showed how Christ would do it (Hebrews 10:5-10). People deserve only God’s anger, because of their wrong and evil deeds. However, by his death, Christ saves (rescues) them. When they believe and trust in Christ, God forgives them. That is how people can receive a right relationship with God.
Please use the links at the top of the page to find our other articles in this series. You can download all our articles if you go to the download page for our free 700+ page course book.
© 2018, Keith Simons.