The Hebrew writer in the New Testament said “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission” Hebrews 9:22). God said early on that the one who sheds blood must shed his own blood – that is to give his own life. But as God looked forward to the time when the blood of Christ would be substituted for the sinner’s, the blood of animals became a type of the blood of Christ who could really take away sins. So animal sacrifices were required to take away sins under the Old Testament law of Moses.
All men sin and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Since God has said that sin demands death, and since God was not willing that all should die – He sent Christ into the world to take our place. The Hebrew writer said “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” (Hebrews 9:12). Later, in the same chapter, he said “For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Hebrews 9:24). Christ shed His own blood so that you and I might not have to shed our blood when we sin. Remember, God said “The soul who sins shall die....” (Ezekiel 18:20). If I sin, then God requires my life – that is a separation from God. But Jesus was willing to die in my place and yours. That is the greatest love of all.
At this point one might ask “how could the blood of the Lord which was shed over 2,000 years ago have anything to do with salvation from sin?” Christ died for us. He paid the price of sin – which was death. To shed blood is to die. To die is to shed blood in a figure of speech. Jesus died so that we would not have to do so spiritually. This is stated clearly in Romans 6:3-4. “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Many people today say that baptism is not essential. The word of God clearly tells us that we appropriate the blood of Christ through baptism.
All men will die a physical death, but those who are washed in the blood of Christ by being baptized for the forgiveness of their sins and live faithfully for God in the remaining days on this earth will not die a spiritual death. By being obedient to God we can have the assurance of being able to live eternally with Him. “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9). I encourage you to obey God so that you can have the peace of mind knowing that physical death is the gateway to eternal life in Christ Jesus!