Wednesday, December 11, 2019

A More Excellent Sacrifice

Temple Baptist Church - 12-11-2019
Hebrews 11:4


A.  Last week, we looked at Abel’s Last Sermon.  Though no words were spoken by Abel, his message was clear!  He offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain and his offering did several things.

1.  It established Abel’s righteousness.

2.  It condemned Cain eternally.

3.  It cost Abel his life temporally.

B.  God, from the beginning of man’s sinful condition, COMMANDED that death be the “wages of sin” and blood be the price of redemption.  These two things have never changed. 

C.  Abel, in obedience to God’s command, brought a sacrificial lamb to God and was accepted by which he was declared righteous. 

Matthew 23:35  That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

D. Concerning the shedding of blood for both atonement and salvation, God established two covenants. 

Hebrews 12:24  And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.  (This verse contrasts the “new covenant” with “that of Abel” or the “old covenant.”)

E.  In Hebrews 11:4, the Bible says, "Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain."  (Both Cain and Abel offered sacrifices, but Abel offered a “more excellent sacrifice.”  He offered what God commanded and demanded.)

1.  This sacrifice was made "by faith."

2.  This faith rested in God as the great Redeemer.

3.  This offering was by the divine institution.

4.  This offering was offered from the days of Adam downward.

F.  I have heard false statements over the years that demean the blood of Christ.  We must find our answers in the Bible, not in the thinking and teaching of fallible man.  Man’s theology is like the shifting sands of the Sahara Desert, ever changing and never coming to the knowledge of the Truth.

G.  I am not here to give an opinion concerning the blood of Christ because His blood lies outside of the bounds of both natural science and human reason.  If you try to make the conception, birth, body, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ fall into the realm of nature, you will make terrible theological mistakes. 

1.  His conception and birth was not like our conception and birth.  He was Holy Ghost conceived and virgin born. 

Matthew 1:18  Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

2.  His body was not like our body.  He lived in a prepared body without Adamic sin or a sin nature

Hebrews 10:5  Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

3.  His life was not like our life.  He was the sinlessly perfect Son of God.

2 Corinthians 5:21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

4.  His death was not like our death.  We have no power over death, but Christ dismissed spirit and gave up the ghost. 

Luke 23:46  And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

5.  His burial and resurrection was not like our burial and resurrection.  He saw no corruption and His resurrection was bodily whereas our initial one is spiritual with the body to follow. 

Acts 2:31  He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

H.  The blood of Christ was not like our sinful Adamic blood. It was the blood of God. 

Acts 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

I.  Abel’s sacrifice typified the shedding of the blood of Christ for the redemption of man.

1.  The Blood Of Christ Was Sacred Blood.  Acts 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

While Christ's blood was physical blood, real blood and genuine blood, it was uniquely different from all other blood in human history; without the defilement of the curse of sin, death or disease in its composition.  No one can explain Christ's Virgin Birth! It was a divine miracle. The transmission of Christ's blood to his body cannot be adequately explained via any medical process. The miraculous work of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:22-23) is the only answer.  Christ's blood was perfect, priceless and pure! His blood was declared to be the blood of God. 

2.  The Blood Of Christ Was Sinless Blood.  1 Peter 1:18-19  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;  (19)  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

As our Lord Jesus Christ was the sinless Son of God, the sinless blood of God flowed through his physical veins.  Judas Iscariot did not fully realize the implications of his statement, “I have betrayed the innocent blood.”  (Matthew 27:4)  His blood was not tainted by the blood of fallen Adam.  Since His blood had no adamic sin, His blood could neither coagulate nor die.  Once the flow of His blood began, it would not be stanched. 

3.  The Blood Of Christ Was Substitutionary Blood.  Isaiah 53:5-6  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  (6)  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

The blood of Christ was offered in our stead.  Since our redemption required a perfect sacrifice, a perfect Saviour (Hebrews 4:15) took the place of sinful man (Romans 5:8). 

4.  The Blood Of Christ Was Sacrificial.  John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

It cost God the Father the death of His only begotten Son!  Our sin, placed upon Christ at Calvary, separated God the Father from God the Son.  How precious is the thought that God the Father would separate from His darling Son in order that we might never be separated from Him (John 10:28).  The most expensive gift ever bought and given is that of our Lord Jesus Christ!

5.  The Blood Of Christ Was Sufficient Blood.  Romans 3:24-25  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:  (25)  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

The word “propitiation,” found in 1 John 2:2, means appeasement.  It means satisfaction as the sole and complete payment for the sin that separates man from God.  At Calvary, righteousness and peace truly kissed each other (Psalms 88:10).  Many songs have been written concerning our salvation and one such said, “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”

6.  The Blood Of Christ Is Shielding Blood.  Revelation 12:10-11  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.  (11)  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

The blood of Christ is our “safeguard!”  “When He sees me, He sees the blood of the Lamb.  He sees me as worthy and not as I am!”  When the old Accuser slanders me in the presence of God, it is the blood of Christ that He sees.  There is eternal victory through the shed blood of Christ!  It shields us from Satan’s accusatory attacks.  We are victorious and Satan is a defeated foe!

7.  The Blood Of Christ Is Often Slighted Blood.  Hebrews 10:29  Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Those who reject the blood of Christ are guilty of slighting it.  To count it as an “unholy thing” is beyond my comprehension.  Not only does the unsaved slight the blood of Christ, the sinful saint does the same.  That precious blood was shed for our sin and God forbid that we continue in it.  Before we sin, we should consider the immeasurable price paid.  We would never buy a shiny new car and then walk around “keying” it.  We protect it because of its value.  The blood of Christ is far more valuable than the most expensive automobile.

The Application Of The Blood

1.  The Place - Leviticus 17:11  For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

2.  The Priest - Hebrews 9:11-12  But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;  (12)  Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

3.  The Preparation - John 14:2-3  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  (3)  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  (The preparation was the presentation of the blood.)

Hebrews 9:7  But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:

4.  The People - Exodus 12:7  And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.

Exodus 12:13  And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

The Impact Of The Blood:

1.  The Blood Of Christ Brought Redemption.  Ephesians 1:7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Redeemed – To be bought back.  The freedom of a former slave purchased off the slave block.  The believer has been bought off the slave block of Satan.  Purchased and “made free” by the blood of Christ.  Loosed and set at liberty: free praise the Lord, free at last!

2.  The Blood Of Christ Brought Righteousness.  Romans 3:25  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

The believer is judiciously declared righteous solely upon the merit of the blood of Christ.  He is justified—just as if I had never sinned!  Dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne!  (Jude 24)  “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”  (2 Corinthians 5:21)  Made Him what He was not that we might be made what we are not!

3.  The Blood Of Christ Brought Remission.  Hebrews 9:22  And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

The complete, eternal purging of all sin!  Once for ever is our purchase in Christ Jesus.  “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”  (Hebrews 1:3)  Our slate has been wiped clear, never to be remembered again.

4.  The Blood Of Christ Brought Reconciliation.  1 Corinthians 1:30  But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

Man’s relationship with God was severed by sin in the Garden of Eden.  The Lord made an immediate effort to reconcile Adam and Eve.  The Lord went to them when they would not come to Him.  They chose to hide while He chose to reconcile.  “ And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”  (Colossians 1:20)  By faith, regeneration , and adoption—man is back in fellowship with God.

5.  The Blood Of Christ Brought Reception.  Ephesians 1:6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

The believer is not only forgiven, he or she belongs!  Welcomed into the greatest family on the face of the earth.  The Body of Christ.  “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”  ( Romans 5:2)

6.  The Blood Of Christ Brought Rejoicing.  Romans 5:10-11  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  (11)  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Oh what joy the cross of Christ brings to the believer!  Though nothing, we have been made nigh by the blood of Christ.  Our life is saved, our soul is saved, eternity is secured, and joy floods our souls!

7.  The Blood Of Christ Brought Responsibility.  Matthew 27:25 - Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.  (It is both foolish and fatal to reject the precious blood of Christ.  That blood that brings about eternal life also brings about eternal damnation.)

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