"And almost all things are by the law purged with blood, and without the shedding of blood is no remission."--Heb. ix. 22.
No man can give a satisfactory reason for the hope that is in him if he is a stranger to the "Blood." At the very commencement of the Bible we find reference made to the subject in Genesis iii. 21: "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them." In this verse we get the first glimpse of blood. Certainly God could not have clothed Adam and Eve with the skins of beasts unless He had shed blood. Here, then, we have the innocent suffering for the guilty--the doctrine of substitution in the garden of Eden. God dealt with Adam in grace before He dealt in judgment. Death came by sin. Adam had sinned, and the Lord came down to make the way of escape. God came to him as a loving friend, and not to hurl him from the earth. Adam could have said to Eve, "Though the Lord has driven us out of the garden of Eden, He loves us," for this coat is a token of love.
God put a lamp of promise into Adam's hand before He drove him out; for He said, "The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head." Did you ever think what a terrible state of things it would be if man was allowed to live for ever in his lost, ruined state? It was from love to Adam that God drove him out of Eden, that he should not live for ever. God put the cherubim with a flaming sword there. But now Christ has taken the sword out of his hand, and opened wide the gate, so that we can come in and eat. Adam might have been in Eden ten thousand years, and then be led astray by Satan; but now "our life is hid with Christ in God." Man is safer with the second Adam out of Eden than with the first Adam in Eden.
Let us next turn to Genesis iv. 4: "And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering." Cain and Abel were brought up outside of Eden, and had the same parents, and both received the same instruction as to how they were to draw near to God; but
CAIN CAME IN HIS OWN WAY,
while Abel came in the way God commanded. Cain said to himself, "I am not going to bring a bleeding lamb. Here is the grain and the beautiful fruit that I have raised by my industry; and I'm sure it looks better than blood, and I'm not going to bring blood." Now it was not that there was any difference between these two men, but it was the offering which each brought. One came in the way God had marked out, and the other in a way of his own. Now there are a great many just like that at the present day. They prefer what is agreeable to the eye, as Cain did his beautiful corn and fruit, and they do not like the doctrine of
THE BLOOD OF ATONEMENT.
But any religion that makes light of the Blood is the work of the devil, even if an angel from heaven came down to preach salvation through any other means.
Undoubtedly on the morning of creation God marked out the way a man might come to Him; and Abel walked in God's way, and Cain in his own. Perhaps Cain could not bear the sight of blood, and so he took that which God had cursed and laid it upon the altar.
THERE ARE MANY CAINITES IN THE CHURCH
even now; and some have got into the pulpit, and they preach against the doctrine of the Blood, and that we can get to heaven without the Blood. From the time Adam went out of Eden there have been Abelites and Cainites. The Abelites come by the way of the Blood--the way God had marked out for them. The Cainites come by their own way. They repudiate the doctrine of the Blood, and say it does not atone for sin. But it is better to take God's word than man's opinion.
Again, turn to Genesis viii. 20: "And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt-offerings on the altar." We have thus passed over the first two thousand years, and have come to the second dispensation. The thought I want to call your attention to is this: The first thing Noah did when he got out of the ark was to build an altar and slay the animals, thus putting blood between him and his sin. The second dispensation is founded upon blood; and these animals were taken through the flood in the ark that they might illustrate the indispensable necessity of the shedding of blood.
ABRAHAM OFFERING UP ISAAC.
Again, in Genesis xxii. 13, it is written: "And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt-offering in the stead of his son." The ram was typical, and was offered up in the place of Abraham's son. God loved Abraham so much that He spared his son; but He so loved the world that He would not spare His own Son, but gave Him up freely for us all. It may be that from the top of the mountain Abraham saw a glorious sight. He saw Christ going up Calvary carrying His cross. He saw that mountain peak sprinkled with blood; and he saw that sacrifices were to go on until the true Isaac made His appearance and offered Himself for us all. Abraham had the altar built, and he was ordered to take his only son, and to bind him, and to slay him; and he bound that boy, and everything was ready. He took the knife, and was about to slay him, because it was the will and command of God. He did not know what it meant; but he obeyed.
Would that there were more men like him now, ready to obey God in the dark without asking the reason why! The old man took his son, and he told him the secret that he had hid from him all the journey--that God had told him to offer him up as a sacrifice. And he bound the boy hand and foot, and laid him all ready on the altar; and just when he was about to stretch forth his hand and slay him, he heard a voice from heaven calling to him: "Abraham, Abraham, spare thy son." God was more merciful to the son of Abraham than to His own, for He gave Him up freely for us all. He opened up to him the curtain of time, and showed him Christ coming in the future; and Abraham saw his sins laid on Christ and was glad.
In Exodus xii. 13 we read: "And the blood shall be to you for a token on 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." God did not say, When I see your good deeds; when I see how you have prayed, and wept, and cried. No; but "When I see the blood I will pass over you. The blood shall be a token." What was it saved those men? Was it their good resolutions or their works? It was the blood. "When I see the blood I will pass over you." Very likely when some of the lords, and dukes, and great men rode through Goshen, and saw the Israelites sprinkling their dwellings, they said they never saw such foolishness, and that they were spoiling their houses. They were to sprinkle the door-posts and lintels of their houses with the blood, but not the threshold. God would not have
THE BLOOD TRAMPLED UPON,
but that is what the world at the present day is doing.
Some preachers speak not of the death of Christ, but His life, because it is more pleasing to the natural ear; but the life of Christ may be preached for ever and it will not save any man, if His death is left out. A live lamb could not have kept death out of the houses of Goshen. God did not say that He wanted a live lamb at every door, but to have the lintels and door-posts sprinkled with the blood of the lamb. People sometimes say, "If I was as good as that minister, that preached the gospel for fifty years"; or, "If I was as good as that mother, who did so and so for her children"; but if we are behind the blood of God's Son, we are just as safe as any Christian that has ever walked the face of the earth.
It is not a long life of usefulness that makes men and women acceptable to God. We must work for Christ; but we get salvation as a gift, and then begin to work because we cannot help it. All the work a person does before he becomes converted goes for nothing.
The little child down in Goshen behind the blood of the lamb was just as safe as Joshua, or any man in the whole town. The angel of death passed by when he saw the blood. The little tiny fly was as safe in the ark with Noah as the elephant. It was equally the ark that saved the fly and the elephant, and it is
THE BLOOD THAT SAVES
the weakest and the strongest. When death came that night with his sword, he entered the palace of the prince, and went into the houses of the great and mighty, and they all had to pay tribute to death; for the first-born in Egypt was smitten down that night. The only thing that kept death out was death itself. The only way that death can be met is by death. I have sinned, and must die; or get some one to die for me. The great question is--Have you got the token? If death should come after any one of us to-night, are we sheltered behind the blood? that is the point. It is the blood that atones. Not my good resolutions, or prayers, or position in society, or what I have done, but what has been done by another. God looks for the token.
Take another illustration. Suppose a man wanted to go from London to Liverpool, and he got into a railway carriage, he would soon hear the guard running along the platform crying out for tickets. A man might be rich or he might be poor, black or white, he might be learned or unlearned, that was not what the guard wanted to know--he wanted to see the tickets; for the ticket was the token, and if you have got a ticket you pass.
NO DEATH WHERE THE BLOOD WAS.
The Egyptians looked at the Israelites killing a lamb and sprinkling the blood on the door-posts no doubt as a very foolish proceeding, but not one house in the city, upon the doorposts and lintels of which the blood was not sprinkled, escaped; no matter who were the inhabitants, rich or poor, that night there was no difference. There was a wail heard in every habitation, from the palace to the meanest hovel where the blood
had not been sprinkled, but where it
had been sprinkled death was kept out. That showed clearly the truth, that without the shedding of blood there is no remission. Let no man or woman be guilty of laughing at this doctrine, that "the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin."
In the eleventh verse of the same chapter we read, "And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord's passover." Why you have not got more power is because you don't feed on the Lamb; and this is why there are so many weak Christians. The Lamb not only atones for our sins, but we are to feed upon the Lamb. We have got a wilderness journey before us, as the children of Israel had. After we are saved we are to feed upon Christ; He is the true bread from heaven. If I don't feed my soul with the true bread from heaven I am sickly, and have not power to go and work for Christ; and that is the reason, I believe, why so few in the Church have power. Some people think if they get one glimpse of Christ that is enough.
Some think much of their dinner; why should not God's children think a good deal of
THEIR SPIRITUAL FOOD?
We should no more think of laying in spiritual food to last for ten years than we should bodily food. A good many people are living on stale manna. A man in Ireland said to his boy, "I want you to eat two breakfasts. Do you know why?" The boy said he understood one was for his body and the other for his soul. All Christians should similarly take two breakfasts, for the soul and for the body.
The Passover was to be to the Jews the beginning of months. "This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you" (Exodus xii. 2). All the 400 years that they had been in bondage went for naught, because this was the first month of the year to them. And in like manner throughout all the years that we have served the devil, and all the time that we have been in Egypt, whatever good we may have done in this world is to be reckoned as naught. Everything dates back to the Passover night--to the time the blood was put upon the door-posts. All the time we are serving the world goes for naught. If you have not come to Calvary you are losing time. Everything you do on the wrong side of the cross counts for naught; the first thing is to be saved by faith in Christ, and then we commence our pilgrimage to heaven. We don't start, as some people suppose, from the cradle to heaven. We start from the cross. We have got a fallen nature that is taking us hellward. We must be born of the Spirit, and
SHELTERED BY THE BLOOD,
and then we become pilgrims for heaven.
Each man was to take a lamb for his house. "And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb." The lamb was not too little for a household, but the household might be too little for the lamb. Christ was enough for every household, enough and to spare, and we ought to pray that salvation may come to every member of our households.
Let us next turn to Exodus xxix. 16: "And thou shalt slay the ram, and thou shalt take his blood, and sprinkle it round about upon the altar." Even Aaron could not come to God until he sprinkled blood round about the altar; and when the high priest went into the holy of holies, he had to take blood with him. From the time when Adam fell there has been no other way by which a man can approach God than by the blood. You cannot have an audience of God until you come by that appointed way. So it has been for 6000 years. When Adam fell in Eden he broke the golden chain that linked humanity to the throne of God, but Christ came and made atonement for that fall.
Again, observe in Leviticus viii. 23: "And he slew it; and Moses took of the blood of it, and put it upon the tip of Aaron's right ear, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot." I used to read a passage like this, and say it seemed absurd. I think I understand it now. The blood
upon the ear means that we are to hear the voice of God. The unconverted man does not understand the voice of God; and we are told that when the voice of God was heard, the uncircumcised said that it thundered. They did not know the difference between God's voice and thunder. Without the blood we cannot hear the voice of God and understand it. A man must be sheltered behind the blood before he can hear God's voice.
The blood upon the hand signifies that a man may
WORK FOR GOD.
You cannot work for God until you are sheltered behind the blood; and until you are sheltered it all stands for naught. You may build churches, endow colleges, pay ministers and missionaries; but it all goes for naught until you are sheltered behind the blood. Don't let any one deceive you on this point. Don't let Satan deceive you by telling you that you can get to heaven by some other way. They asked Christ, "What must we do that we may work the works of God?" Perhaps these men had got their pockets full of money, and were ready and willing to build churches. Christ told them that the work of God was that they should believe in His Son. But they were not willing to do such a small thing; they would rather do some greater thing; but that was not what was wanted. You cannot do anything to please God until you believe.
"Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice." People may work day and night, and even work themselves to death; but they never will do right until they do what God requires them to do.
The blood on the toe of the right foot was to show that Aaron was to walk with God. When Adam fell, communion with God was broken. Before he had walked with God; but the moment he sinned he fell out of communion with Him; and from that time to this God has been trying to get man back into communion. God is full of truth and justice. His justice must be met; and after that has been met He is satisfied. God never walked with men until He put them behind the blood at Goshen. What could stand before them then? They passed through the Red Sea, and God said to Joshua, "Take this country, and no man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life." In the days of Joshua there were whole regiments of giants; but one stripling from the Lord's hosts defeated the giant of Gath. If God is with us, the giants will be like grasshoppers; but if God is not with us, it will be different. I would rather have ten men separated from the world than ten thousand nominal Christians who go to the prayer-meeting to-night and the ball to-morrow.
In Leviticus xvi. 14 it is said: "He shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy-seat eastward; and before the mercy-seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times." It seems as if God originally gave Adam a life by which he held communion with Him; but on the day that he broke the command he lost that communion. And ever since God has been trying to get men back into communion with Himself. But how could God be just and the justifier of sinners? That is done through the Blood of Christ. "The life of the flesh is in the blood." God demands blood to atone for sin.
MAN'S LIFE WAS FORFEITED,
and he had to die, or pay the wages of death. He could not pay the penalty and live; so he wanted a substitute. Every man had sinned, and could not be a substitute for his fellow; but Christ was sinless, and could become the substitute for man; and He has become that substitute, because He has died in the room and stead of man to satisfy the law. Then the question for each and every one to answer is, whether they will love Him and serve Him who has died to redeem them by His precious Blood.
In Leviticus xvii. 11, we read: "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." There may be some who are saying, Why does God demand blood? Some one said to me: "I detest your God; He demands blood. I don't believe in such a God; for my God is merciful to all." I want to say, My God is full of mercy! But don't be so blind as to believe that God is not just, and that He has not got a government. Suppose Queen Victoria didn't like any man to be deprived of his liberty, and she threw all her prisons open, and was so merciful that she could not bear any one to suffer for guilt, how long would she hold the sceptre? how long would she rule this empire? Not twenty-four hours. Those very men who cry out about God being merciful would say: "We don't want such a Queen."
GOD IS JUST.
God is merciful, but He will not take an unredeemed sinner into heaven. If He did, the redeemed would plant the banner of indignant remonstrance round the throne, and there would be a revolt in heaven. God said to Adam, On the day thou sinnest thou shalt surely die. Sin entered, and brought death into the world. God's word must be kept. I must either die, or get somebody to die for me; and in the fulness of time Christ comes forward to die for the sinner. He was without sin; but if He had committed one sin, He would have had to die for His own sin. The life of the flesh is in the blood; and it is not blood He demands really; it is life, and life has been forfeited. We have sinned, and death must come, or justice must take its course. Glory to God in the highest because He sent His Son, born of a woman, to take our nature and die in our stead, tasting death for every man. You take this blood out of this body of mine, and life is gone.
GOD DEMANDS BLOOD.
He demands life. Man has sinned; therefore life must be forfeited, and I must die, or find somebody to die for me. My friends, I have only just touched this subject. If you read your Bibles carefully you will find the scarlet thread running through the Bible. It commenced in Eden and flows on to Revelation. I cannot find anything to tell me the way to heaven
BUT BY THE BLOOD.
This book (holding up the Bible) wouldn't be worth carrying home if you take the scarlet thread out of it; and it doesn't teach anything else; for the blood commences in Genesis, and goes on to Revelation. That is what this book is written for. It tells its own story; and if a man should come and preach another gospel, don't you believe him. If an angel should come and preach anything else, don't believe it. Don't trifle with the subject of the Blood. In your dying hour you would give more to be sheltered behind this Blood than for all the world.
A MOTHER'S LOVE.
In the time of the Californian gold fever a man went to the diggings, and left his wife to follow him some time afterwards. While on her voyage with her little boy, the vessel caught fire; and as there was a powder-magazine on board, the captain knew when the flames reached it the ship would be blown up. The fire could not be got under, so they took to the life-boats; but there was not room for all. As the last boat pushed off, the mother and boy stood on the deck. One of the sailors said there was room for another. What did the mother do? She decided to perish herself in order to save her boy. She dropped him into the boat, and with a mother's last look, said: "If you should live to see your father, tell him that I died in your place." Do you think when that boy grew up he could fail to love that mother who died to save him? My friends, this is a faint type of what Christ has done for you and me. He died for our sins. He left heaven for that purpose. Will you go away saying, I see no beauty in Him. May God break every heart here! You will need Him when you come to cross the swelling of Jordan. You will need Him when you go up to the bar of God. God forbid that when death comes it should find you without Christ, and without God, and without hope!
Not only is the vitally important subject of the "Blood of Christ" referred to frequently in the Old Testament, but likewise in many places in the New Testament.
Let us turn to the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, and verses 22-26, "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain." What is this but the bloodshedding and death of Christ? Read also Acts iv. 10; v. 28; vii. 52; viii. 32; x. 39; xvii. 3; xviii. 21; Hebrews ix. 22; 1 Peter i. 19; and many other passages will be found if the word
Blood is referred to in a Concordance.
A friend of mine was in Ireland, and saw a little Irish boy who had caught a sparrow, and the poor little bird was trembling and panting in his hand, from which it wanted to get away. It was evidently very much affrighted. The gentleman told the boy to let it go, as the bird could not do him any good; but the boy said he would not let it escape, for he had been chasing it for three hours before he could catch it. The gentleman then offered to buy the bird, and the boy agreed to a price, which was paid. He took the poor bird and held it out on his palm, where it sat for a time, scarcely able to realise the fact that it had got its liberty; but at last it flew away, chirping, as if to say to the gentleman, "You have redeemed me."
That is an illustration of what is meant by redemption. Satan is stronger than any man upon earth, and there is no match for him but Christ. The lion of Calvary--the lion of the tribe of Judah--He is stronger than the lion of hell. When Christ on Calvary said, "It is finished!" it was the shout of the conqueror. He came to redeem the world by His death.
Once when I was re-visiting my native village I was going to a neighbouring town to preach, and saw a young man coming from a house in a carriage, in which was seated an old woman. I felt interested in them, and asked my companion who they were. I was told to look at the adjoining meadow and pasture, and great barns that were on the farm, as well as a good house. "Well," said my companion, "that young man's father drank that all up, and left his wife in the poorhouse. The young man went away and worked until he had got money enough to redeem that farm, and now it is his own, and he is taking his mother to church." That is another illustration of redemption.
In the first Adam we have lost all, but the second Adam has redeemed everything by His death. A friend of mine who was in Paris went to a great meeting of Jews, at which one of the leading men presided, and that man said the Jews had the honour of killing the Christian's God; and those Jews stamped and applauded at the statement. They were proud of the act, and cried out, "His blood be upon us, and upon our children," and that imprecation has been literally fulfilled in their history. Now His blood either cries for our peace and salvation or for our condemnation.
In Colossians i. 20 it is written, "Having made peace through the blood of the cross, by Him to reconcile all things to Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven." That is what the blood of the cross does, it brings peace. In Romans v. it is written, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." In this three things are stated: there is
justification for the past as well as peace. As the believer looks back to Calvary, the blood speaks peace and pardon for guilt. Then there is
grace for the present, and
glory for the future.
In John xix. 34 it is written, "But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side, and forthwith came thereout blood and water." There is a striking fact intimated in this verse. The spear that went into the side of the Son of God was the crowning act of sin, the culminating crime of earth and hell. I don't see how they could have done a more cruel thing than that. What act could have been more black and hellish? And the blood came out and covered the spear, and a fountain was thus opened in the house of David for sin. The blood touched the Roman spear, and it was not long before the Roman government became at least nominally Christian. The blood ran down from His side upon the earth, and this earth has been redeemed by Him; for He will have the world by and by. He is
THE TRUE SOVEREIGN,
and He will ere long cast out the prince of darkness, and sway His sceptre from end to end of this earth. A little longer, and He will personally return and set up His millennial kingdom and reign over this earth. He has redeemed the earth by His blood, and He will have all He has redeemed.
ONENESS IN CHRIST.
Has the Blood touched you? The blood of Christ makes us one, brings us into the family of God, and enables us to cry, "Abba, Father." At the time of the American war, during the days of slavery in America, when there was much political strife and strong prejudice against the black men, especially by Irishmen, I heard a preacher say, that when he came to the cross for salvation he seemed to find a poor negro on one side and an Irishman on the other side, and the blood came trickling down upon them and made them one. There may be strife in the world, but those whom Christ has redeemed He has made one family. We are blood relatives.
When I go before an audience, there is hardly a person I have seen before; but as I begin to talk about the King their eyes light up, and I see they are kinsmen, they are blood relatives, and in a short time I become attached to them. A man may go into a town a perfect stranger, but as soon as he finds out those who love God, they will be one. I wish Christians had more of this oneness. I hope the time will soon come when sectarian walls will be broken down, and people will not want to ask whether you belong to the Established, Wesleyan, or Baptist Churches. If washed in the blood, we are blood relatives. I believe
GOD WILL JUDGE THE WORLD BY THE BLOOD.
"What have you done with that blood?" will be the great question in that day. If we make light of it, and send back an insulting message, saying we don't stand in need of it, we shall stand speechless before God's tribunal. If we make light of that blood, what is going to become of our souls?
The only way a man can be brought within the family of God is by the blood, as it is said in Romans iii. 24, "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus"; and again in Romans v. 9, "Much more then, being now
justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." Justified from all things from which we could not be by the law of Moses. When God looks into His ledger, there is nothing found against the man who is washed in the blood. One plunge in the crimson fountain, and the sinner is justified in the sight of God. Christ was raised from the grave for the justification of all who put their trust in Him, and such are not only pardoned men but justified men. Justification is more than pardon. It is said of an emperor of Russia that he sent on one occasion for two noblemen who were charged with some conspiracy, and one he found to be perfectly innocent, so he sent him home justified; but the other was proved guilty, but was pardoned. They both returned home, but ever afterwards would stand very differently in the estimation of their sovereign and neighbours. From that may be seen the difference between pardon and justification.
When a man is justified he can go through the world with his head erect. Satan may come to him, and say, "You are a sinner"; but the reply would be, "I know that, but God has forgiven me through Christ"; as it is written in Revelation i. 5, "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God the Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever."
Many people try to come to Christ, but think they cannot come unless they first become good. But He loves all Christians even before their sins are washed away. He loves them, and then washes them in His own blood. It is wonderful love! To think that He loves them first and then washes them in His blood from their sins! There is no devil in hell that can pluck them out of His hand. They are perfectly safe; for they are washed in the blood of the Lamb.
NO REMISSION WITHOUT BLOOD.
It is said in Hebrews ix. 22, "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood there is no remission." It is utterly impossible that a man can be saved who makes light of the blood. There is no other name under heaven whereby we can be saved than the name of Christ Jesus. Are we willing to receive what Christ has already done? The salvation of those who trust in Him was already worked out when He said upon the cross, "It is finished."
In Matthew xxvi. 28 we get the words of Christ Himself: "For this is my blood of the New Testament, which was shed for many for the remission of sins." That was what Christ Himself said about the blood. He could have saved His life, but He loved the human family so much that He shed His blood for their redemption. He opened that fountain referred to in the lines:
"There is a fountain filled with blood, Drawn from Emmanuel's veins."
That hymn will last as long as the Church, and so will others like:
"Rock of ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee."
There is a great deal about the blood in these hymns, and they will all live. Every hymn into which the scarlet thread is woven will live. There is another sweet hymn that will last through all ages:
"Just as I am, without one plea, But that Thy blood was shed for me."
In Hebrews x. 19 we read, "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh." When Christ's work was done, the veil of the temple was rent from the top to the bottom. God came out of the holy of holies, and man can now go in. He makes all His people in this dispensation kings and priests. Every one can come right into the presence of God Himself. In the Jewish dispensation none but the high priests could enter into the holy of holies; but the veil being rent, God came out and man can go in through the veil of His flesh. "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." Let us hold fast the profession of our faith. The new and living way has been opened by His blood. The only thing that Christ left down here was His blood. When He ascended to heaven, He took with Him His flesh and His bones, but His shed blood was left on this earth.
THE BLOOD HAS TWO CRIES.
It either cries for my damnation, or for my salvation. If I make light of the blood, and trample it under my feet, then it cries out for God's condemnation; but if I am sheltered behind the blood, there is no condemnation for me. God dealt in judgment with Cain; and when Pilate wanted to know what to do with Christ, he washed his hands and said he was innocent. The Jews said, "Let His blood be upon us and our children, not to save us, but to condemn us." Would that they had said, "Let His blood be upon us to save us and protect us." Nearly 1900 years have rolled away, and the Jews are wanderers on the face of the earth without a king. Their having been scattered all these years, what a proof it is the word of God is true! May our prayer be to-day, His blood be upon us and our children, not to condemn us, but to save us. Let that be our prayer, that we may know what it is to be sheltered behind the blood of God's dear Son. The blood of the cross speaks peace. If I am sheltered behind the blood, there is peace, but there is no peace until my sin is covered. If you had committed sin against a man, you would get no peace until that was forgiven. Men are running after peace; and if it could be bought in the market, many would give hundreds of thousands of pounds to secure it. The blood of Christ speaks peace, and it will bring peace to every guilty conscience and aching heart to-day if you only seek it.
In Hebrews x. 28, 29, we read: "He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 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?" To me these are very solemn verses. I don't see how any one can sit here and hear these verses read and be content to remain unsaved. "They died without mercy"; but how much more sore will be the punishment of those who live in this age with an open Bible, which tells how Christ died to redeem us, and make us heirs of heaven.
In Revelation xii. 11, we read: "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." They overcame by the blood. I don't believe there is a word in the Bible Satan is fearing more than the word "blood." Judging from past experience, I shall probably receive many letters to-morrow attacking me for what I have said to-day. These letters will say it is heathenish to stand up and preach what would only do for an unenlightened age. May God forgive those who dare to say such things. If you will read your Bible in the light of Calvary, you will find there is no other way of coming to heaven but by the blood. The devil does not fear ten thousand preachers who preach a bloodless religion. A man who preaches a bloodless religion is doing the devil's work, and I don't care who he is.
VICTORY THROUGH THE BLOOD.
It is said of old Dr. Alexander, of Princeton Seminary, that when he parted with the students who were going to preach the gospel, he would take them by the hand, and say, "Young man, make much of the blood--make much of the blood."
As I have travelled up and down Christendom I have found out that a minister who gives a clear sound upon this doctrine is successful. A man who covers up the cross, though he may be an intellectual man, and draw large crowds, cannot touch the heart and conscience. There will be no life there, and his church will be like a gilded sepulchre. Those men who preach the doctrine of the cross, holding up Christ as the sinner's only hope of heaven, and as the sinner's only substitute, and make much of the blood, God honours, and souls are always saved where that truth is preached.
I would say,
MAKE MUCH OF THE BLOOD.
May God help us to make much of the blood of His Son. It cost God so much to give us this blood, and shall we try to keep it from the world which is perishing from the want of it? The world can get along without us, but not without Christ. Let us preach Christ in season and out of season. Let us go to the sick and dying, and hold up the Saviour who came to seek and save them, and died to redeem them.
CHRIST WILL CONQUER.
It is said of Julian the Apostate in Rome, that when he was trying to stamp out Christianity he was pierced in the side by an arrow. He pulled the arrow out, and taking a handful of blood as it flowed from the wound, threw it into the air, shouting, "THOU GALILÆAN, THOU HAST CONQUERED!" Yes, this Galilæan is going to conquer. May God help us to give no uncertain sound on this doctrine.
I would rather give up my life than give up this doctrine. Take that away, and what is my hope in heaven? Am I to depend upon my works? Away with them when it comes to the question of salvation. I must get salvation distinct and separate from works, for it is "to him that worketh not, but believeth on Christ." None will walk the celestial pavement of heaven but those washed in the blood. The first man that went up from this earth was probably Abel. You can see Abel putting his little lamb upon the altar, thus placing blood between him and his sin. Abel sang a song the angels could not join in. There must have been one solo song of redemption in heaven, because Abel had no one to join him. But there is a great chorus now, for the redeemed have been going up for six thousand years, and they sing of Him who is worthy to receive honour because He died to save us from condemnation.
ROBES MADE WHITE THROUGH THE BLOOD.
In Revelation vii. 14, we read: "And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Sinner, how are you going to get your robes clean if you don't get them washed in the blood of the Lamb? How are you going to wash them? Can you by yourself make them clean? Oh, may we all reach that paradise above! There they are singing the sweet song of redemption, and may it be the happy lot of each of us to join them. It may be only a short time, at the longest, before we shall be there, and shout the song of redemption, and sing the sweet song of Moses and the Lamb. There "they hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and lead them to living fountains of water: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." At that day sceptics and scoffers will pray for the rocks and mountains to fall on them, and cover them from the wrath of God. If you die without Christ, without hope, and without God, where will you be? Sinner, be wise! don't make light of the blood!
THE DYING SAINT.
An aged minister of the gospel, when dying, said, "Bring me the Bible." Putting his finger upon the verse, "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin," he said, "I die in the hope of this verse." It wasn't his fifty years' preaching, nor his long life in the Lord's service, but the blood of Christ, upon which he relied. When we stand before God's tribunal we shall be pure, even as He is pure, if we are washed in the blood of the Lamb.
THE PRECIOUS BLOOD.
During the American war a doctor heard a man saying, "Blood, blood, blood!" The doctor thought this was because he had seen so much blood shed upon battlefields, and endeavoured to soothe his mind. The man smiled, and said, "I wasn't thinking of the blood upon the battlefield, but I was thinking how precious the blood of Christ is to me as I am dying." As he died his lips quivered, "Blood, blood, blood!" and he was gone. Oh, it will indeed be precious when we come to our dying bed! it will then be worth more to us than all the world! One sin is enough to exclude us from heaven, but one drop of Christ's blood is sufficient to cover all our sins.
Beware how you treat the gospel message of redemption through the blood.
THE DOWN GRADE.
A stage-driver away on the Pacific coast--as I was told when I was there about three years ago--while lying on his dying bed, kept moving one of his feet up and down, saying, "I am on the down grade, and cannot reach the brake." As they told me of it, I thought how many were on the down grade, and could not reach the brake, and were dying without God and without hope. I plead with you as a fellow-traveller; don't go out of this hall without saying, "Heaven is my home, and God is my Father." Don't let the scoffers laugh you into hell; they cannot laugh you out of it. The Blood is upon the mercy-seat, and while it is upon the mercy-seat you can enter into the kingdom. God says, "There is the Blood; it is all I have to give. As long as it is there, there is hope for you. I am satisfied with the finished work of my Son, and will you be satisfied?" Don't leave this meeting until you can claim this as yours.
How dark and sad it is to go to the bedside of a dying infidel or atheist, or one who is dying without the light of the resurrection morn. But if we trust to Christ, death has lost its sting, and the grave its victory.
An eminent minister in America, Alfred Cookman, the Robert McCheyne of his day, was dying, and when his friends were gathered round his couch, waiting to see him depart to be with Christ, his face lit up, and with a shout of triumph he said, "I am sweeping through the gates, washed in the blood of the Lamb!" And this echoes and re-echoes through America to-day: "I am sweeping through the gates, washed in the blood of the Lamb!" May these be our last words, and may an abundant entrance be granted us into the gates of the heavenly city!
Who, who are these, beside the chilly wave, Just on the borders of the silent grave; Shouting Jesus power to save, Washed in the blood of the Lamb. Sweeping through the gates of the new Jerusalem Washed in the blood of the Lamb.