I John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
The letter in the epistle of John was prompted by anti-Christian teaching. It rejected most of the gospel; said Joseph was Jesus’ physical father; sought a universal religion. Of course we know this is false teaching. John was an old man at this time. He has a tender bond with the readers. He calls them “little children” and “beloved”.
Blood and religion have always gone hand in hand even where Christianity is not known. In some regions in Africa, when a baby is born, a fowl is killed and the blood is poured over the baby to wash it in the blood. In India, the first-born sons are fed to alligators in a religious practice. The mother has been told it will please the god of the Ganges for the health of her future children.
In the bible, the blood didn’t begin at the cross. It goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve sinned. God killed an animal and made them clothing of the skin to cover their nakedness. It was a symbol of the blood of Jesus Christ on Calvary. It looked forward to the ultimate sacrifice on the cross. The skins were a type of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. We’re washed in the blood and clothed in the righteousness of Jesus.
The next example is in the lives of Cain and Abel. Adam passed down to his sons what God required. It was a blood sacrifice. They grew up and chose vocations. Cain became a farmer and Abel a shepherd. The season came to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. Cain brought something from the land and offered it to God. I’m sure it was a good offering. Abel admitted his sin by offering a blood sacrifice, and it showed the need for forgiveness. Cain’s was rejected. Why? God demands a blood sacrifice for cleansing. In the Old Testament, the blood of animals was never intended to take away sin. It was a way of helping people realize that an ultimate blood sacrifice would come that would be for all humanity. Cain’s wasn’t a blood offering. By the way, God still demands blood today–the blood of Jesus.
Think back to the time Israel was in bondage in Egypt. After 10 plagues, they were released. The final plague was the death of the firstborn. The instructions to Israel were to kill a lamb and put the blood on the doorposts. At the fatal hour, the death angel killed the firstborn in every house where the blood was not on the doorposts. There was mourning and grief in Egypt from Pharaoh’s house to the most poverty stricken home, including the animals. Israel was alive, untouched. Death couldn’t enter because of the blood. The only question: “Is there blood on the door?” It makes all the difference in the world. Is the blood applied to your heart? The blood of Jesus Christ is the only blood that is accepted by God.
Why did Jesus come into the world? To be an example? He was a good one, but that’s not it. We’re not saved by example. We’re saved by the blood. Some say he came to be a great teacher. He was, but it wasn’t his teaching. It will change your life, but the blood is what saves us from sin. Jesus came to die. What does the blood do? In the Old Testament it symbolically transferred sin to an animal; then the animal died. It enabled people to live in right favor with God. Jesus had no sin, yet he died for the sins of the whole world. It’s not a mere cloak, not just a covering. He washes sins away and puts them in the sea of forgetfulness. Anyone can become clean and it’s immediate when you call on the name of the Lord. It cleanses completely. Every sin was taken care of at Calvary, but we must allow the blood to take care of our sin. That’s when it is washed away. Water can’t take it away (baptism won’t do it). It takes the blood to wash away sin.
Thank God for the blood of Jesus Christ!