3 Things the Blood of Jesus Does
John Owen was a 17th century English theologian and pastor who wrote one of the most extensive commentaries on the book of Hebrews. Looking at the passage from Heb. 12.24, “[blood] that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel”, Owen wrote:
The blood of Christ never cried, as Abel’s did, for vengeance on them by whom it was shed, but pleaded their pardon as sinners, and obtained it for many of them.
Owen highlights three things in this verse that Jesus’ sacrifice did for sinners.
First, Jesus sacrifice didn’t cry out for revenge on sinners. Even though many people think that God is ‘out to get them’ in an unjust way, Jesus’ blood doesn’t cry out for revenge. In this verse, the blood of Jesus speaks a better word than even the cry for justice that comes from the murder of Abel.
The second thing is that Jesus pleaded for the pardon of sinners. His blood pleaded. How does blood do that? As a metaphor for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, his blood communicates the desire of Jesus’ heart for sinners to be forgiven. It also refers to his relationship with the Father. Jesus knows that the Father is One who pardons. The Father is gracious and merciful. That is the kind of Father he is. Jesus knows this, and so he pleads for pardon for sinners. His sacrifice pleads in this way. Jesus appeals for the forgiveness of sin through his own sacrificial death.
The third thing that the blood of Jesus does is that it gets pardon for sinners. How does the blood do this? By being a perfect enough, sufficient enough wrath-absorber so that God can rightfully say, ‘Justice has been served. Here is the pardon for your release.’ This isn’t an appeal for God to ignore justice, but an appeal that God would be both “the just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Ro. 3.26).
John Owen saw what the writer to the Hebrews saw, namely that the new covenant was full of what is new and better. Not only had God spoken new and better things, but he has spoken to us in his Son (Heb.1.2). In the Son we get to see the how his sacrifice wasn’t a call for revenge, but a prayer request for forgiveness which obtained the exact thing he asked for: the forgiving pardon of sinners.
Are you vengeful? Prayerless? Unbelieving that forgiveness is attainable? You need to look to Christ and his sacrifice.
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