The Bible calls Jesus the Second Adam who died to sin. When he lived in his fleshly body, he was sensitive to the power of sin, and the pain and suffering it could cause. Through rejection, deprivation, persecution, and many other dealings with sinful men, evil continually tempted and hurt him. When he laid down his life on the cross, he died to sin's power. Sin had no dominion over him or power to hurt him. Jesus redeemed mankind with this selfless act of love.
We need to recognize the price Jesus paid for our salvation. Only then can we experience the value of his sacrifice. The writer of Hebrews reveals, "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission" (Hebrews 9:22). To purge means we get rid of whatever is impure or undesirable. Blood is the only thing that can remove our sin. For centuries, God used the blood of animals to teach us the importance of Jesus' blood.
The Bible shows that from the beginning blood had to be shed for man. Immediately after declaring the curse on Adam and Eve, God killed an animal to provide clothing for them. Every important event in the Old Testament either preceded or followed animal sacrifice. This had nothing to do with God's needs. He had to emphasize the importance of Christ's blood to man's limited human understanding, and to reveal the tremendous sacrifice he would pay for us.
Old Testament people had only one hope beyond the grave; this was God's promise to Abraham. God gave Moses the Law while Israel was wandering in the dessert. The Law was severe, with little flexibility in the demands placed upon us. It declared an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. God promised Abraham a son who would be the source of a great nation. The land of Israel would one day bring man's Redeemer into the world. Abraham believed God. This was the only way Old Testament saints could have hope. The promise was that one day a Redeemer would come. Their faith was in a future hope. They hoped that one day their Redeemer would be born of the seed of a woman.
The law had severe limits, such as, only pointing out our flaws and telling us how corrupt and evil we were. Yet, we had no power to change. The Law can be compared to receiving an invitation to an elegant dinner and standing in front of a mirror to get ready. In the glass, we can clearly see a large smudge of dirt on our faces and our uncombed hair. We try to remove the dirt from our face, and we realize that we cannot move our arms. Time is passing quickly, but we cannot wash our faces or comb our hair. This is our only chance. We know we can never enter unless we are impeccable. What can we do?
According to the law we could do nothing except wait on a promised comb, washcloth, and the freedom to move so we can use them. There is nothing we can do. We are totally dependent on someone else. Jesus brought the washcloth and the comb. He released us to have the freedom to clean up through his blood. His blood washes and cleans our hearts, giving us the power over ourselves and Satan. Through his death on the cross and his resurrection, we can walk in the freedom God intended for his children.
Dr. Schuetz is an ordained minister and has been in ministry with her husband for twenty-five years. She has a PhD in clinical Christian counseling. She and her husband, Michael, of 33 years have 2 sons, 1 daughter, 9 grandchildren.