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by bruno sebrechts  
3/17/2021 / Bible Studies

God’s word reflects infinite wisdom and love that cross cultural barriers. It is built around the most unique event in world history: that Christ suffered and rose from the dead to save humanity. This reveals God’s abhorrence of sin, and his desire for our salvation. In his suffering on the cross, Christ showed his willingness to bear the effects of sin, and he revealed new life through death and resurrection.

The Precious Blood of Christ

In spiritual warfare, we must humbly accept the importance of God’s starting point, because no matter how perverse our enemy, we can only overcome him “by the blood of the Lamb” (Rev 12:11), and never by our moral indignation.

In essence, this is the recognition that we are all completely dependent on God's salvation, and the acknowledgement that the problem of sin, and the death resulting from it (Gen 2:17), is at the core of all human vulnerability to the powers of evil.

In the Bible, blood serves as the common denominator of all humanity (“made from one blood,” Acts 17:26). Christ’s flesh and blood represent his incarnation; the blood he shed representing his precious sacrifice for humanity.[1] It also reflects the violent nature of his death, and thus reveals our sinfulness. But most of all, it reflects his vicarious suffering, resulting in our salvation.

The symbolism of the tabernacle announced this long beforehand, with a wooden box, laminated with gold, as the most remarkable object. It was overshadowed by the presence of God, and covered by a lid that symbolized the separation between God and humankind. God’s people already knew very well that if they touched God’s holiness, they would die (Exod 20:18–19). But each year, after they acknowledged their sins, the blood of an animal was sprinkled on that cover, as a symbol of salvation and reconciliation through sacrifice. After this, they could live another year in the presence of their Redeemer and Deliverer. This sacrificial blood points to Christ, and we humbly accept that he died for our sins.

Cleansing blood sounds very strange, even repulsive, if we do not understand its context. Herein lies a hidden wisdom: only those that are ready to accept God's word as authoritative can accept and appreciate these truths. The believer accepts that the blood Christ shed was the hinge point between his suffering and his glorious resurrection. In other words, his shed blood means the beginning of new life in the new creation.

Without the atoning blood of Christ, we are lost in sin. His blood provides the basis of our salvation, forgiveness of our sins, and deliverance: “God set him forth to be an atoning sacrifice, through faith in his blood” (Rom 3:25).

God’s adversary is like a dogged prosecutor who haunts his victims to the bitter end. Every person will have to cope with him in one way or another, especially those believers who suffer from demonic infestations. Peace with God is the solution—the peace that results from the propitiation (full payment) that Jesus Christ has accomplished, which is the basis for our victory (Rom 16:20; Rev 12:10–11).

In the Old Testament, the believer who acknowledged his debt took part—in figurative sense—in the sacrifices at the altar. The ritual, in which both the believer and the altar were sprinkled with the same blood of the sacrificial animal, showed that the believer took part in the death of the animal. In the new covenant, the believer is figuratively sprinkled with the blood of the crucified Christ (1 Pet 1:2), so that he may inherit the benefits of the cross, for Christ bore our transgressions to save us, and to conquer the powers of darkness. We may not yet fully understand why God has chosen this path, but its power lies in our faithful acceptance.

Like children who do not always understand their educational directions, we will, as long as we live on earth, never fully comprehend why there is tremendous healing hidden in the suffering of Christ. This does not excuse us from accepting Christ’s suffering as central to his restoration plan, nor does it impede on the blessings he gives to those who accept it; those who are open to his message, his truth, and his Spirit. By remembering the blood Jesus shed, we honor his salvation.

In practice, we see that events from the past can sometimes resurface in the believer’s life. When this happens, we bring those painful things from the past to the cross in prayer, in order to leave them behind. This means that we humbly recognize our helplessness and wrongs, and trust God's grace. By trusting Christ in this way, we will meet the power of his salvation (Heb 12:24). This is not a simple, quick fix for all problems, but it is a sure way of receiving his grace and his transforming power (Gal 3:5).

Evil spirits know the power of the biblical truths concerning the blood of the Lamb, and they detest every solid confession of it. It is worth noting how much fear this evokes in the spiritual world. The blood refers to the broken body of Christ. The demonic instigators of this ultimate crime will meet the wrath of God, and they tremble in terror for their coming judgment (see Gen 3:15; Jas 2:19).

The Need for Correct Application

In addition to recognizing the tremendous power hidden behind these truths, we need to be aware that unwise confession of them can have harmful effects.

Some people in deliverance ministry, having noticed that evil spirits become agitated when confronted with terms such as “the blood of Jesus, will use this term liberally. The resulting unrest that this creates may embolden them so much that they might overuse it. But merely bringing about certain reactions is no proof of an appropriate course of action. It makes no sense to attack evil spirits with the blood of Jesus without applying the ongoing pastoral truth of 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Peter also wrote about living “in the sanctification of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled in his blood” (1 Pet 1:2).

If there is no obedience, repentance, and cleansing, there is no foundation for victory, and we only increase the unrest by wielding a weapon incorrectly.[2] In this regard, it is helpful to reflect on the attitude required for the Day of Atonement,[3] the great antitype of the shed blood of Christ. As described in the Old Testament, this day was to be accompanied by awe and humility, not with overconfident claims (Lev 23:28–29).

When we apply these truths in the right frame of mind and heart, we can confront the evil one with the fact that sins have been confessed. We may still experience struggle, but now our claim is correctly based on Christ’s blood sacrifice, and darkness will be pushed back.[4]

In deliverance ministry, talking about “the blood of Jesus” should never be used as a means to seek effects, but to affirm purification of sins, trusting that this will (eventually) lead to deliverance. 

Text is available in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Japanese and Farsi. 

For a general treatment of the theme of spiritual deliverance, see
"Light In Our Darkness, Essentials of Spiritual Deliverance" –
 Bruno Sebrechts.­­­
Humble Joy Publishing  ISBN 9789083136400.
Spanish Edition ISBN


[1] The O.T. sacrificial ritual was easily accessible: for the poor, the offering of a dove was sufficient (Lev 5:7). The symbolic act stressed its great value; the blood of the dove had to flow. Atonement is a free offering, but the price that someone else had to pay was very high.

[2] A typical example is mentioned in Kenneth N. Taylor, 'Demon Experiences in Many Lands: A Compilation' (Chicago: Moody, 1960), 85. A tormented woman prayed unsuccessfully to be covered with the blood of Christ in order to be delivered from demonic attacks. Later, it turned out that the cause of the impasse was unconfessed sin.

[3] “Thus he [the high priest] made atonement for the people, but in picture form that graphically illustrated what Christ would later do for all who repented of their sin when he became our substitute and paid the penalty that was due to each one of us.... We must grasp what we mean when we talk about the blood of Jesus.” Walter C. Kaiser Jr., 'The Majesty of God in the Old Testament: A Guide for Preaching and Teaching' (Grand Rapids: Baker Academics, 2007), 83–84.

[4] For the relation between sin and the powers of darkness, see Eph 4:27 and 6:11–14.

Bruno Sebrechts is a counselor and Bible teacher with over twenty-five years of pastoral experience. He saw God at work, especially in the healing and deliverance of the most damaged believers. His writings are the result of his extensive experience and continuous study.

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