Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | March 10, 2021

“without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”

Today’s devotion comes from Hebrews 9:15-22.

“For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.  For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it.  For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives.  Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood.  For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “THIS IS THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT WHICH GOD COMMANDED YOU.”  And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood.  And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”  Hebrews 9:15-22.

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As emphasized by the bold italic highlights, today’s Scripture makes it clear as summarized in the last phrase:  “without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”

“… a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions …, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”  Verse 15.

“For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives.”  Verse 16. 

This is not a concept difficult to understand.  We are very familiar of a common analogy in law.  One can make a Last Will and Testament, but it can be amended and even entirely revoked, and it is not in force and effect, until the death of the person who made it.

Article 8.  For this was the sovereign counsel, and most gracious will and purpose of God the Father, that the quickening and saving efficacy of the most precious death of his Son should extend to all the elect, for bestowing upon them alone the gift of justifying faith, thereby to bring them infallibly to salvation:  that is, it was the will of God, that Christ by the blood of the cross, whereby he confirmed the new covenant, should effectually redeem out of every people, tribe, nation, and language, all those, and those only, who were from eternity chosen to salvation, and given to him by the Father; that he should confer upon them faith, which together with all the other saving gifts of the Holy Spirit, he purchased for them by his death;  should purge them from all sin, both original and actual, whether committed before or after believing; and having faithfully preserved them even to the end, should at last bring them free from every spot and blemish to the enjoyment of glory in his own presence forever.  Canons of Dordt in the section titled SECOND HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Death of Christ, and the Redemption of Men Thereby.

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace”.  Ephesians 1:7.

“For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  1 Corinthians 1:18.

“but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”  1 Corinthians 1:23-24.

“And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.  For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.  I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”  1 Corinthians 2:1-5.


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