Today Derek shows seven ways Jesus shed His blood for our redemption. Through various Scriptures we are introduced to the prophecies given about the love of God, and then we see how they were fulfilled. Jesus did not simply give up His few earthly possessions as a man on earth, but He gave up Himself—His own life—as the redemptive price.
It’s good to be with you again, as we continue with our theme for this week: Extravagant Love. I trust you’ve been finding it helpful.
We’ve been speaking about the love of God demonstrated in the redemption of the world through Jesus Christ. The word I’ve chosen to describe this love is “extravagant.” I’ve deliberately chosen a word that religious people don’t often use, because I want to get away from cliches and religious phrases, and I want to awaken you, somehow, to the real extent of the love of God.
So far we’ve looked at two parables that give us a standard by which to measure what it cost Jesus to redeem us: the parable of The Treasure in the Field and the parable of the Pearl of Great Price. In each case, the purchaser had to sell all that he had to make the purchase. It cost him everything. This was true of Jesus. To redeem us cost Him everything.
In my talk today I’ll be analyzing more exactly just what it meant for Jesus to give His life on our behalf. First we need to see that the price of redemption was the blood of Jesus. This is stated so clearly in 1 Peter 1:18-19:
“Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”
So it was only by the blood of Christ that we could be redeemed from our sins and our foolishness and our darkness. Now why did it have to be the blood? The Old Testament gives a clear answer to this. The answer is that the life or the soul of all flesh is in the blood. Every living creature that has a soul and has blood, the life or the soul of that creature is in its blood. This is stated in Leviticus 17:11, where Moses is giving laws for how to live according to the principles of God, and he says this and it’s very prophetic. It means much more than it means at first:
“For the life of the flesh [or the soul of the flesh] is in the blood, [and God’s speaking] and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; [that was true of course in the old covenant in the types and shadows, but it was really prophetic looking forward to the blood of Jesus given on the altar of the cross to make full and final atonement for our souls. Then it goes on,] for it is the blood by reason of the life [or soul] that makes atonement.”
You have to bear in mind that the Hebrew word that’s translated life is the Hebrew for soul. The soul of all flesh is in the blood of that creature. Now, that Jesus would give His life blood and thus give His soul for us as atonement on the altar of the cross was prophetically predicted by the prophet Isaiah. In that great preview of the atonement, Isaiah 53:12, speaking prophetically about Jesus, he says:
“He hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
Notice four statements about what Jesus did: He poured out His soul unto death, He was numbered with the transgressors, He was crucified between the thieves, He bore the sin of many, the sin of the whole world, and He made intercession for the transgressors. Before He died on the cross He prayed, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do.” Everyone of those statements was exactly fulfilled in Jesus. But the one that we want to focus on is that first statement in verse 12, “He hath poured out his soul unto death:...” He has poured out His life.
Now, we need to look at another passage in the Old Testament in the book of Leviticus to get a more clear prediction of exactly what was to take place. The most important day in the religious year of the Jewish people was the Day of Atonement, known today is Yom Kippur, and on that day alone, the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies with the blood of the sacrifices that covered the sins of Israel for one more year. And this is how Moses describes it in Leviticus 16:14:
“Moreover, he [the High Priest] shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; also in front of the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times.”
Notice, that it was the blood alone that could propitiate the sins of God’s people, and that the blood had to be brought in right in the presence of Almighty God in the Holy of Holies, and I particularly want you to notice that it was sprinkled seven times. This was no accident. Seven is the number that indicates the work of the Holy Spirit, it’s the number of completeness or perfection, it indicates a perfect work that has been done. And what I am going to point out to you in the remainder of this talk is this was exactly fulfilled in the way that Jesus shed His blood. His blood was sprinkled precisely seven times before the sacrifice was complete.
In exact fulfillment of those prophecies and types of the Old Testament that we have been looking at in Isaiah and in Leviticus, we find as we look at the historical record of the New Testament, in the Gospels, that the blood of Jesus was sprinkled seven times, in seven different ways. And I’m going to take you briefly through the sevenfold sprinkling of the blood of Jesus.
The first sprinkling or shedding of His blood took place in the Garden of Gethsemane as He wrestled in agony and made Himself available to God for this last great sacrifice. In Luke 22:44, this is what it says:
“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”
So His blood began to come out of His body in the sweat which was the expression of His agony and His wrestling. That was the first shedding. Then the second shedding of His blood took place when He was in the house of the High Priest, when He was being questioned and insulted and mistreated. And it says there in Matthew 26:67:
“Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and other slapped Him.”
Now the word that’s translated, “...beat Him with their fists...” can also mean “to beat with rods.” And I believe that’s probably what it was because this was prophesied too in the Old Testament in Micah 5:1 it says:
“They will strike Israel’s ruler on the cheek with a rod. But however it happened, he was beaten with fists, with rods, the blood came out of His face, probably out of His nose amongst other places.”
Then we move on to the third shedding of blood which is recorded in Matthew 27:26:
“Then Pilate released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.”
This too was predicted in the Old Testament in the Prophet Isaiah 50:6, where the Lord is speaking in person and He says:
“I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.”
It’s important to notice that the Lord offered His back. He was not compelled, but He gave Himself as a sacrifice and He was flogged with a Roman scourge which was with many thongs, each one studded with bone or metal, and when it fell across a man’s back it literally plowed his back and ripped up the flesh and exposed the sinews and even the bones. So that was the third shedding of blood.
And then we had in that prophetic picture from Isaiah chapter 50 the fourth shedding of blood which is not actually stated in so many words in the New Covenant, but we go back to the Old for the full revelation. Isaiah 50:6:
“I offered by back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;...”
So they also took the beard of Jesus and pulled it out in tufts and handfuls, thus also shedding His blood.
Then the fifth shedding of blood was the crown of thorns. And it says about the Roman soldiers in Matthew 27:28-29:
“They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then wove a crown of thorns and set it on his head...”
They did not just set it on His head. Those brutal soldiers having woven those sharp thorns, which you can still see everywhere in the land of Israel today, they pressed it down on His head and they beat Him on His head, thus pressing those sharp thorns into His scalp. The fifth shedding of blood.
The sixth shedding of blood was the actual crucifixion in Matthew 27:35:
“When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.”
So His hands and His feet were pierced with nails. This too predicted in the Old Testament, in Psalm 22:15 it says, “Thy have pierced my hands and my feet.” And in verse 18, “They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”
There remains the seventh and final shedding of blood which took place after Jesus had actually died. A Roman soldier was sent to make sure that the three persons on the crosses were dead. He finished off the first two, the thieves, but when he came to Jesus he saw that He was already dead and this is what it says in John 19:34:
“One of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.”
Thus in that sevenfold shedding, His body was emptied of blood, He literally poured out His soul to death.
Let me just recapitulate that sevenfold shedding. First, His sweat became blood. Second they struck Him in the face with fist and rods. Third, they flogged Him with a Roman scourge. Fourth, His beard was pulled out. Fifth, thorns were pressed into His scalp. Sixth, His hands and His feet were pierced with nails. Seventh, His side was pierced with a spear. And as you listen to that list, that is the measure of His love. That is the price that He paid. It literally cost Him all that He had. He did not simply give up His glory, His throne, His majesty as God. He did not simply give up His few earthly possessions as a man on earth, but He gave up Himself. It was His own life. He poured it out in His blood as the redemptive price. Think about that and realize that’s the measure of God’s love. To say the least, it’s extravagant.
Our time is up for today. I’ll be back with you again tomorrow at this same time. Tomorrow I’ll continue with this Theme: Extravagant Love. I’ll be speaking about the limitless inheritance we receive through Christ.