You Can Know You Have Eternal Life
728 – The Divine Mystery Revealed (35)

by Jim Mettenbrink

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     Previously, we considered Jesus death on the cross paid the penalty of the sins for each and every person who would ever live.  Our sins break the fellowship between man and God.  Man does that, not God.  Once fellowship is broken, there is no way man can reestablish it.  He is eternally doomed.

     Jesus came in human flesh to fulfill God’s demand that the Mosaic law (covenant God made with ancient Israel) be kept perfectly — sinlessly.  In so doing, He became the sacrifice (death) to pay the penalty of our sins.  However, on the last Passover evening before His death, He instructed His disciples, to remember His death.  “
He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you.  For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:27,28).  If He paid the penalty of our sin in death, what is the purpose of His blood?

     Blood has always been special to God.  In the Old Covenant, He revealed, “
For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11).  The word atonement literally means to wipe clean, like removing a stain.

     One commandment of the Mosaic law which only the high priest could fulfill was on the annual Day of Atonement.  The high priest sprinkled the blood of the sacrifice on the ark of the covenant (God’s dwelling in the temple) for the nation’s unintentional sins.  Did that procure the forgiveness (wipe clean) of the nation’s sins?  No!  It only moved the sins up one year until the next Day of Atonement.  Regarding this day, we are reminded, “
For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4).  Verse 3 reveals this sacrifice was merely a reminder of sins.  In fact it reminded the people they could not procure the forgiveness or pardon of their sins by their own action, even though God had commanded this sacrifice.  Hopeless dilemma!… almost!

     Jesus died to pay the penalty of sin, but approaching the Father “
… with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption” (Hebrew 9:12).  The apostle Paul informed, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).  What does it mean to be “in Him”?  More mystery to unfold!

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      © Jim Mettenbrink; used by permission. rev.170514
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