We Christians often talk about our sins being washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ. Where does this thoroughly Christian idea come from?
We searched for Bible verses that specifically mention the blood of Jesus Christ. That is such a key Christian concept. Yet there are not many verses about it. However, we found eleven.
Then we noted what each verse tells us about what the blood does for us.
Finally, we share a great example of how this doctrine is authenticated in the lives of the great Christian mystics.
Here are our Bible Study notes, followed by our summary, and then the mystical example …
BIBLE STUDY NOTES
Romans 5:9. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we will be saved from God’s wrath through him.
justified by his blood. The Blood of Jesus Christ justifies us. To be justified means to be declared free. In this context, the word “justified” means “as if I had never sinned.”
Ephesians 1:7. in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
redemption through his blood. The Blood of Jesus Christ redeems us. To be redeemed means to be bought back.
the forgiveness of our trespasses. The Blood of Jesus Christ forgives us.
Ephesians 2:13. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off are made near in the blood of Christ.
made near in the blood of Christ. The Blood of Jesus Christ brings us near to God the Father. We had been alienated from God due to our sins. But Jesus Christ broke down the wall that separated us, and made it possible for us to enter into the presence of God the Father.
Colossians 1:20. and through him to reconcile all things to himself by him, whether things on the earth or things in the heavens, having made peace through the blood of his cross.
reconcile all things to himself. The Blood of Jesus Christ reconciles all things to himself.
made peace through the blood of his cross. The Blood of Jesus Christ makes peace between God the Father and us humans.
Hebrews 9:14. how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without defect to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
cleanse your conscience. The Blood of Jesus Christ cleanses our guilty consciences. That did not happen by the blood of goats and calves, but by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 9:12. nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered in once for all into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption.
Hebrews 9:22. According to the law, nearly everything is cleansed with blood, and apart from shedding of blood there is no remission.
apart from shedding of blood there is no remission. Sins cannot be forgiven except when blood is shed.
Hebrews 13:12. Therefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people through his own blood, suffered outside of the gate.
sanctify the people through his own blood. The Blood of Jesus Christ sanctifies us. That is, it makes us holy. It sets us apart from our sins.
1 Peter 1:18-19. knowing that you were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from the useless way of life handed down from your fathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb without blemish or spot, the blood of Christ,
you were redeemed. The Blood of Jesus Christ redeems us.
1 John 1:7. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
cleanses us from all sin. The Blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. We stay in fellowship with Jesus Christ our Saviour by trusting in him each day. When we sin, we confess our sins. Then he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Each time, we are cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Revelation 1:5. and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us, and washed us from our sins by his blood—
washed us from our sins by his blood. The Blood of Jesus Christ washes us from our sins. It does not say the waters of baptism wash away our sins. Rather, it says the blood of Jesus Christ washes away our sins.
In those eleven Bible verses that mention the blood of Jesus Christ, we learned that his blood does the following for us:
- Brings us near to God the Father: Ephesians 2:13
- Cleanses our guilty consciences: Hebrews 9:14
- Forgives us of sin: Ephesians 1:7 and Hebrews 9:22 and 1 John 1:7 and Revelation 1:5
- Justifies us: Romans 5:9
- Makes peace between God the Father and us humans: Colossians 1:20
- Reconciles all things to himself: Colossians 1:20
- Redeems us: Ephesians 1:7 and 1 Peter 1:18-19
- Sanctifies us: Hebrews 13:12
The key, it seems to us, is that apart from the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (see Hebrews 9:22). It all goes back to the context of sacrificing animals in the Tent of Meeting. It must be to be understood from the Jewish perspective of the Old Testament.
We wonder if, for us New Testament people, there is a deeper meaning than ancient blood sacrifices. It is something to ponder.
MYSTICS AUTHENTICATE THE DOCTRINE
We recently read Julian of Norwich. She referred to the idea that our sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ.
The one weakness of some mystics is that they come to see their own mystical experiences as the central tenant of the faith, and they downplay or forget about uniquely Christ-centered teachings such as the forgiveness of sin. But Julian of Norwich stayed solidly Christian in her views.
Her revelations “shewed” her about the teachings.
Some non-mystical Christians assert that Christians MUST reject mysticism because it necessarily leads people astray from solid doctrinal teachings. However, in Julian, we see a true mystic. Rather than rejecting solid doctrinal teachings, the true mystic verifies it.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.