You preached a powerful sermon at our church on the importance of the blood of Christ. I never forgot it. I especially liked how you explained that it is mentioned all through the Bible and why God demanded it. Do you have sermon notes that I could read? I wanted to use it in my Bible study class.
I am so glad the sermon blessed you. It changed my life and especially my understanding of the heart of God. Here are the notes:
WHY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST IS SO IMPORTANT-ROGER BARRIER
I remember the day before my open-heart surgery. I had just turned 13. My surgeon asked, "Do you want to see heart-lung machine?" The machine had just returned from surgery. It was covered in fresh blood. "Sorry, we haven't had time to clean it up yet," the nurse commented. My doctor proceeded to describe how the machine worked. I was sick to my stomach.
I recall waking up after surgery...it hurt so badly. I chewed ice chips and nearly suffocated under a fiery oxygen tent. I was full so full of painkillers I asked the nurse, "What are your measurements?" That didn’t go well. The next day following my surgery, they sat me up in bed. "Do you want to see your scar?" the doc asked. I saw a huge mass of stitches and dried blood. I instantly vomited and kicked over the bucket of drainage fluid.
I probably never got used to seeing blood after that. Oh, I watch the nurse take my blood and see it squirt into the vial; I see one of our church members after surgery, or go to the site of a bloody car wreck. I always go out thinking deep, solemn thoughts.
Something about the sight of blood brings life into perspective.
Do you wonder how Jesus felt about it the night before He died?
He entered Jerusalem. We celebrate on Palm Sunday. By Thursday night, He has the cup in His hand and it is reminding Him of His own blood.
READ LUKE 22:14-20.
Then He goes to the garden to pray.
READ LUKE 22:39-44. And the blood begins to flow.
Then they crucified Him.
READ JOHN 19:1-2,16-18,34-37.
The Bible is a Book of blood and a bloody Book. Over 700 times the blood is mentioned in the Bible.
The Word of God is a living Word, wholly distinct from all other books for just one reason, namely, that it contains blood circulating through every page and in every verse.
The precious blood of salvation is woven throughout the Bible like the central motif of a priceless piece of tapestry. The scarlet thread runs through every page.
When God demanded a proper sacrifice for Cain & Abel what was demanded?
The Blood of a lamb!
When the Death Angel passed through Egypt what was placed on doorposts?
The Blood of lamb!
When the high priest entered Holy Place in Jerusalem on Day of Atonement to ask forgiveness for the sins of Israel what did he take in with him?
The Blood of an unblemished lamb!
When God demanded one final sacrifice to pay for all the sins of all of the world for all time - what was asked for?
The Blood of the perfect Lamb of God - Jesus Christ!
JESUS KNEW THAT HE HAD TO SHED HIS BLOOD. THAT IS WHY HE WAS AGONIZING GO GREATLY. WHY DID JESUS HAVE TO SHED HIS BLOOD?
READ MARK 10:45: "...Son of Man came to give His life as a Ransom for many."
WHAT'S A RANSOM?
Let's make it in terms we really understand.
Terrorists hijack an airplane and they hold the hostages for what? For ransom. Those hostages are in bondage to those terrorist kidnappers until the ransom is paid. You pay the ransom, and then the folks in bondage are set free.
It's interesting to me that the Bible teaches very clearly that all of us are in bondage.
QUESTION: IN BONDAGE TO WHAT? OR WHOM? WHO IS THE CAPTOR?
If you say, Satan! - wrong! – You can't defend that Biblically - God doesn't bargain with Satan for men's souls.
READ VERSES and let you decide.
John 8:34 - men are called "slaves to sin"
Rom 6:17 - men are called "slaves to sin"
Rom 7:14 - men said to be "sold under sin"
Biblically men are not slaves to Satan, they are slaves to sin. Romans 7 - "It's sin in me that causes me to act like I do."
My sins bring great bondage...gluttony...bitterness...gossip...just can't get ultimate control. We still do it and can't get victory.
The bondage of sin is like a nightmare - you can't wake up and can't move and can't call for help. Sin is just like that.
Sin may not seem very bad to you - may feel that you're not so bad at all - but that is not how infinite, perfect God sees it at all.
READ ROMANS 3:23: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
READ ROMANS 6:23: :For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life."
The man who thinks very little of his own drinking wishes that he'd never been born when he awakens from a drunken stupor to find that the car he was driving has struck and killed an innocent child who was crossing the street.
The person who thinks little of his own sin as long as he believes that it concerns himself alone is dismayed and humbled when he begins to understand that the God who loves him is not pleased at all by his sin.
That's why back in the Old Testament in Ezekiel chapter 18, God speaks and God says the soul that sins will die."
As I get a little bit older, I think about dying more.
I go to a lot of hospital rooms. It seems like every day I'm talking to, dealing with somebody who's dying. I guess that gets in my mind.
I do a lot of funerals. How often I've stood here and looked down there at my feet, and there's the casket. Somebody dead is in it.
I'll be honest with you. I really don't want to die, but my bondage to sin is going to kill me one day.
I really don't want to die. If God were to say, "Roger, it's time to go home to glory," I'd say, "Okay, God. I'm ready, but you know I don't want to leave. I've still got two little children to raise. I've got a wonderful wife. I'm enjoying being a pastor. I like my work. I could do this really almost for eternity." I'm having a great time.
But I'm in bondage. One of these days I'm going to be in that box. I'm going to lay in that pine box, that casket, and people will come by and see my body in there. Thank God, I know that through Jesus Christ, I'm not going to be there. It's our bondage to sin that's going to kill us.
Now, you and I aren't the only folks who deal with dying. Throughout history, you read any culture that's left any kind of written record and they talk about dying, and you see their burial grounds. Folks have been struggling with this for years.
Take your Bibles with me and go back to Psalm 49. We see the Psalmist speaking directly to this issue. Psalm 49 is really a Psalm about rich materialists.
Read Psalm 49:6-9.
What he's basically saying is there's no price you can pay even to the point to have somebody die for you on earth that's going to keep you alive so you won't die. The ransom for a life is costly.
What he's saying is you can have all the money in the world. You can have a big house and lots of cars and tremendous wealth, but listen, when you come to the end of your life you're going to die.
I've heard people say, "Man, look at all I've accumulated." I've heard people say this. If I could have just ten more years, I'd give it all up; but they can't, because when your body wears out it's over, in essence, on this earth.
And you read through he rest of Psalm 49, and it's pretty depressing. He talks here about destiny. Everybody's going to die - the rich, the poor, the wise, the fool. Everybody's going to die. Nobody's going to endure. all of a sudden he comes to verse 15 - What does this guy know?
READ PSALM 49:15: "God will redeem my life from the grave."
How does he do this? How does he beat the system?
See the word redeem. How does this guy beat the system? It has to do with this whole term redemption. If somehow I can be bought back from being a slave to this sin which binds me, not only can I be free to live this life in a way I never experienced, but thank God, one of these days my body may die, but through redemption which Jesus Christ gives to me I will one day give this whole body back, plus life forever throughout all eternity.
Men are all captives - God comes along and says "I want them; I'll pay a price to get them."
What does it take to buy a man back from sin? Nothing less than the precious Blood of Christ.
READ 1 PETER 1:18-21: "FOR WE ARE REDEEMED WITH THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF JESUS."
WHY BLOOD? BECAUSE THERE IS LIFE IN THE BLOOD.
READ LEVITICUS 17:11,14: "The life is in the blood."
In the human body there are many different kinds of tissues. We define them as muscle, nerve, fat, gland, bone, connective tissues, etc. All these tissues have one thing in common: they are fixed cells, microscopically small and having a specific and limited function.
Unlike these fixed tissues, the blood is fluid and mobile, that is, it is not limited to one part of the body but is free to move throughout the entire body and supply the fixed cells with nourishment and carry off the waste products and the "ashes" of cell activity.
In the normal human body there are about five quarts of this fluid, and this blood pumped by the heart circulates through the system about every twenty-three seconds, so that every cell in the body is constantly supplied and cleansed.
He's telling us here there's life inside that blood. Now you and I know that. There are forces of death in our bodies at this moment which are only being held back because there's still blood flowing through our bodies.
Why, you just let the blood stop, and in ten minutes and less in many instances, those forces are set free and the process of irreversible decay begins to destroy that flesh. The only thing that holds those forces back is that blood which brings life.
JESUS TELLS US THAT THE NEW COVENANT IS IN HIS BLOOD.
READ HEBREWS 9:22. "Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin."
From the death of X until now not one single soul - not one! - has ever been prepared for heaven without the shedding of blood.
CAN'T I GET MY SINS FORGIVEN WITHOUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS?
"If I serve God more zealously than other men, will He not forgive me for the sake of my obedience?"
"No remission," says the text, "without shedding of blood."
"If I am a very wise man with a number of letters after my name -
"Can I not get remission by these grand titles of my learning?" "None; none"
"If I am a benevolent man. I have dispersed my money to feed the poor?"
"None" says the text.
"Without shedding of blood there is no remission." How this puts everyone on the same level!
God says: "Put up your money-bags, they will not procure you remission; roll up your diploma, that will not get you remission; forget your car and your goodness, they will not get you remission.
Come, you ragged beggar, filthy off-scourings of the world, penniless; come hither; here is remission as much for you, ill-bred and ill-mannered though ye be, as for the noble, the honorable, the titled, and the wealthy. All stand on a level here; the text is universal: "Without shedding of blood there is no remission."
DID YOU EVER WONDER WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS BLOOD?
There are three hypotheses and one truth:
1.) Crusades - "authentic" blood of Christ was brought back on rags and sold throughout Europe.
2.) Tradition in Church of Holy Sepulchre – The cross stood over the grave of Adam – Christ’s blood dripped on the grave and covered all sin of Adam's race.
3.) Some say it just returned to dust.
HERE’S THE REAL ANSWER:
4.) Hebrews 9:12 - "But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come...He entered once and for all into the holy place (in heaven), taking not the blood of goats and calves, but His own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption."
The picture of redemption can be illustrated by the story of a boy who made a wooden boat. He used fresh paint. He was so proud! The boy placed it on the river and the wind caught the toy sails. Soon his precious boat was out of reach and gone. He was grief stricken. He searched for days, but couldn't find his boat.
Several weeks later the boy sees his boat in a pawn shop. He enters the shop and cries, "My boat! I made it myself!" The boy demands it. But the owner gave a brusque refusal. "I bought it myself - if you want it, you must pay the price." The little lad left the store crestfallen. It would take many days to save enough money to pay the asking price.
He worked hard and sooner than expected the young lad had the money. He rushed to the store, laid down the money and demanded his boat. This time he received it.
As he left the store, the boat tucked tenderly under his arm, He was heard to say: "You are mine, little boat, twice mine. Once because I made you and twice because I bought you."
Just so we belong to Christ- once because He made us and twice because He bought us! He redeemed us with His own blood!