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The Necessity of Christ’s Death
Heb. 9:15-22

There were three prominent key words in our text. The words “testament” (vs. 15,16, 17), “death” (vs. 15, 16) and “blood” (vs. 18, 19, 20, 21, 22). These words specially the abundant use of “blood” in the rites of the OT covenant, thoroughly emphasize the truth that the price of Christ’s great sacrifice, under the New Covenant was His death and His own blood.

Illustration 1/Application: Why Christ’s Blood Needed for Salvation?
A man came up to a minister at the close of the service and said, “I do not see any necessity of the blood of Christ in my salvation. I can be saved without believing in His shed blood.”
“Very well,” said the minister. “How then, do you propose to be saved?”
“By following His example,” was the answer. “That is enough for any man.”
“I suppose it is,” said the minister, “and that is what you propose to do?”
“I do, and I am sure that is enough.”
“Very well. I am sure that you want to begin right. The Word of God tells us how to do that. I read here concerning Christ, ‘Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth'(1 Pet. 2:22). I suppose that you can say that of yourself, too?”
The man become visibly embarrassed.
“Well,” he said, “I cannot say that exactly. I have sometimes sinned.”
“In that case you do not need an example, but a Savior; and the only way of salvation is by His shed blood.” Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times.

I. The efficacy of Christ’s blood (Heb. 9:15)
A. And for this cause… points back to the blood of Christ being superior to the blood of the Old Testament sacrifice. The blood of bulls and goats was not adequate to take away man’s sin, but the blood of Jesus Christ is. “He is the mediator of the New Testament”. The Old Testament priests served as a type of mediator, but their mediation was never complete because they could not actually approach God. The veil was always between them and God. Even the high priest who was allowed to enter into the Most Holy Place could only do so once a year and then with the blood of animals that could not take away sin.
B. The word mediator comes from the word “mesites” and means “a go-between or reconciler.” Jesus mediates between God and man to remove the enmity and bring peace (Rom. 5:1). Jesus stands in the gap between God and man. He represents God to man and He represents man to God.
C. New Testament. This is the same Greek word (diatheke) translated covenant. The reference here is not to the Old and the New Testaments as the two divisions of the Bible, but rather to the contrast between God’s old covenant with Israel under the
Mosaic Law and the new covenant with both Jewish and Gentile believers as sealed
by the blood of Christ (Heb. 9:12).
D. Christ died for the sins committed under the Old Covenant as well as under the New and those persons who had responded to the divine call of that pre-Christian era may receive eternal life (the promised eternal inheritance) from Him as Mediator of a new covenant. In providing atonement for those before and after His death,
Jesus has truly “obtained eternal redemption”
E. It wasn’t until Christ died that the sins of Old Testament believers were paid for. They were forgiven and justified by faith, just as we are. But Christ had not died as yet. The Old Testament believer was saved by looking forward to the coming Messiah. Jesus Christ was God’s. lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Rev. 13:8). He was foreordained before the foundation of the world (1 Pet. 1:20). Under the Old Covenant God saved believers on the basis of what He knew Christ would accomplish at Calvary. God has saved men through all ages on the same basis, and that is upon the basis of Christ’ s sacrifice,
F. Those who are called. Those who are called receive the promise of eternal inheritance (Heb. 9:15). This refers to all who have been called from the beginning of man’s history and all who will ever be called. In the present dispensation all who hear the Gospel are called (2 Th. 2:14). It is the express will of the Father that everyone who believes on the Son may have everlasting life (Jn. 6:40).

Illustration/Application: The Mediator
The redeemed are dependent on God for all. All that we have—wisdom, the pardon of sin, deliverance, acceptance in God’s favor, grace, holiness, true comfort and happiness, eternal life and glory—we have from God by a Mediator; and this Mediator is God. God not only gives us the Mediator, and accepts His mediation, and of His power and grace bestows the things purchased by the Mediator, but He is the Mediator. Our blessings are what we have by purchase; and the purchase is made of God; the blessings are purchased of Him; and not only so, but God is the purchaser. Yes, God is both the purchaser and the price; for Christ, who is God, purchased these blessings by offering Himself as the price of our salvation.
Jonathan Edwards, in Closer Walk, July, 1988, p. 15

II. Christ’s Death a Necessity (Heb. 9:16-17).
A. Not all covenants require death of the one making the covenant before the covenant comes into force. (e.g., Noahic covenant after the flood, Noah didn’t die. Abrahamic covenant, Abraham didn’t die, and Mosaic Covenant, Moses didn’t die). However, sacrifices are involved which animals dies and their shedding of blood). Blood was at the core of Jewish worship. The Apostle points out that both the Old Testament and the New Testament were inaugurated by the shedding of blood. The Apostle draws from the account of Moses inaugurating the old covenant with blood at the foot of Horeb (Ex. 24:3-8).
B. A testament, or will, requires the death of the one who makes it. It does not become of force until the testator dies. This illustrates the necessity of Christ’s death.
C. The old covenant was ratified on the basis of the shedding of blood, the same as the New. When Jesus said, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. (Luk.  22:20), He was confirming that He would ratify a New Covenant through His own blood. The blood of Jesus Christ is His covenant guarantee that our sins are forgiven and we will spend eternity with Him.

Illustration/Application: A Sacrificial Death
Why did the Father will the death of his only beloved Son, and in so painful and shameful a form? Because the Father had “laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:6). Jesus’ death was vicarious (undergone in our place) and atoning (securing remission of sins for us and reconciliation to God). It was a sacrificial death, fulfilling the principle of atonement taught in connection with the Old Testament sacrifices: “without the shedding of blood there is no remission” (Heb. 9:22; Lev. 17:11).
As the “last Adam,” the second man in history to act on mankind’s behalf, Jesus died a representative death. As a sacrificial victim who put away our sins by undergoing the death penalty that was our due, Jesus died as our substitute. By removing God’s wrath against us for sin, his death was an act of propitiation (Rom. 3:25; 1 John 2:2,; 4:10 —“expiation,” signifying that which puts away sin, is only half the meaning). By saving us from slavery to ungodliness and divine retribution for sin, Jesus’ death was an act of redemption (Gal. 3:13; Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). By mediating and making peace between us and God, it was an act of reconciliation (Rom. 5:10-11). It opened the door to our justification (pardon and acceptance) and our adoption (becoming God’s sons and heirs—Rom. 5:1,9; Gal. 4:4-5).
This happy relationship with our Maker, based on and sealed by blood atonement, is the “New Covenant” of which Jesus spoke in the Upper Room (1 Cor. 11:25; Matt. 26:28).
Your Father Loves You by James Packer, (Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986), page for December 27.

III. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin (Heb. 9:18-22).
A. The word “remission” is from the Greek “aphesis,” which is also translated “forgiveness” (Acts 5:31; 13:38; 26:18; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14), “deliverance” (Lk. 4:18), and “liberty” (Lk. 4:18).
B. The atonement required both death (Heb. 9:15) and blood (Heb. 9:22). Death was required, because “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). Yet Christ’s death alone was not sufficient to atone for our sins; He also had to shed His blood. It is crucial to understand that both blood and death were required by the Law. Some modern teachers claim that the blood is merely symbolic of Christ’s death, and some modern Bible translations exchange the word “blood” for “death.” This is a great error. The blood was required as surely as was His death. Thus in Rom. 5:9-10 both aspects of the Atonement are in view. Verse 9 says we are justified “by his blood”; verse 10 says we are reconciled “by his death.”
C. The Old Covenant was established on the basis of blood. Heb. 9:19-21 is taken from Ex 24:3-8, the account of the ratifying of the Old Covenant by Moses and the people of Israel. The book of the Law was sprinkled with blood, and so were the people and the tabernacle and its furnishings.
D. Not only was blood used at the beginning of the ministry of the Old Covenant, but it was used in the regular administration of the tabernacle service. Under the Old Covenant people and objects were purified by blood, water, or fire (Num. 31:21-24). This was, of course, ceremonial purification; it meant that the persons and objects were now acceptable to God. The purification did not alter the nature of the person or object. God’s principle is that blood must be shed before sin can be forgiven (Lev. 17:11).
E. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. (Heb. 9:22). The shedding of Christ’s blood was absolutely necessary in order to establish the “New Covenant” or “New Testament!”
F. It is a general custom to purify everything by blood. This rule was not universal, for some things were purified by fire and water, (Nu 31:22-23,) and some by water only, Nu 31:24; Le 16:26,28. But the exceptions to the general rule were few.
G. “without shedding of blood there is no remission” Remission or forgiveness of sins. That is, though some things were purified by fire and water, yet when the matter pertained to the forgiveness of sins, it was universally true that no sins were pardoned except by the shedding of blood. Some impurities might be removed by water and fire, but the stain of sin could be removed only by blood. (Barnes)

Illustration/Application: Other things cleansed without blood
1. By fire (Lev. 13:52,55; 16:27; Num. 31:23)
2. Water (Exod. 19:30; Lev. 15:5; 16:26,28; 22:6; Num. 31:24)
3. Flour sacrifice (Lev. 5:11-13)
4. Incense (Num. 16:46-48)
5. Intercession (Exod. 32:30-32)
6. Prayer of confession and contrition (Ps. 32 and 51)

IV. Conclusion:
Christ is the mediator of the New Covenant. He died for the sins committed under the Old Covenant as well as under the New. Jesus Christ was God’s… Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. He died for you and me and for the sins of the whole world. Repent from your sins now and receive Him as your personal Saviour.

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