"THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB"
Intro. John sees in heaven a vast number of people who are obviously not the church, and the elder asked John who they were, and where they came from, when John declared his ignorance the elder explained that these were those who came up out of the great tribulaion and had washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb. Sin defiles a person, it leaves a stain on a person's life. There is a consciousness of the need of cleansing. In the Bible leprosy was used as a type for sin because it was progressive, deadly, and incurable. There was the slow rotting away of the flesh, a person who had leprosy was to keep a distance from people and if someone was approaching him, he had to cry out, "Unclean, unclean." There is in the law an interesting statement, "This is the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing." Lev 14:2
, but leprosy was incurrable by human standards. This law provided for the possibility of the miraculous healing
by God. What man cannot do, God can do. When the disciples asked Jesus "Who can be saved?" Jesus answered, "With man it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible."
I. THE HISTORY OF OFFERING A SACRIFICE FOR THE CLEANSING FROM SIN.
A. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden they discovered that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves to cover their nakedness.
1. God gave them coats made of skins to cover their nakedness.
2. Adam and Eve were typical of man who by his own works would seek to cover his guilt.
3. The fact that God gave them coats of skins indicated that God killed an animal to cover their guilt.
4. From that time on man realized that it was necessary to offer to God and animal for the covering of sin.
B. The two sons of Adam offered sacrifices to God.
1. Abel offered a lamb as a sacrifice and Cain his brother brought from the fruit of the ground which represented his own labor and works.
2. God accepted the sacrifice of Abel and rejected the sacrifice of Cain.
C. When God tested the faith of Abraham by calling on him to offer his son Issac as a sacrifice, Abraham obeyed the call of God and journeyed for three days from Hebron to Jerusalem.
1. Abraham left the servants at the bottom of the hill and as he and Issac were going up the hill together, Issac said, "Dad we have the wood and the fire, but we do not have a lamb for the burnt offering." Abraham responded, "God will provide Himself a Lamb for a sacrifice."
D. When the children of Israel were slaves in Egypt and God sent Moses to demand their release, God brought plagues on the Egyptians to enforce His desires for the release of His people.
1. The final plague was death to the firstborn throughout the land of Egypt.
2. That the children of Israel be might be spared the sorrow of losing their firstborn, God told Moses to command the people to take a lamb out of their flock and kill the lamb and place the blood on the lintels and the doorposts of their homes, and when the Lord passed through the land that night to kill the firstborn, when He saw the blood He would pass over that house.
3. Later in the law, God commanded a lamb to be offered for a sin offering.
II. THE PROPHECIES OF THE LAMB OF GOD AS A SACRIFICE FOR SINS.
A. We have already spoken of the prophecy of Abraham when Issac asked about the lamb for the sacrifice, and Abraham responded God will provide Himself a Lamb for a sacrifice.
B. Isaiah prophesied of the Messiah that He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter and as the sheep before the shearers is mute, so He openeth not His mouth. That God would make His soul an offering for sin.
C. When John the Baptist saw Jesus, he said, "Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world."
III. JESUS THE LAMB OF GOD, SACRIFICED FOR OUR SINS.
A. John tells us that when the soldiers came to Jesus to break His legs to hasten His death, that when he saw that Jesus was already dead, he pushed his spear through the side of Jesus and there came forth blood and water.
B. What is so important about the shedding of blood for the remission of sins?
1. The penalty of sin is death.
a. God told Adam in the garden that if he ate of the tree that was in the middle of the Garden, that he would surely die.
b. God in the law declared that the soul that sinneth shall surely die.
c. Paul tells us that the wages of sin is death.
2. The Bible tells us that the life of the flesh is in the blood.
3. The blood being shed speaks of the penalty for sin being fulfilled.
C. When Jesus had the last supper with His disciples, when He had taken the cup, He said, "This cup is a new covenant in My blood which is shed for the remission of sins."
D. Paul wrote to the Ephesians:
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
E. In the book of Hebrews we read:
But Christ being come, a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption [for us].
For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
F. Peter writing of Jesus said:
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers;
But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
G. John wrote:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
2. He describes his first view of Jesus in heaven in chapter 5:
And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
IV. THE CLEANSING POWER OF THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST.
A. What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
B. Isaiah 1:18
Come now let us reason together, though your sins be as scarlet, you may be as white as snow.
C. Your sins will result in one of two things. They will be washed by the blood of Jesus Christ, or they will be punished by everlasting banishment from God.
D. You will accept your redemption provided by Jesus Christ or you will die in your sin and face the judgment of God.
E. In our text, John sees this great multitude in heaven who have washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb.
1. Some scorn the gospel of Jesus Christ, calling it a bloody gospel.
2. Some churches to be seeker friendly have removed all of the songs concerning the blood out of their hymnals.
3. Paul wrote:
But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
F. Jesus, as the lamb of God took upon Himself your sins and died for your sins, and today, the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God can cleanse you from all sin.