1 Peter 1:18-19 (KJV) “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:”
Last week, we discussed the Power of the Blood of Jesus to “Purchase.” The Blood of Jesus also has the “Power” to…
Praise the Lord! The Blood of Jesus not only has the Power to be the “Purchase Price” of our Redemption, it also had the Power to “Pardon” us from the penalty of sin – Death! Death is the “earned” penalty for our sins.
Romans 6:23a (KJV) “For the wages of sin is death; …”
I am not desiring to stir up a conversation concerning the merits, mercy, or mercilessness of the Death Penalty in the United States. However, there are many U.S. citizens who support the Death Penalty in specific cases such as Premeditated Murder, Violent Crime Resulting in Death, etc. I am intrigued, however, with the opponents of the Death Penalty who advocate for the right of women to “Murder” their unborn children. Keep in mind, NONE of these children committed any crime! But, I digress.
We have the tendency to place sin into categories. I have often been asked, “Pastor, do you think (name the sin) is worse than, (name another sin)?” My response is most often, “Your sin is worse than any sin another person might commit!” Of course, this provokes no small level of consternation on their part. After I say, “Your sin is worse because you will never have to give an account for another person’s sin, you will give an account for yourself,” they seem to understand. Nonetheless, many will respond with, “That may be true, but I still that that (name the sin) is far worse than what I have done!”
The spiritual reality is – “ALL sin is worthy of the Death Penalty!” You see, as we discussed last week, Adam’s sin resulted in the “Death Penalty” being placed upon all mankind because “all have sinned.” Of course, the penalty of sin should be death! You will recall that God had to sacrifice (kill) at least one animal to provide “covering” for Adam and Eve. Why did God have to do this? The “Shedding of Blood” was the only thing that would provide the “covering” they needed, and it is the only thing that will “remit” sin.
Hebrews 9:22 (KJV) “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission” (Emphasis Added).
I’ve only been acquainted with one person who was sentenced to “Death Row” and subsequently executed for murdering three people – his wife, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law. Even though the jury found him guilty, the court properly sentenced him, and he admitted that he did it, it was sad. No one wins in such a case!
God knew that No One would win if He demanded the death of every sinner! Would it be just – absolutely! Would it be right – abundantly! BUT, God provided Himself a “Way” to present mercy while exacting the “Death Penalty;” thus, He maintained His integrity in banishing Satan from His Eternal Presence. God gave His Son!
God illustrated the “Penalty” for sin and the “Pardon” for sin when He delivered Israel from Egyptian bondage. The whole of God’s illustration is contained in Exodus 12:7-23. Let us review a few of these Scriptures.
Exodus 12:1-7 (KJV) “And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it” (Emphasis Added).
Exodus 12:13 (KJV) “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt” (Emphasis Added).
There is much to comment on in these Scriptures! One would have to be willfully blind and ignorant to ignore the foreshadow of Jesus in these Scriptures. Inasmuch as we know that Jesus was “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens” (Hebrews 7:26), and John called Jesus “the Lamb of God” (John 1:29), it is no stretch to recognize the “lamb” that God instructed the Israelites to choose to sacrifice and eat was a foreshadow of Jesus!
What is important for everyone to notice in these Scriptures is that everyone had to “take” the lamb. They also had to “apply” the blood of the lamb to the entrance of their home for the “Pardon” to be effective. God was teaching His Principle of Pardon – His offer of forgiveness and faith in the Blood of the Lamb of God must be received before it would be valid.
The “Death Penalty” was upon the firstborn of all mankind and animals in Egypt. Some might ask why the firstborn? God’s “First Man” was responsible for the first death, and God’s “Firstborn Son” would be the remedy for the “Death Penalty!”
This was a foreshadow of what Jesus would accomplish as Caiaphas the High Priest prophesied…
John 11:49-53 (KJV) “And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death:” (Emphasis Added).
The Israelites in Egypt had to “apply” the blood of the lamb to the top post and two side posts of the door of their house. Thus, this foreshadowed the sacrifice of Jesus being placed on the Cross of Calvary where His blood would flow to present our “Pardon!”
I emphasize the need to “Receive” and “Apply” the “Pardon” God offers! Eternal life (Pardon) is a Gift from God.
Romans 6:23b (KJV) “…; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
A “Gift” must be received to be of value!
“During the presidency of Andrew Jackson, George Wilson, a postal clerk, robbed a federal payroll from a train and in the process killed a guard. The court convicted him and sentenced him to hang. Because of public sentiment against capital punishment, however, a movement began to secure a presidential pardon for Wilson (first offense), and eventually Jackson intervened with a pardon. Amazingly, Wilson refused it.
Since this had never happened before, the Supreme Court was asked to rule on whether someone could indeed refuse a presidential pardon. Chief Justice John Marshall handed down the court’s decision: “A pardon is a parchment whose only value must be determined by the receiver of the pardon. It has no value apart from that which the receiver gives to it. George Wilson has refused to accept the pardon. We cannot conceive why he would do so, but he has. Therefore, George Wilson must die.” George Wilson, as punishment for his crime, was hanged. Pardon, declared the Supreme Court, must not only be granted, it must be accepted.” — George Maronge, Jr., Birmingham, Alabama.
The Pardon of Barabbas is a prime example of this! When Pilate offered the crowd its choice of criminals to be pardoned, they chose Barabbas (John 18:38-40). Barabbas WAS guilty of murder, he deserved the “Death Penalty,” and did NOT deserve to be pardoned. Nonetheless, he quickly “accepted” his pardon and went free!
When God convicts us of our sinfulness and need of salvation, His purpose is not to punish us, His purpose is to pardon us! BUT, the “Pardon” must be “Received” and “Applied.”
Romans 3:23-26 (KJV) “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Emphasis Added).
The “Blood” is the “Proof of Pardon!” God has not changed! He still says, “When I see the Blood, I will pass over you!”