Let’s be candid. The whole Old Testament way was messy, gross, and barbaric at times. As early as the giving of the law, Moses sprinkled blood all over the scroll and then – get this – all over the people (Heb. 9:19).
That’s one church service I’d rather miss!
But that bloody, messy system was established for a reason. Like it or not, it signals something very important for us – God’s blood economy. We read in Hebrews 9:22 that there is no forgiveness without blood being shed. Now, what’s the takeaway for us? Well, it’s still the same today – there’s no forgiveness without bloodshed. So, connecting the dots, here’s the big deal:
- Only blood brings forgiveness.
- Jesus shed his blood once, and it needs no repeat.
- We were forgiven once for all our sins.
Let me say it another way: Jesus isn’t dying daily, so we aren’t being forgiven daily, little by little (Heb. 9:25–29). There won’t be any new portions of God’s forgiveness coming our way at any point in the future, because no more blood will ever be shed for our sins. In other words, it’s finished. (Sound familiar? See John 19:30.) We’ve already got all the forgiveness we’re ever going to need!
This is why Hebrews contrasts what Jesus accomplished (“once for all”) with the never-ending way of the Old Testament. The writer exclaims: “[Jesus] does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself” (Heb. 7:27). So, it’s simple. One sacrifice for all sins means we’re forgiven, not day after day, not little by little, but once … and for all!