Friday, May 1, 2020

              THE BLOOD
                                             of the
Everlasting Covenant
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
     Whenever I preach or write about the precious Blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on Golgotha’s Hill for my sins, I sense a holy awe and His overwhelming presence! I feel unworthy of such an honour to present this profound subject in its greatness and eternal worth!  
    Almighty God’s Plan and Purpose in Redeeming the world through the incarnation of the Son of God; His Holy Spirit conception, His virgin birth, His miracles, His sinless life, His obedience to His Father, His vicarious death, His victorious resurrection and His ascension to His Father’s throne!
                  GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD!
    But how, why and when did all this begin? St. Paul calls it, ‘The Blood of the Everlasting Covenant’. In His high priestly prayer, Jesus of Nazareth stated: “I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work Thou gavest Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with thine own Self with the glory which I had with Thee, before the world was.” (John 17:4,5)
   The Bible says: “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world…” (Eph. 1:4); “And… written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev. 13:8)
    God planned our salvation before the world was created. He wrote our names in the Lamb’s Book of Life before we were born. He knew all about us and planned our salvation. In the mind of God, His Son was already slain to save us and free us from the bondage that He knew was coming upon the Earth.
   The Bible says: “For God so loved the world that He Gave His only begotten Son, the whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3: 16, 17)
    Our Heavenly Father sent His Son to the Cross to save us from our sins and eternal judgment and raised Him from the Dead to justify us and give us Eternal Life! Although our Heavenly Father is the God of Judgment, He is also is the God of Peace.
    He judged Satan, Sin and Death, destroying the kingdom of Darkness forever and liberated the righteous dead held in Abraham’s Bosom (Hades). Many of the saints were seen in Jerusalem after Christ’s resurrection. These would have been taken into Heaven with Jesus when He ascended:
      “And the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” (Matt. 27: 52, 53)
      Here is the picture of Christ taking with Him the righteous dead from Abraham’s Bosom at His resurrection and signaling Heaven to open its doors for His entrance:
     “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors: and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of Glory. of Selah (think of that).” (Ps. 24:7-10)
     The purpose of Christ’s vicarious death was to save us, adopt us into His Heavenly Kingdom and to fashion us into His own image, to truly be children of God:  “….make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Heb.13:20)
        The Blood of the Everlasting Covenant was made in Heaven by the Divine Council of the Godhead. God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit planned it all before the worlds were made!
      When the world would be contaminated through the great sin of Lucifer and fall of Adam, the Father would send His only begotten Son as the Second Adam.  He would be incarnated and shed His pure and Holy blood to redeem mankind from the power of Darkness and translate us into the Kingdom of His dear Son.
      The Church would be born and filled with the blessed Holy Spirit to do the works of God for His glory. The Gospel would be preached, the sick would be healed and the name of Jesus would be believed and honoured. Christ would Return to receive His children for eternity! 
   Jesus said: “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” (Mark 7: 21-23)
   Man’s natural tendency is toward that which is sinful, immoral and illegal! You don’t need to teach children how to lie. That comes naturally to them, even before they have learned to speak. When asked if he has raided the cookie jar, little Billy will shake his head meaning “no”, even while he is hiding it behind his back!
The questions I pose are: “Where did sin come from? Why are we in this terrible predicament? Is there any hope of being free?”
The Bible – our highest moral authority – gives it to us straight: “Ye are of your father, the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father of it.” (John 8: 44)
             THERE WAS NO SIN IN EDEN!
There was no sin in the Garden of Eden until Satan introduced it to our first parents, Adam and Eve! When they rebelled against the Almighty, disobeying His command, sin entered into the world. With sin came guilt, condemnation, sickness and death; as well as perdition, damnation – Hell!
There was no hope for mankind - until God in His mercy - sent His Son Jesus Christ to bear our punishment and die in our place, shedding His pure and perfect blood as atonement for our sins! Then, He arose from the dead, a Mighty Conqueror over sin, death, hell and the grave!
The Bible says: “Jesus was delivered for our offences (sins) and raised again for our justification.” (Rom. 4: 25). Justification is an act of free grace by which God pardons the sinner and accepts him as righteous, because of the atonement of Christ. Faith is the only means of justification. (Rom.3: 25)
God’s Word states: “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.” (Rom.3: 23, 24); “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom.6: 23)
The Bible says: “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Rom.5: 6-10)
 Here is the greatest love story ever recorded in the ‘Annals of History’. Heaven came down and kissed the earth, when God’s Love overflowed from the Throne of the Father and entered a stable in Bethlehem of Judaea. And how Heaven’s angel band lit up the night and sang of His Peace to the shepherds that night. (Luke 2: 6-18)
For God so loved the world that He grace His begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3: 16-17)
  The Bible says, “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.” (Lev. 17:11,14) “It is the blood that maketh atonement for the soul.” (Heb. 9:22); “And the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sins.” (1 John 1:9)
The blood of Jesus, shed for us all on Golgotha, has purchased our salvation! When a sinner comes to Jesus, however, he receives a New Nature - the nature of God! The Bible says:
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the Divine Nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (1 Peter 1: 4
When Jesus Christ hung on the Cross dying for the sins of lost humanity – past, present and future – the blessed Holy Spirit was reconciling the world unto Himself.
As His Heavenly Father was judging Jesus of Nazareth on our behalf, to meet the righteous Demands of Divine Justice, the Holy Spirit was making salvation available for every lost soul who will receive Him as Saviour and Lord!
St. Paul wrote: “Therefore if any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature: Old things are passed away; behold all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of Reconciliation.  
“That is, GOD WAS IN CHRIST, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the Word of Reconciliation.” (2 Cor. 5: 17-19)
  The Key: God was in Christ!  This is the work of the cross, unseen to human eyes, known and directed by the Holy Spirit. God was in Christ reconciling, straightening out everything between God and man. God was in Christ saving the world while His Son was dying, shedding His precious and holy Blood. Amazing grace, abundant mercy, forgiving love, omnipotent power, omniscient wisdom! Amen.
The Blood of Christ did not die. The Holy Spirit guarded the Body and Blood of Christ while our Saviour was in Abraham’s Bosom in Hades. On the third day God raised Jesus Christ from the grave and our Lord carried His own BLOOD into the Holy of Holies in Heaven, where it resides today interceding for us together with our Saviour day and night. The Holy Spirit lives in and works out from the Precious Blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
“But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest  of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle  was yet standing:  
“But Christ being come an 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.” (Heb.9: 11,12)

 “In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the FORGIVENESS OF SINS, according to the riches of His grace”. (Eph. 1:7). The forgiveness of our many sins comes to us at the cost of the vicarious death of Jesus Christ on the cursed tree; only by His mercy and grace!
    The heaviest weight to carry is the ‘load of sin’. And the greatest blessing in the world is the removal of that horrible burden!
The Bible says: “There is therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:1) “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity…” (Ps.32: 1,2)
   “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:” (1 Peter 1:18-19) “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock…which He hath purchased with His own blood.” (Acts 20:28)
   To be redeemed means to be bought back, set free, rescued, saved! We were lost in sin, slaves to the devil, the world and self. And then, Jesus Christ came to our rescue and purchased our freedom, through His sacrificial death on the cross for us!
  “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 sins.” (1 John 1:7)
 To be cleansed means to be made clean, washed, purged! We were unclean – sinners by birth, nature and choice. The Bible states: “But we were all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags…and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Is. 64: 6) “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid upon Him (Messiah Jesus) the iniquity of us all.” (Is. 53: 6)
Jesus’ blood makes us clean in the sight of Almighty God. His vicarious death for us satisfied the demands of Divine Justice. God honours Christ’s act of substitution on our behalf – so we are free. He paid our debt! (Col. 2:14,15)
 There is no stronger cleansing solvent than the pure, holy, untainted blood of God’s Divine Son, shed for our sins!     
  “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.” (Rev. 1:5)
    To be free from the guilt of sinfulness is wonderful. To walk in victory over sin by the power of Jesus’ blood is a definite reality. Only in the strength of the Holy Spirit is this possible! The text states: “Unto Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.”
Our sins are gone forever – they have no more power over us! Past sins are forgiven and forgotten by our Lord. And we receive strength through Jesus’ blood, the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to overcome new temptations!
    “Being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” (Rom. 5:9) “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 the righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” (Rom. 3:24-25)
     The word propitiation means satisfaction, expiation, mercy seat. God was satisfied with Jesus Christ’s vicarious death on the cross for our sins!
To be justified means to be made right and just in the sight of God. Through Jesus’ blood, we are able to stand in God’s presence without fault, fear or condemnation. God looks upon us through the blood of Jesus, His Son and does not see our sins and shortcomings!
The Bible says: “Thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption; for Thou has cast all my sins behind Thy back.” (Is. 38: 17) The Hebrew word that is used here for back is very specific. Literally, it says: “behind Thy back, between Thy shoulder blades.” It is impossible to see something behind one’s back, between the shoulder blades!
“…He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:19)
  “And having made peace through the death of His cross, by Him to receive all things unto Himself.” (Col. 1:20). Life’s most precious commodity is peace of mind. People spend fortunes seeking peace through vacation, exotic travel, erotic pleasure, new therapies and alternate medicines, often to no avail!
Real peace of mind comes only through receiving Christ: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom 5:1) “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7)
The peace that Christ gives takes away guilt, condemnation and fear! Here is GOD’S WARNING to the ungodly: “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace sayeth my God to the wicked.” (Is.57: 20,21)
 “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us through the veil, that is to say, His flesh.” (Heb. 10:19-20)
    By the blood of Christ, we have access to the Father’s Throne Room. The Gospel song says, ‘Take me into the Holy of Holies, take me in by the Blood of the Lamb. Take me in through His infinite mercy, His child and forever I am.”
     The blood that Jesus shed provides access for us into the very presence of God in Heaven. THE BLOOD OF JESUS DID NOT DIE! David prophesied of Messiah: “Therefore My heart is glad, and My glory rejoiceth: My flesh also shall rest in hope. For Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.” (Ps.16: 9,10)
In his Pentecostal message, St. Peter quoted David’s prophecy to prove that Jesus was raised from the dead, without His body corrupting! (Acts 2: 25-27)
 JESUS’ BLOOD IS ALIVE and grants us access into God’s presence! Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of both the ‘Sacrifice Lamb’ and ‘High Priest, when He gave Himself as our substitute in the “death of the cross”. (Phil.2: 8)
The Bible says: “Seeing then that we have a Great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedic.” (Heb.4: 14; 6: 19,20)
“But this Man, because He continueth forever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore He is able to save them to the uttermost that come to God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.
“For such an high priest…Who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this He did ONCE, when He offered up HIMSELF. (Heb. 7:24-27)
“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands…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 goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purification of the flesh: How much more shall not 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? And for this cause He is the mediator of the New Testament, that BY MEANS OF DEATH, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” (Heb. 9: 11-15)
By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But THIS MAN, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God. (Heb.10: 10-12) “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the HOLIEST BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS.” (Heb.10: 19)
When Jesus appeared to Mary at the tomb, He said: “Touch Me not; for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God and your God.” (John 20: 17). He had to carry His own blood into the ‘holy of holies’ in heaven, to atone for the sins of the entire world, before anyone was allowed to touch Him!
WHY? The high priest was not allowed contact with anyone on the ‘Day of Atonement’, until he had finished his ministration. He alone could enter the holiest – where God’s presence was - with the sacrificial blood of an innocent animal, to sprinkle on the mercy seat for his sins and that of his nation!
If God accepted the offering, he returned with the good news. If He did not, the high priest would die and had to be ‘pulled out’ by a rope that was tied to his left ankle. No one else could enter God’s AWESOME presence and live!
Dealing with sin is serious business. An innocent life had to die so that sin could be forgiven! That is why Jesus, God’s Son, came to this earth as ‘Jehovah’s Suffering Servant’ (Is. 53) to suffer, bleed and die in our place, to implement God’s great salvation plan to redeem fallen mankind!
The great theologian, DR. ARTHUR MURRAY , in his powerful book ‘The Blood of His Cross’ states: “Reconciliation and deliverance from guilt will become the blessed entrance for us into a life in which the blood  - as it was transported into heaven and abides there – will be truly the power of divine abiding life in us.”
  MARTIN LUTHER writes: “First, the Blood of Christ remains the blood of the same Christ. For we believe and hold that the Blood of Christ that is NOW at the right hand of God was shed for us ONCE ONLY.” (Church and Ministry, Luther’s Works vol. 40, page 215)
    “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our
iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.”(Is. 53:5) “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” (1 Pet. 2:24)
 Through His wounds, Jesus purchased divine healing for all who appropriate God’s promises for themselves!
  “And they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” (Rev. 12:11) There is no one as evil, deceptive and wicked as Satan, the adversary of God and man. The devil, however, is no match for Jesus. In His name, we can overcome Satan’s temptations and onslaughts!
  Satan must OBEY us when we declare the Word of Christ’s power through the most holy blood of JESUS.
   The Bible says: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith…” (1 Peter 5: 8,9)  “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he shall flee from you.” (James 4:7)
    “Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify His people with His own blood, suffered without the gate.” (Heb. 13:12) To be sanctified, means to be set apart for God. Sanctification is a holy state in which we are given over wholly to the Lord. We are separated unto the Lord, from the world!
   The Bible says: “…to the elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” (1 Pe. 1: 1,2) 
Dr. Andrew Murray stated: “Everything is of the Father, everything is in the Son, everything is through the Spirit. The entire carrying out of the counsel of God is through the Holy Spirit, and the sanctification and the impartation of divine holiness which He works.”
   “How much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience (mind) from dead works, to serve the Living God?” (Heb. 9:14)
          No amount of counselling can give a person a clear conscience. That comes only through confession of sin to God and receiving assurance of sins forgiven by the blessed Holy Spirit. Only the blood of Jesus Christ and the Word of God has the power to cleanse, purge and free the conscience!
“These are they which come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them…
For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of water: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” (Rev.7:14-17)
“Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach.” (Heb. 13:12, 13)
     The BLOOD of Jesus purifies our minds and thoughts. We receive the mind of Christ: “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, tat He may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor. 2: 16); “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 2: 5) 
     “But God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His BLOOD, we shall be saved from wrath to come.” (Rom. 5: 8,9)
     “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood, hath Eternal Life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is meat and My blood is drink indeed.
     “He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in Him.” (John 6: 54-57)
     “And having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or in Heaven. And you, that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works has He reconciled. In the body of His flesh through Death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight.” (Col.1:20-22)
        “Now the God of Peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the Everlasting Covenant Make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in  you that which is well pleasing in His sight, trough Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever.” (Heb 13:20-21)
       “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
       “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” (Heb. 9: 23)    

What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. O’ precious is the flow; that makes me white as snow. No other fount I know; Nothing but the blood of Jesus!