Because of sin, atonement became necessary. God could not ignore sin and still maintain His holiness. Atonement by the blood of Christ made it possible for God to "be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." (Romans 3:26.) Through the cross of Christ God could forgive and at the same time maintain His holiness.


      The entire Bible sets forth the necessity of "blood" in connection with man's redemption.


      "For this is my blood of the new testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins." (Matthew 26:28.)


      "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission." (Hebrews 9:22.)


      "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood." (Revelation 1:5.)


      Sin called for death. If the one who sinned was not to die someone must stand in his place.  "Atonement” must be made.  The word "atonement." appears many times in the Old Testament. Romans 5:11 is the only New Testament usage of the word, "we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." Christ alone atoned for our sins. "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." (Hebrews 9:12.)


      It is by looking at Jesus dying on the cross that we are looking at the heart of the Bible doctrine of blood atonement. It is through the blood of Christ that man can enjoy complete forgiveness of sins. "Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate." (Hebrews 13:12.)


      Christ offered Himself once. His blood atones for our sins. The blood of Christ offers full remission when we hear, (Romans 10:17); believe, (Mark 16:16); repent, (Acts 2:38); confess, (Romans 10:9-10) and are baptized, (Galatians 3:27). Obedience to the gospel makes it possible for Christ to cleanse us from our sin by His blood. A refusal to follow God's direc­tions makes cleansing impossible. Obey God to­day!


By Charles Box Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA