He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. Hebrews 9, verse 12.
Blood again. This verse continues the ones from earlier in chapter 9, the ones that talk about how blood is needed for the sacrifice. How do I put this? I don’t understand why all this happened. Logically speaking, I don’t understand the connection between Jesus’ blood and eternal salvation. I really don’t. He who could not die died. He who could not sin took on all sin. He who could do no wrong became wrong incarnate, through and through. He who was completely innocent became completely guilty. Why was blood required to make all that happened? Yes, I know the history of it, the ties to animal sacrifices, the ancient Hebrew rituals commanded by God. I understand the symbolism, and the physiological connection of blood and life. I get all that. I simply don’t understand WHY. It’s lost on me.
That’s ok. Love is illogical. Love defies reason, logic, and process. It’s simply the divine gift and there may be no fully explaining it in ways we’d understand this side of eternity. The way out of this self-manufactured conundrum is to understand that I don’t need to understand it completely. You don’t need to understand it completely. It’s just fine that the finer points of ecclesiastical doctrine and Divine intention remain unknown when you get down to brass tacks.
Hint: they were unknown to the high priest. He could tell you, second by second, how to do everything he was doing and the history of it going all the way back to the first priest to enter the Most Holy Place. I assume that would be Aaron, somewhere in the desert of Sinai, walking gingerly into God’s dwelling among men. But the why? Why did God require blood? Why blood alone would make atonement? I’m betting it was lost on him too. I imagine that, if you had a long discussion with Aaron, his bottom line response would end up being “because God said so.”
That’s the ticket! That’s the reason. It’s reason enough.
It’s reason enough to know that God commanded it. If you truly submit to God, you don’t need reason beyond that. What’s more, it’s enough to know that God made it so for Jesus’ blood to be the only true sacrifice that would ever be needed to gain eternal salvation of mankind. He who didn’t need to shed His own blood gave all of it up willingly, from the heart, from His soul. He who was without sin and didn’t deserve to die, who hadn’t earned the death penalty for sin, willingly died for people who wouldn’t be willing to die for Him. Why? Because God said so.
Because God said so and predicted the need for it going all the way back to the fall of man. Before He even spoke to Eve or Adam about their sin, He cursed Satan the tempter and laid out the penalty that Satan would pay. “Cursed are you…He will crush your head and you will strike his heel.” Sin would be separate from God, intolerable and cursed. There would be blood – and there weren’t even animal sacrifices yet; there wouldn’t be for hundreds of years – and it would forever vanquish sin. It would then forever re-establish communion between men and their creator. But it would require blood, first to represent and teach, then to actually do all that was necessary.
Why? Because even way back in Eden, just before God expelled men from that paradise, God said so. And then, because God shed His own blood to restore that communion between His favored beings and Himself, He, Jesus His Son, was fully able to re-enter heaven and present full atonement for all of mankind’s sin. From Eve and Adam all the way down to Dave Terry, you, and everyone else here on Earth, Jesus entered the Most Holy Place of the presence of God and presented Himself in our place. Nothing more is required; nothing more is necessary. Indeed, nothing more could ever make it better or more complete. Indeed, pursuing more would itself be an act of vain sin. Best to turn away from that.
We don’t need to understand God’s motivation beyond knowing that He did it and that He loves us. When all reason and logic fail, these will endure. When you consider God’s ‘why’ in that light, ‘because He said so’ isn’t some response to a petulant child. In that light, it’s the greatest gift He could ever give.
For further reading: Leviticus 16:6, Hebrews 10:4, Hebrews 10:24-28, Genesis 3:14-15.
Lord, thank You for Your sacrifice of Your blood, for how You love us that much.