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THE BLOOD OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, June 30, 2013

“This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28).


When Christ said this He was seated eating a Passover meal the night before He was crucified. He pointed at the cup and said, “This is my blood, which is shed for many.” This proves that He could not have meant that the cup contained literal blood! We do not need any more proof than this one verse to refute the false Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. There sat the living Christ, with His Blood inside Him, in His veins. Therefore the cup could not have contained His literal Blood.

Christ spoke of His blood being shed. But that would not happen until the next day, at His crucifixion. He had not yet shed His Blood. But He had resolved to shed it, and His decision to pour out His Blood would not be changed. That is why He spoke of His Blood as though it had already been poured out!

Furthermore, Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper that night. To create that blessed ordinance for the first time, it was necessary for Him to speak as if His Blood had already been shed – as indeed it would be the following day.

Also, by the use of the present tense Christ was showing, I think, the eternal reality of His sacrifice on the Cross. We are told in Revelation 13:8 that He is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Therefore He spoke of His Blood as though it were already shed. In a few hours His Blood would literally be poured out of His pierced hands, feet and side. But long ages before God had regarded it as already done in His mind and in His plan. Because God knew that Jesus was certainly and surely going to die on the Cross, He was able to pardon the sins of thousands on the basis of that future sin-offering. God the Father pardoned ten thousand times ten thousand sinners on the ground of Christ’s future sacrifice. That is why John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Christ was already “taking away” the sin of the world before He poured out His Blood on the Cross. It was declared a finished act in eternity past, before it was fulfilled in time, on the Cross of Calvary. That is why David could say,

“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7).

Hyssop was the shrub used to apply the blood of purification in the Old Dispensation. David’s sin was cleansed by the Blood of Christ, already shed in the eternal counsel of God. Therefore we cannot agree with those who say man’s sins were covered in the Old Testament, but cleansed in the New. In Romans 4:7 we are told that sin is “covered” in the New Testament. And in Psalm 51 we are told that sin was “cleansed” in the Old Testament. Thank God! “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” has “covered” and “cleansed” the sins of His children from the Garden of Eden until this present hour – and unto all eternity – world without end! Amen! For Jesus said,

“This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28).

That’s why true Christians can sing,

Saved! Saved! My sins are all pardoned,
   My guilt is all gone!
Saved! Saved! I am saved by the blood
   Of the crucified One!
(“Saved by the Blood” by S. J. Henderson, 1902).

I agree with the sensible statement of Dr. John R. Rice, who said,

Carnal Christians cause divisions over dispensations... Sometimes they imagine that Jews were saved one way and Gentiles another...There is only one gospel, only one plan of salvation. That gospel never did change and never will (John R. Rice, D.D., “Paul’s Gospel or Kingdom Gospel,” Twelve Tremendous Themes, Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1977 edition, pp. 94-96).

The Blood of Christ covers and cleanses the sins of all believers, from Adam to the very last soul saved at the end of the millennial Kingdom! Hallelujah!

We have just taken the Lord’s Supper in our church. As we took the cup and drank it, we thought of the Blood Christ shed to redeem us, remembering what Jesus said,

“This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28).

Here are three lessons all of us should understand about the Blood of Jesus.

I. First, the cup teaches us the importance of the Blood of Christ.

We have just celebrated the Lord’s Supper. We took the bread, and then we took the cup. Great Spurgeon said,

Remember that in the sacred supper you have the bread as a separate emblem of the body, and then the wine as a separate symbol of the blood: thus you have a clear picture of death, since the blood is separated from the flesh. “As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death.” [I Corinthians 11:26]. Both acts are essential (C. H. Spurgeon, “The Blood Shed for Many,” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Pilgrim Publications, 1974, volume XXXIII, p. 374).

The two elements in the Lord’s Supper show the death of our Lord’s body in the broken bread – and His Blood is shown in the cup. These two components are separate, and are treated separately each time we take the Lord’s Supper. The two separate elements show John MacArthur’s error in saying, “Blood is used as a substitute word for death” (Hebrews 9:14); “shedding of blood refers to death” (Hebrews 9:22); “The blood of Christ, a vivid phrase used to represent Christ’s sacrificial death” (note on I Corinthians 10:16); “the blood of the Lamb, This refers to the atoning sacrifice of Christ” (Revelation 7:14); etc., etc. (All quotations taken from The MacArthur Study Bible, Word Bibles, 1997). If the “Blood” were only a “substitute word” for His “death” then there would be no need for the two elements in the Lord’s Supper. There are two components in the Lord’s Supper for a reason. Christ specifically and clearly told us that His Blood was shed “for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). He bore our sins “in his own body” (I Peter 2:24) – but He shed His Blood “for the remission [forgiveness] of sins” (Matthew 26:28). His death on the Cross was vicarious, “the just for the unjust” (I Peter 3:18), but His Blood was shed to cleanse “us from all sin” (I John 1:7). The death of His body atones for our sin. The Blood that He shed cleanses us from sin. It often surprises me that there are ministers today who don’t understand these simple Gospel truths. This seems to be a result of the kind of demonic deception spoken of in I Timothy 4:1. It could also mean that the minister is not converted. Gilbert Tennent (1703-1764) spoke of “The Danger of an Unconverted Ministry.”

The Lord’s Supper focuses on the death of Christ – showing His great love for us. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Christ stood in our place and took upon Himself, not only our sins, but also God’s fiery wrath against those sins. The pouring out of Christ’s Blood brought peace between man and God, when the Father made His only begotten Son an offering for sin.

Christ’s death to save man is the central doctrine of Christianity. And the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper brings that great doctrine before our eyes each time we celebrate it. Evidently Christ thought the facts of His death were of the greatest importance. He would not have told us to celebrate the Lord’s Supper if He had not believed that the shedding of His Blood was of the highest importance in saving sinners, and so He said,

“This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28).

II. Second, the Blood connects us to Christ in the New Covenant.

“This is the blood of the new testament.” It could be translated, “This is my blood of the new covenant.” The new covenant refers to the new agreement or “treaty” between God and man. The new covenant is based on the Blood of Christ. No one could have been our representative except the Lord Jesus Christ. And He could not have fulfilled the covenant if He had not shed His own Blood to make it possible. The new covenant between God and man is sealed with the Blood of Jesus Christ Himself. Hebrews 13:20 says that Christians are perfected, “through the blood of the everlasting covenant.” Thus we are connected with the Saviour in an everlasting covenant by the precious Blood of Jesus!

“This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28).

III. Third, the Blood cleanses us from all sin.

The Apostle John said, “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (I John 1:7). That is what Christ meant when He said, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” By His blood-sacrifice on the Cross, Jesus has purchased forgiveness of sin!

Of what sins? Of all sins, every kind of sin. The Blood of the covenant takes every sin away, whatever it is. Murder, stealing, lying, adultery – and every other kind of sin – can be washed clean by the Blood of Jesus.

Oh, come, all ye in whom are fixed
   The deadly stains of sin;
Come, wash in His all-saving blood,
   And ye shall be made clean,
And ye shall be made clean.
   (“Jesus Wounded” by Edward Caswell, 1849; to the tune of
     “Majestic Sweetness Sits Enthroned”).

Spurgeon told of a Wesleyan preacher named Billy Dawson. He gave his text, “Through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins” (Acts 13:38). When he had read the text, Billy Dawson dropped down behind the pulpit so no one could see him. Then his voice rang out, “Not the man in the pulpit, but the man in the Book. The Man described in the Bible is the Man who can forgive your sins.” He is the Man who said,

“This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28).

Put everyone else, and everything else, out of your mind. Think of remission of sins through Jesus only. Jesus shed His Blood, and died, and rose to Heaven – and that is where He is right now. Come and trust Jesus this morning. He will save you now and forever. Amen.

(END OF SERMON)
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Abel Prudhomme: Matthew 26:17-28.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Saved by the Blood of the Crucified One” (by S. J. Henderson, 1902).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE BLOOD OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28).

(Revelation 13:8; John 1:29; Psalm 51:7; Romans 4:7)

I.   First, the cup teaches us the importance of the Blood of Christ, I
Corinthians 11:26; I Peter 2:24; 3:18; I John 1:7;
John 15:13.

II.  Second, the Blood connects us to Christ in the New Covenant,
Hebrews 13:20.

III. Third, the Blood cleanses us from all sin, I John 1:7; Acts 13:38.