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THE BLOOD SHED FOR MANY

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Morning, October 19, 2014

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


The Lord Jesus Christ was still alive. He would not be crucified until the next day. He was eating supper with His Disciples. He pointed at the cup filled with the blood-red juice of the vine. He said, “This is my blood, which is shed for many.” That proves the wine in the cup could not literally be His Blood. There sat the living Christ with His Blood still in His veins. Therefore the wine could not literally be His Blood, as the Catholics teach.

Jesus spoke of His Blood as though it were already shed. Yet the nails had not yet pierced His hands and feet. The spear had not yet pierced His side. Christ knew this, but He spoke in the present tense – as though He had already been crucified. He did this to make plain the Lord’s Supper. So He spoke of His Blood as though it were already shed.

I think He also spoke as the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). Since this had already been accomplished in the plan of God, He spoke of His Blood as if it had already been shed. In a few hours it would literally be poured out. But ages before God had counted Christ’s death for our sins as an accomplished fact. God saved thousands of people in Old Testament times by the future death of Jesus for their sin. “Behold the Lamb of God.” Even before His literal crucifixion He was taking away the sin of the world. If this was true before His death on the Cross, it surely is true now that He has come and died for us!  

This is a shortened version of Spurgeon’s sermon, given to answer the theological liberals who downgraded the precious Blood of Christ, and I have added a modern ending. Were those theological liberals really any different from modern preachers who call the Blood just another word for His death? Were they really any different from “conservative” preachers who go for weeks without mentioning Christ’s Blood?

Some may preach Christ as our example. Others may constantly preach on His Second Coming. We preach both of these – but mostly we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, to the Greeks foolishness; but we preach Christ crucified – Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God! “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14).

In front of Jesus we see the cup. It is filled to the top. Jesus has just given it to His Disciples. As you think of that cup remember it is a memorial of Christ’s Blood, shed for many. Hear the Saviour say,

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

I. First, notice the importance of the Blood of Christ.

The importance of the Blood as a sacrifice for sinners is shown in the cup – a memorial of His Blood. Remember that the Lord’s Supper has two parts – the bread represents His Body, and the cup speaks of His Blood. The bread and the cup are two separate symbols. That’s why Christ’s Blood cannot be another word (a metonym) for His death, as some men falsely teach. To me, this does great harm. Men think very little of the death of Christ – and even less about His Blood. If pastors seldom speak of His death, and never speak of His Blood, how can we hope to have real conversions? No wonder we have had no national revival since 1859! The Bible plainly says that we can only enter into Heaven by the Blood of Jesus,

“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 10:19).

We cannot come into the holiest place, Heaven itself, except through “the blood of Jesus.” And the Bible says that we are saved from God’s wrath “through faith in his blood” (Romans 3:25). I have never known a person who had faith in Christ’s Blood without being saved. I hear people say, “I want to be saved. But how?” By faith in Christ’s Blood.

Do you think about His Blood? Do you spend time thinking about the Blood pouring out of His hands, His feet, His side? One of the greatest Christians of all time, Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf, was converted as he thought of Christ on the Cross, pouring out His Blood to save us from our sin. Dr. John Sung had a deep awareness of Christ on the Cross, His Blood pouring out, cleansing him from all sin! I remember, when I was a thirteen-year-old boy, being deeply impressed by the words of Dr. Watts,

Alas! and did my Saviour bleed?
   And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
   For such a worm as I?

Well might the sun in darkness hide,
   And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker, died
   For man, the creature’s sin.
(“Alas! And Did My Saviour Bleed?” by Isaac Watts, D.D., 1674-1748).

But the words that haunted my young mind were in the first stanza,

Alas! and did my Saviour bleed?
   And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
   For such a worm as I?

I love that sturdy old hymn! You can build a life on the Blood of Jesus! You can build your faith on the Blood of Jesus! You can build a hope of Heaven on the Blood of Jesus!

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

II. Second, notice the connection of the Blood of Christ with the new covenant.

Jesus said, “This is my blood of the new testament” (Matthew 26:28). The Scofield center column note “F” gives the alternate translation as “covenant.” The Blood of Christ ratifies or confirms the New Covenant between God and man. The old Mosaic Covenant said “If ye will obey” (Exodus 19:5). It was a covenant based on obedience to the law. But the New Covenant has God saying, “I will.” Because Christ shed His Blood, the New Covenant is based on His sacrifice, rather than our perfect obedience to the Law of Moses. Spurgeon said, “The old covenant saith, ‘Keep the law and live.’ The New Covenant is, ‘Thou shalt live, and I will lead thee to keep my law, for I will write it on thine heart.’ Happy [are the] men who know their standing under this covenant...the covenant could never have been made apart from the blood of Jesus. No one else could have stood as our representative to fulfill our side of the covenant, except the Lord Jesus Christ...by shedding his blood...an arrangement of absolute grace on God’s part toward the undeserving sons of men is now in full action through the sacrifice of Christ” (C. H. Spurgeon, “The Blood Shed for Many,” MTP, volume 33, p. 379).

Unconverted people usually think that you have to live a perfect life to be a Christian. But no Christian is perfect. Luther went through a horrible time of fear and doubt until the Holy Spirit showed him that Jesus made full atonement for his sins on the Cross – and the Blood of Jesus not only cleansed him from sin, but ratified his salvation under the New Covenant. Dr. Lloyd-Jones used the word “friendship” to explain our relationship to God under the New Covenant. He said, “It is the promise of God’s friendship, of His being our God, of entry into an intimate relationship with Him, and knowing Him, and it is all made possible by Jesus Christ” – and sealed and ratified in the New Covenant by the Blood of Jesus! (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, M.D., Great Doctrines of the Bible, volume 1, Crossway Books, 2003, pp. 227-228).

Instead of walking around with a sad face, thinking God is angry with you, come to Jesus! His Blood will cleanse you and put you in a new relationship with God. Instead of being your judge, God will be your “friend,” as Dr. Lloyd-Jones said. Here is an old song that has meant a lot to me for many years,

I’ve found a friend, oh, such a friend!
   He loved me ‘ere I knew Him;
He drew me with the cords of love,
   And thus He bound me to Him;
And round my heart still closely twine
   Those ties which naught can sever,
For I am His, and He is mine,
   Forever and forever.
(“I’ve Found a Friend” by James G. Small,1817-1888).

God is the “friend” of those who have been forgiven by the Blood of His Son!

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

III. Third, notice the connection of the Blood of Christ with you.

Jesus said, “This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Yes, Christ’s Blood was shed for many! Are you one of the “many” who are saved through Christ’s Blood? Are you one of the many who will be saved through Christ’s Blood?

I have always been very interested in evangelism. I constantly pray for conversions. My desire for many conversions was increased by experiencing three revivals – as an eyewitness, which is rare. But the greatest disappointment in my life has been the fact that conversions came slowly in our own church. I had always thought that there would be more.

Yet I am greatly encouraged by what is happening in the developing world – what we used to call the “Third World.” When I look at America, it is dark. But when I look at the Third World my heart leaps with joy! Look at those young people in Hong Kong! They have held back the Communists for over three weeks! They are standing up for democracy! There are tens of thousands of them! They may not win, but I like their spirit! They are led by a 17-year-old boy named Joshua Wong, the leader of a high school activist group – and 24-year-old Alex Chow, head of the Hong Kong Federation of Students! I saw a photograph of those two boys standing together in the Los Angeles Times last week and I thought, “Thank God for those young men!” You could tell by Joshua’s name that he comes from a Christian family, as do most of the demonstrators. Where could you find kids like that in America? – standing up for democracy, that our young people take for granted! And make no mistake, thousands of those kids in Hong Kong are born again Christians! While our kids are sucking on marijuana and titillating themselves with violent movies, these kids in Hong Kong are risking their lives and their future to stand up for democracy! God bless them! I don’t know of any evangelical kids in America who would do that! We have abortion, the murder of babies, in all 50 states. Do evangelical young people stand up against it? No! Even kids from hard core fundamental churches and schools are silent! God help us! Those Chinese kids in China have a better spirit than any Christian kids in America! No wonder China is passing us in everything!

The June, 2014 issue of Billy Graham’s Decision Magazine gave a report from Jerry Rankin, former president of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board. He said, “God is moving in unprecedented ways to fulfill the Great Commission.” The article went on to say, “Unparalleled evangelistic growth has taken place throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America.” It said, “Back in the 1960s... evangelical Christians in Africa, Asia and Latin America numbered only half as many as those in the West...Today, however [the number of Third World Christians is] 2 1/2 to three times that of those in the West. This massive increase of the global church is unprecedented in history. All of this has happened in such a short time. Three astonishing moves of God [in revival] have manifested in China, the Amazon Region of South America and the Muslim world...Among the tribal groups of the Amazon basin... many thousands [have come] to Christ. And the Muslim world has experienced an explosion of the Gospel – from the Middle East and North Africa to Indonesia, and everywhere in between. A grassroots revival is spreading as tens of thousands of people are turning to Jesus Christ [and] they’re following through with baptism, a monumental step demonstrating their commitment...hundreds of thousands are walking away from Islam and turning to Jesus Christ” (“Unprecedented Global Growth” by Richard Greene, Decision Magazine, June 2014, pp. 11-13). I believe this report. It is based on the estimates of Dr. Rankin and several other well-known missiologists. But the same article said that there is little growth of Christianity in America and the Western world. The article said, “Missionary expansion has been waning [declining] in the West, including Europe, Canada and the United States.” And then the article gave the reason why so few people are becoming Christians here. It said, “A huge secularization has been taking place in the West...A heart for the lost is disturbingly absent from many evangelical Christians [in America and the West] today.”

There you have it, from some of our leading missiologists. The whole Third World is exploding with revival, as millions of young people in China, Asia, Latin America and the Muslim world are turning to Christ. But here in America, and the West, nothing much is happening. Our young people have become so secularized that they are not interested in becoming real Christians. There’s no life here! There’s no revival here! The young people in America are dead – the walking dead! American young people are satisfied by having “fun,” running to Las Vegas, taking several three-day vacations every year, saying, “Let us eat, drink and be merry.” I feel that a great spiritual darkness has descended over America and the Western world. American young people are so interested in having a good time that they make no room for church on Sunday morning and Sunday night. They have no time for God! But the article said that young people in the Third World are “searching for something beyond their culture, traditions and [false] religion that will give them hope that can be found only in Jesus Christ.”

How about you? In the mad rush to have pleasure, your friends and many family members have no time for Christ and the church. God help us! How about you? Jesus Christ shed His Blood “for many, for the remission [forgiveness] of sins.” Are you interested in being forgiven of your sins by the Blood of Jesus? Are you interested in becoming a real Christian, like those tens of thousands of young people in the Third World? Or will you go on, living like an overfed, money-loving, pleasure seeking American, or European young person? Christ said,

“What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36, 37).

Tonight at 6:15 I will be speaking on the subject, “The People God Uses in Revival.” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “A revival always humbles men, abases them, casts them to the floor, makes them feel they can do nothing, fills them with a sense of reverence and of godly fear. Oh, how absent that is amongst us” (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, M.D., Revival, Crossway Books, 1987, p. 125). I hope you will be here at 6:15 tonight. If I announced that subject in China, Africa, or to one of the tribes in the Amazon Basin, virtually every person would come back tonight. Those kids in Hong Kong, standing against the Communists, would come back tonight! You know they would! But Americans and Europeans would be too busy watching TV or some other trivial pursuit to come back tonight – as our country falls apart and sinks into the black hole of secular paganism, and the judgment of Almighty God. Only Christ can save you from it! Only the Blood of Christ can cleanse you from sin in the sight of God! Only Christ can give you a new life! Please stand and sing hymn number 7.

I hear Thy welcome voice, That calls me, Lord, to Thee
   For cleansing in Thy precious blood That flowed on Calvary.
I am coming, Lord! Coming now to Thee!
   Wash me, cleanse me in the blood
That flowed on Calvary.

Though coming weak and vile, Thou dost my strength assure;
   Thou dost my vileness fully cleanse, Till spotless all and pure.
I am coming, Lord! Coming now to Thee!
   Wash me, cleanse me in the blood
That flowed on Calvary.
   (“I Am Coming, Lord” by Lewis Hartsough, 1828-1919).

Dr. Chan, please lead us in prayer. Amen.

(END OF SERMON)
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Abel Prudhomme: Matthew 26:26-29.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“They Crucified Him” (by Frederick W. Faber,1814-1863).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE BLOOD SHED FOR MANY

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

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

(Revelation 13:8; Galatians 6:14)

I.   First, notice the importance of the Blood of Christ, Hebrews 10:19;
Romans 3:25.

II.  Second, notice the connection of the Blood of Christ with the
new covenant, Exodus 19:5.

III. Third, notice the connection of the Blood of Christ with you,
Mark 8:36, 37.