“Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” Acts 2:23
Is Christ dead? and did he die the violent, painful, shameful, cursed, slow, and succourless death of the cross? Then surely there is forgiveness with God, and plenteous redemption for the greatest of sinners, that by faith apply the blood of the cross to their poor guilty souls. So speaks the apostle, Col. 1:14. “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” And 1 John 1:7. “The blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin.”
There is sufficient efficacy in the blood of the cross, to expiate and wash away the greatest sins. This is manifest, for it is precious blood, as it is called, 1 Pet. 1:18, 19. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ.” This preciousness of the blood of Christ rises from the union it has with that person, who is over all, God blessed forever. And on that account is stiled the blood of God, Acts 20:28: and so it becomes royal, princely blood: Yes, such for the dignity, and efficacy of it, as never was created, or shall ever run in any other veins but his. The blood of all the creatures in the world, even a sea of human blood bears no more proportion to the precious. and excellent blood of Christ, than a dish of common water, to a river of liquid gold. On the account of its invaluable preciousness, it becomes satisfying and reconciling blood to God. So the apostle speaks, Col. 1:20. “And having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself.” The same blood which is redemption to them that dwell on earth, is confirmation to them that dwell in heaven. Before the efficacy of this blood, guilt vanishes, and shrinks away as the shadow before the glorious sun. Every drop of it has a voice, and speaks to the soul that sits trembling under its guilt better things than the blood of Abel, Heb. 10:24. It sprinkles us from all evil, that is an unquiet and accusing conscience, Heb. 10:22.
Moreover, let it be considered, this blood of the cross is the blood of a surety; that came under the same obligations with us, and in our name or stead shed it: and so of course frees and discharges the principal offender,or debtor, Heb. 7:22. Can God exact satisfaction from the blood and death of his own Son, the surety of believers, and yet still demand it from believers? It cannot be. “Who (says the apostle) shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifies. Who shall condemn? It is Christ that died,” Rom. 8:33, 34. And why are faith and repentance prescribed as the means of pardon? Why does God everywhere in his word, call upon sinners to repent, and believe in this blood? Encouraging them so to do, by so many precious promises of remission; and declaring the inevitable and eternal ruin, of all impenitent, and unbelieving ones,
who despise and reject this blood? What, I say, does all this speak, but the possibility of a pardon for the greatest of sinners; and the certainty of a free, full, and final pardon for all believing sinners? O what a joyful sound is this! What ravishing voices of peace, pardon, grace, and acceptance, come to our ears from the blood of the cross?