This is a guest article by a friend of mine: Ian Terry. Ian is an evangelist from the churches of Christ in Houston, Texas. He teaches on how to effectively share the gospel to people of other faiths. His website is: http://www.sharingtheabundantlife.org
When I lived in New Zealand there was a huge slaughterhouse located just outside the city of Wellington. Great herds of cattle and flocks of sheep were processed daily for the export market. You could see these animals waiting quietly but nervously for their turn on the killing chain.
As the animals were slaughtered their blood was hosed down channels that carried it out to a stream which flowed past the meat-works and on into the sea. It was a river of blood, and there was a spreading crimson stain at the place where the river ran into the ocean.
In the Old Testament, God required that animals be sacrificed as offerings for sin. Even though countless cattle, sheep, and goats must have been slaughtered throughout that period, the Bible teaches that no actual sin was forgiven (Hebrews 10:4). The purpose of the sacrificial system was to render a provisional forgiveness until the real price was paid by Jesus on the cross (Romans 3:25, Hebrews 9:15, 10:3).
Since it is, “...impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4), if every clean animal that has ever existed was sacrificed, the price would still not be enough to procure the forgiveness of a single sin!
In fact, if every human being who ever lived was sacrificed, even that price would not be enough to purchase the salvation of one soul (Psalm 49:7-8).
The magnitude of the sacrifice required to redeem the souls of men is so great that only God Himself has sufficient holiness and merit to pay such a price. And this He has done through the infinite value of the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross (Hebrews 9:11-14).
The Bible says that Jesus is the one who, “...loves us, and released us from our sins by His blood...” (Revelation 1:5).
God cares for the souls of men. He was willing to pay the ultimate price to redeem them. Do we care enough to do what we can to minister that salvation to the lost souls of our community?