CON Contact Us DON Donate
Our History General Assembly Worldwide Outreach Ministries Standards Resources

Question and Answer

The Blood of Jesus


What is meant by the phrase "covered by the blood of Jesus"?


The blood of Jesus represents the death of Jesus, specifically the shedding of His blood on the cross that His people would be protected from the righteous anger of God against them because of their sins and would have forgiveness of sins. Thus they are "covered by the blood of Jesus."

In the Bible, the purpose of Christ's coming is often spoken of in terms of ransom or the redemption of a people for His very own:

For ... the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45, English Standard Version)

[God] has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." (Col. 1:13-14, ESV)

The blood of Jesus is spoken of as the great price paid to accomplish the ransom or redemption of believers. We see this, for example, in the following Scripture passages:

... knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. (1 Pet. 1:18-19, ESV)

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace...." (Eph. 1:7, ESV)

Many hymns in the Trinity Hymnal speak of the precious blood of Christ that He shed to save, ransom, and redeem His people:

Nor silver nor gold hath obtained my redemption,
Nor riches of earth could have saved my poor soul;
The blood of the cross is my only foundation,
The death of my Saviour now maketh me whole.
I am redeemed, but not with silver;
I am bought, but not with gold;
Bought with a price-the blood of Jesus,
Precious price of love untold.

I will tell the wondrous story,
How my lost estate to save,
In his boundless love and mercy,
He the ransom freely gave.
Sing, O sing of my Redeemer!
With his blood he purchased me;
On the cross he sealed my pardon,
Paid the debt and made me free.

There is a green hill far away,
Without [outside] a city wall,
Where the dear Lord was crucified,
Who died to save us all....
O dearly, dearly has he loved,
And we must love him too,
And trust in his redeeming blood,
And try his works to do.

I love thy Kingdom, Lord,
The house of thine abode,
The church our blest Redeemer saved
With his own precious blood.

Thy life was given for me,
Thy blood, O Lord, was shed,
That I might ransomed be,
And quickened from the dead;
Thy life was given for me;
What have I given for thee?

The blood of Jesus is the price by which we were ransomed or redeemed. Other hymns speak of other aspects of the blood of Jesus. At this point, however, we want to concentrate on how the blood of Jesus acts as a "'covering" or protection from the wrath of the Lord against sin.

In the Lord's Supper Jesus teaches His disciples to look to His shed blood as one of the central elements in His "covering" and protection of His people through His sacrificial death. God is rightfully angry toward sin and sinners, and an important Old Testament principle is reiterated in the New Testament:

... without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. (Heb. 9:22, ESV)

If one believes merely that Jesus was a good teacher, then Jesus' death by shedding his blood is no sacrifice, nor was it planned by God. But the Biblical texts cited earlier (such as Mark 10:45 and 1 Pet. 1:18-20) teach that God did plan that Jesus would save us by the shedding of His blood in a sacrificial ransom. Jesus' blood is our covering and our protection.

The Old Testament word for sacrifice, which is transliterated as "kaphar," means both covering and expiation. The Old Testament sacrifices point forward to believers being adequately covered by the blood of Christ as respects the need of the "sinful worshipper" to come with an acceptable sacrifice of blood and to have a covering for his sins.

The blood of Jesus, shed once for all at Calvary, is the perfect sacrifice:

But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then ... he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.... For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Heb. 9:11-15, 24-26, ESV)

This subject of "covered by the blood of Jesus" is a doctrine often explained more fully in many sermons. So place yourself under the preaching of the Word of Christ as a means of grace and get a fuller answer to your question.

About Q&A

"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.

The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.

At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those people who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)

The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.

While we will respond to every serious questioner, we are not bound to give a substantive answer to every question, should we deem the question to be beyond the scope of our purpose or our own ability to answer.

You will receive an answer by e-mail. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two (2) weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.

Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been edited—all personal references are removed, Scripture references or from some source may be added, and sometimes portions are expanded—to make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.

© 2020 The Orthodox Presbyterian Church



Chaplains and Military Personnel

Diaconal Ministries


Inter-Church Relations

Ministerial Care

Planned Giving

Short-Term Missions


Church Directory

Daily Devotional

Audio Sermons

Trinity Hymnal

Camps & Conferences

Gospel Tracts

Book Reviews



Presbyterian Guardian