“For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:4 ESV)
Christianity is nothing without the blood of Christ. The centrality of Christ’s blood does not arise from a perverse fascination with all things bloody. Rather, it is an acknowledgment, as the writer to the Hebrews makes clear, that “without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins” (Hebrews 9:22). Without the death of Christ, God’s righteous wrath due to our sins cannot be placated, nor can man be forgiven his sins. The righteous and eternal Son of God had to live the life we could not live, and die the death we should have died because of our sin. Christianity is emphatic about the death of Christ because it is emphatic about God’s righteousness and man’s sinfulness.
Bloodless Christianity, however, denies these two realities. It sees God as something less than righteous God who will accept the bloodless sacrifice of a Jesus that is something less than perfect. Eighty years ago, Richard Niebuhr (to be sure, no friend of orthodox Christianity) described failed liberal Christianity (bloodless Christianity) this way: “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.”
Bloodless Christianity offers no hope to man because it does not get to the root of man’s problem: God’s abiding wrath because of man’s sin. To believe in a “bloodless” Christianity is to deny Christianity. On the other hand, to hold to Biblical Christianity is to believe in a righteous God who offered His willing Son, Jesus Christ, as a perfect and bloody sacrifice for the forgiveness and salvation of all who trust Him with his life.