And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Operating under the law of the Old Covenant, and by way of ancient ritual, elements in the tabernacle were cleansed from defilement by the sprinkling of blood on them – the blood of animal sacrifices. Even though it was ceremonial, this sprinkling of blood, as a washing of things, looks forward to the New Covenant and the only blood that can truly cleanse us.
For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
The blood of the Lamb – of the Lord Jesus Christ – will cleanse and purify.
John saw a great company dressed in white robes. Their robes became white, or pure, by being washed in the blood of the Lamb. It does not say that they were made white as the result of their sufferings or their afflictions. Yet, in our earthly condition, the nature of man is to suppose that, good works, great deeds or sufferings are the reasons why we will wear white robes in heaven.
The verse clearly shows us it is not by their sufferings, works or merits that they are made holy, but only by the blood of the Lamb that has been shed for sinners. The reference to the blood of the Lamb is one of many proofs that occur so frequently in the Scriptures as to the reality of the atonement.
If Jesus Christ sheds his blood, just as other people have done; if he died only as a martyr, what relevance would there have been in referring to his blood more than to the blood of any other martyr? The Scriptures never speak of the blood of any martyr as having the power to cleanse the robes of the saints in heaven. The Scriptures always use this cleansing power in connection with the blood of Jesus Christ; a great truth made known by the atoning sacrifice of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
No sacrifice, no blood of bulls and goats; no merits, no works, which they had done; not one iota of theirs could make the robes white. It was the blood of the Lamb, the blood of Jesus Christ, in which their robes were washed.
The shed blood of Jesus Christ is the means of our sanctification; therefore, our sanctification is effected by the blood of Christ, as well as our justification.
What can make us whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!