The Real Reason Jesus Shed His Blood

by Joshua Tilghman on December 20, 2012

Jesus' CrucifixionToday’s blog post will address a question I have been asked by several blog readers lately: what’s the esoteric significance of Jesus having to shed his blood on the cross? Some have expressed their concerns over giving up the belief that this happened literally, even if there is a good esoteric reason. I understand this fear. I have been through it myself. This blog post should help alleviate this fear, as well as provide relevant information to help you move forward with a better understanding of Christ’s purpose in the scriptures, and therefore your purpose.

In one sense, Christianity is a beautiful religion. I remember communion, Sunday school, Christmas programs, beautiful hymns and choir music, and even the wonderful Christmas plays and Sunday afternoon barbeques on the Church lawn. Those kinds of memories still make me feel good. However, the true meaning and intent in the narrative of Christ, as well as his final sacrifice of bloodshed on the cross, has lost its true potential and power because we have misinterpreted it. I would even venture to say that most Christians are asleep to this potential and power within them because they have given all that conscious power away. So what of Jesus’ blood? What did the original authors want us to walk away with after reading such a story?

Mainstream Christianity’s false assumption

Mainstream Christianity teaches that the Old Testament required animal blood sacrifices for temporary atonement until Christ came. Christ’s blood sacrifice rests upon this Old Testament understanding.  But we have a fundamental problem with this theology; the Old Testament doesn’t teach that blood sacrifices were necessary for atonement. Quite the contrary. In Leviticus chapter 5 God states that those who are too poor to afford a bullock could bring two turtledoves for a sin offering. Then he declares:

But if his means are insufficient for two turtledoves or two young pigeons, then for his offering for that which he has sinned, he shall bring the tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering…” (Leviticus 5:11).

As you can see, the poor didn’t need a blood sacrifice. An offering of flour was sufficient. In the next example, atonement came from burning incense.

“And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and go quickly into the congregation, and make atonement for them” (Numbers 16:46).

And check out the following example from the book of Hosea. Rendering service from the mouth even seemed to suffice.

“Take with your words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so we will render the calves of our lips” (Hosea 14:2).

Below are a few other scriptures that contradict an omnipotent God needing blood sacrifices.

“By mercy and truth iniquity is purged…” (Proverbs 16:6).

“…I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats” (Isaiah 1:11).

“Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams…shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what the LORD doth require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:7-8).

“For I desire mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6).

“To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice” (Proverbs 21:3).

My argument here isn’t that the Old Testament didn’t allow blood sacrifices to cover for sin. My argument is that the Old Testament writings don’t portray an omnipotent being that needs a blood sacrifice to cover for sin. That is a human invention. Another human invention is the idea that God’s son needed to shed literal blood in order for God to forgive humanity.

Carl Jung once stated that blood has a powerful effect upon the human psyche. And it does. That is the reason many spiritually primitive cultures engaged in this practice. The institutional church that promulgated the literal blood sacrifice of Christ as something that God needed to save humanity is part of this primate idea. How does literal blood remove a fault of someone else, anyway? The entire concept is quite silly.

Many Christians do not even consider the biggest conundrum of all: Ezekiel states that a millennial temple will usher back in blood sacrifice with the messiah leading it! If Jesus were really the once-and-for-all atonement of mankind, why would he need to lead blood sacrifices again? There are so many conundrums to blood sacrifice in the Bible it will make your head spin!

The truth is that neither the Old nor New Testament was ever meant to be literal; the real intent behind the story of Christ, including his bloodshed, is dramatically beautiful, not barbaric!

Jesus the ultimate sun god

If you really want to understand the story of Jesus’ sacrifice, you must see how he is connected with the sun first. It’s absolutely stunning. We’re going to start with a statement made by the Apostle Paul to build a foundation.

“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

Paul is stating that everyone should know God through the manifest things of nature. As you’ll see in a moment, this is especially true when talking about the celestial bodies, and, more specifically, the sun.

Both God and Jesus are described as the sun in many scriptures.

“For the LORD your God is a consuming fire…” (Deut. 4:24).

“For the LORD your God is a sun and shield” (Psalms 84:11).

 “Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness…” (Luke 1:78-79).

In the scripture above, the Greek work for “dayspring” means “sunrise.”

“…I am the root and offspring of David, and the bright and morning star” (Rev. 22:16).

“…until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19).

“Behold, he is coming with the clouds (like the sun), and every eye will see him…” (Rev. 1:22).

Now remember that Paul told us God’s eternal power and godhead can be understood by the physically manifested world. One of the most important symbols to ancient spiritualists was the sun, and, as you have already seen, Jesus is compared with it. But why the sun?

The “son” and the “sun” both follow the same cycle of death and rebirth in a beautiful manifestation of how consciousness operates in a never-ending cycle.

Consider that from earth’s perspective the sun rises and sets each day. It metaphorically dies at night and resurrects with each new dawn. At a broader level it does the same thing each solar year. As we approach the winter solstice, its power and light become weaker upon the earth. For three days during the winter solstice the sun stops moving further north or south as it traverses the sky and it can be said to die for these three days. About Christmas-time the sun is born anew and begins to bring new life to the earth. The son of God is the same story as he died for three days and then resurrected. The number three as symbolized by Christ’s and the sun’s metaphorical death is the same holy number that reflects the holiness in you. We are a trinity of spirit, soul, and body manifesting on the physical plane. So what we need to realize about the story of Christ and the cycle of nature is that they reflect what’s true about you!

When you crucify the ego you align the spirit, soul, and body correctly. This brings new life just like the sun after the winter solstice. It brings new life just like Jesus after the resurrection.

Is it just Christ that’s compared to the sun, or is it you, too?

Consider that the sun provides the energy for all life on earth. Consciousness, the real you, does too. The sun is a big ball of light. You, as consciousness, are light, too. The sun shines its light for the whole earth to see. You, as consciousness, are supposed to shine your light (through love) for the benefit of the whole world.

It’s up to you to take the journey to realize that you are the Christ, the “light,” and have always been. This whole process is summed up in a scripture from Malachi as it describes the future messiah:

“But unto you that fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings…” (Mal. 4:2).

Winged Christ sun disk

I hope that last scripture and picture gives you new meaning.

As we grow from childhood we experience the ego. We are supposed to manifest the Christ within us by crucifying our own ego and being resurrected into new life as we grow old and mature. Ancient cultures around the world understood this entire process from birth to death very well. We are disconnected to it because war-like nations such as Roman Empire crushed this knowledge. Then we went through the Dark Ages, completely loss the knowledge, and now we have the technological age that has left us spiritually destitute.

So what about blood?

The Bible states that physical life is in the blood. Our entire story then is told in the literal life of Christ. But this does not mean that we are to interpret Christ’s story literally.

We are not saved by believing in the Christ. We are saved by becoming the Christ!

Consider the imagery. Christ was crucified. His side was pierced. The blood would have run down his body and then the very ancient symbol called the cross that he was crucified on. The cross represents the vertical symbol of consciousness being staked across the horizontal symbol of the material plane. It is in the physical body then that consciousness realizes itself!

Flesh and Bone rather than Flesh and Blood

In the resurrection story Jesus came back in a physical body. However, it wasn’t made of flesh and blood. He specifically stated it was “flesh and bone.”

“Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” (Luke 24:39).

The words “flesh and blood” represents the mortal, natural man. The body of “flesh and bone” represents the new spiritual man. Consider another scripture.

The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory…It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body” (1 Cor. 15:42-44).

When you study the Greek words for “spiritual body,” it simply means a spirit-controlled body. The above scripture has nothing to do with you physically dying and then God magically resurrecting you years later. It just means that the resurrection, which happens in this life while here on earth, takes place after crucifying the ego. Therefore Christ’s blood being spilled is symbolic of the death of the ego and the new life that comes from a spirit-controlled body.

How does this knowledge help us?

This information gives us the knowledge to truly understand the story of Christ. Christ is not a literal 2000 year-old man, he is you! Now take up your cross daily and wield the spirit-controlled body you were meant to!

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Rhonda December 21, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Love this post Joshua, thankyou:-)


Joshua Tilghman December 22, 2012 at 5:40 pm


Thanks for sharing. It’s a touchy subject that offends many people. Of course that is not my intention, but it happens. I hope you have a great Christmas.


john December 21, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Joshua I like what you said. I have a question for you though. How do you crucify the ego?


Joshua Tilghman December 22, 2012 at 5:49 pm


Crucifying the ego sounds kind of harsh and archaic, I know. And the process is not quick or easy, but necessary for spiritual ascension. The most effective way is meditation. If you do it daily, you begin the process of crucifying who you think you are to realize the eternal nature behind the ego. Essentially, you begin to open up the right brain (intuitive / spiritual side) while quieting the left brain (logical / reasoning / physical side). You must meditate daily and you should not skip days if you can help it.



Joe Riley December 23, 2012 at 9:54 am

Hi John,

I believe Joshua would agree that it is through
daily meditation that the ego is crucified. I’m
just beginning this journey myself.

I haven’t started yet as I have to quit drinking
in the evening before I feel better enough in
the morning to start.

I hope this helps.

Joe Riley


Joe Riley December 23, 2012 at 10:05 am

I should have refreshed my browser before commenting.



john December 22, 2012 at 7:48 pm

hey thanks alot joshua. i didnt mean to make it seem like it was harsh. i just wanted to know so i can start crucifying. 🙂


J Tom Harris December 26, 2012 at 12:24 pm

In the poetic language of the Authorized KJV in John 6:63
“It is the spirit that quickeneth(higher vibrations) the flesh profetieth nothing”
and your quote of “flesh and bones” no blood, no organs system, no digestive system, breathing air system, or drinking water system, needed, formed and activated
and sustained by Spirit thus giving us our spiritual body. I had missed
that clear explanation you have given us. Thanks


Joshua Tilghman December 27, 2012 at 1:41 pm

J Tom,

You’re very welcome. As always, my pleasure. I hope you and your family had a great Christmas. Blessings.


Brandon January 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Psalm 40:6
Sacrifice and offering you did not desire. My ears have you opened

Psalm 51:16
You desire not sacrifice or else would I give it. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit and a contrite heart.


Joshua Tilghman January 2, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Brandon, excellent additions. Thanks.


KT February 28, 2013 at 4:32 pm

I enjoyed reading your blog. It is time Christ followers get to know the real Christ and stop dwelling into the literal and narrowed versions of the Bible. Please keep it up.


Joshua Tilghman February 28, 2013 at 9:49 pm


Thanks for commenting.


Dean Webster March 30, 2013 at 3:08 pm


Thank you, Joshua !


Joshua Tilghman March 31, 2013 at 6:45 pm

You’re very welcome Dean. Hope you have a good one.


Tonya June 3, 2013 at 2:24 am

Also Jeremiah 7-22 says

This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go ahead, add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices and eat the meat yourselves! 22 For when I brought your ancestors out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices, 23 but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. 24 But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward. 25 From the time your ancestors left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent you my servants the prophets. 26 But they did not listen to me or pay attention. They were stiff-necked and did more evil than their ancestors.’


Joshua Tilghman June 11, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Thanks for your comments, Tonya!


Stephen June 27, 2013 at 7:09 am

Thanks for all your insight. You have answered many question that the dogma of man cannot.

I must ask though, how are you doing on your journey to discover God and be Christ like?


Joshua Tilghman July 1, 2013 at 9:32 pm


I struggle with lower emotions just like other ordinary human beings. I have not completely crucified my ego and know I have a long way to go. But I am very content with my journey. I appreciate my life more and more every day, and I have learn to be very content with what I have been blessed with. When I was younger I was always seeking. There is nothing wrong with seeking, but I could never seem to be fulfilled. I no longer have that problem. E-mail me anytime if you would like to discuss the topic further.


Jim July 23, 2014 at 5:27 am

Hi Josh. I believe that it is impossible crucify ego by our own efforts. Paul himself had problems in spite of what he was. Are we talking about good works? Works nor self attempts can save us. Then what? Gift of God: grace of God. His grace flows in the blood of Christ.
As to the necessity of the blood being shed for our sins, Leviticus 17:11 says, “For THE LIFE OF THE FLESH IS IN THE BLOOD: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for IT IS THE BLOOD THAT MAKETH AN ATONEMENT FOR THE SOUL.”

Man has taken great strides in the medical realm, by the grace of God. He can replace a faulty hip joint with stainless steel and plastic parts. He can correct some eye problems with laser surgery. He can treat and help many diseases. But there is one thing that man cannot do — give life. The Bible tells us that “THE LIFE OF THE FLESH IS IN THE BLOOD.”

You will notice that hospitals and blood banks still plead for blood donors on a regular basis. If you have a problem and need blood, then someone else’s blood must be found to give to you. Man has not come up with an artificial substitute for blood — and he never will. The life of the flesh is in the blood. If man could create an artificial blood, then man could create life, but only God can give life.

Remember, “the wages of sin is death.” That, then, would require the shedding of blood, because the life of the flesh is in the blood. So Jesus had to shed His blood for our sins, if we were to be saved.


Brahmi Ishaya July 29, 2014 at 10:43 am

I am delighted to find your perceptive writings, Joshua. I encourage you not to “struggle with lower emotions.” If you simply notice that they are present without judging them as “lower” and return your focus back within, you are not adding to their energy (resist not evil) and they lose their potency.


Marcia September 29, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Thai article is one of my favorites as I keep returning to it. I have even written it out in long hand as that helps me digest or meditate on it.
Thanks for your sharing your journey.


anonymous September 29, 2015 at 11:08 am

A a spirit-controlled body.

How to do ? : reverse breathing


David September 29, 2015 at 11:53 pm

I love this post becuz it’s about crucifying our ego consciousness becoming Christ Consciousness or how Paul puts in Colossians “Putting on the new man…… The Christ Consciousness becomes our dwelling place(Psalms 90:1-2) forever. Since it’s our dwelling place then Christ Consciousness is LORD ie Cosmic Law: The All Encompassing Wisdom(Proverbs 3:6). When Christ Consciousness is acknowledged, your paths are directed. Christ consciousness is the lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path(Psalms 119:105). Christ Consciousness is the “He” which in us is greater then he(ego) is in the world. I hope this help with those realizing their identity, which is a child of the Most High. That Most High is Christ consciousness within us. Amen! Peace, Love, and Light😊😊😊


Arno April 15, 2017 at 7:46 am

Great exposition, Joshua. I’m thrilled by “happening” on this enlightening site, especially during this Easter period, and while I for some time have tried to get a handle on this “bloody” business that has become quite a stumbling block for some time, have received remarkable clarity re. this conundrum. I’m sharing the contents with friends.

Way to go, Mister 👏


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