Most Christians agree that not everyone is saved and thereby cannot benefit from the shed blood of Christ. Yet, people will fight tooth and nail arguing that the atonement is universal.

However, hidden in plain sight, is an explicit statement from Jesus that says the exact opposite.

for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many [pollōn] for the forgiveness of sins (Matt 26:28).

The Greek term for “many” means “much in number.” Obviously, the inference we may draw is that many is different than “all.” Christ did not pour out His blood for all, but for many.

Saint Remigius drew the same inference when exegeting the verse:

And it is to be noted, that He says not, For a few, nor, For all, but, “For many;” because He came not to redeem a single nation, but many out of all nations.

The Good News is that Christ’s atonement shed blood is efficacious for all of those who approach Him in faith and persevere in this faith. May God bless you this Good Friday as we contemplate and give thanks for the shed blood of Christ.