A young woman walks into church for the first time. She sits down in a pew filled by strangers. In the course of a service unlike anything she has experienced, a hymn is sung. She sees the title, “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood” and inwardly recoils. Later she listens as around her people sing, “My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” Why she wonders would anyone venerate the blood of someone else! To her enlightened mind, the notion of singing about any kind of blood is grotesque and backward—the primitive custom of a weird people. If such blood is left unexplained can we blame her if she never sits foot in a church again?
The author of Hebrews wrote, “According to the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness . . . Otherwise, He would have had to suffer many times since the foundation of the world. But now He has appeared one time, at the end of the ages, for the removal of sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Hebrews 9:22,26). A holy God could not fellowship with a sinful people. So He established laws requiring that blood of certain animals be shed as an appeasement for sins committed. Unfortunately, His laws were disobeyed. It was impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins (Heb.10:4). So God, on the basis of His love for humanity, took drastic measures. He sent His own Son Jesus to earth and allowed Him to be killed as a once-for-all perfect and final sacrifice. Unlike any other offering Jesus rose from the dead. His sinless life and victory over death established a means by which we could be saved. “What could wash away my sins, nothing but the blood of Jesus!”
If we take for granted the blood Jesus shed for us, we devalue the most awesome gift history has ever recorded. If we fail to explain to those who have never heard of Christ, the power and beauty of His blood, we miss the gospel message. It is not creed, recited formula, church affiliation, works or knowledge that save us. It is the blood of Jesus that purchased us for God. This is why communion is so significant. We deliberately remember that Jesus was pierced for us. Blood represents life--the most precious thing we own. For our Lord to lose His life for us on a cross is incredible. His blood is not gruesome or gory it is the essence of glory. We owe it to all the world to give a full and accurate confession of this marvelous gift packaged in holy grace.
Revelation 5:9--And they sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because You were slaughtered, and You redeemed people for God by Your blood from every tribe and language and people and nation.
When Jesus Christ shed His blood on the cross it was not the blood of a martyr or the blood of one human for another; it was the life of God poured out to redeem the world.—Oswald Chambers in Biblical Ethics
©1999 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)