When I was a kid, sometimes I’d enter the bathroom I shared with my brother, and blood would confront me. Red splattered the sink, blood-soaked tissues littered the trashcan, and all evidence pointed to some bad juju. Of course, nothing sinister had transpired; my poor brother suffered severe nosebleeds as a kid, but the sight of that much life-blood made me light-headed.
I still don’t do well with blood; when my kids get major injuries, “mom mode” kicks in and I can deal with the gore, but then the trauma will hit me after they are bandaged up. Thankfully, we haven’t had to deal with anything too horrific. If we do, I’m hoping Dad’s around to be EMT.
Blood is life…Or it is death. Depending on where it’s at.
What is the Christian’s obsession with blood? We sing about the blood of Jesus and how it washes us clean. I’m sure that concept seems very bizarre to the world. Why would blood need to be used to purify someone? How can red blood make you white as snow? Why does blood have to be shed at all? In order to understand the significance of blood, we have to first understand the reality and power of sin.
Sin in the world’s terms is basically just the a lack of purity and wholeness. In archer’s terms, it would be missing the mark—the arrow didn’t hit the target. In our relative morality world of post-truth, authority and absolutes have been dismissed, so many will not understand the concept of God’s holiness and our depravity. But even in an evil world of “God is dead”, naturalists do have moral standards. They understand that child torture and genocide is evil; but those concepts can’t come from within ourselves, because naturalism dictates we do what is best for us and selfless sacrifice has to come from a higher standard beyond us.
Our sin requires a way back to acceptance. Blood has to make atonement for sin.
The first sacrifice for the sins of man happened all the way back in the garden of Eden when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. The Creator killed the first animal to make coverings for Adam and Eve.
All religions require something of us. They acknowledge that we aren’t good enough in and of ourselves to get back to God—to reach Him and to reach Heaven. Sadly, most religions promise little. They just tell us to try and then try harder and just hope that someone how your good outweighs your bad choices. Do they have confident assurance of their salvation? Hardly. For the chasm sin created is much too wide to bridge without Divine help.
For centuries, God’s people would make sacrifices for their sins by killing a spotless lamb (or other animal). “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:22). But the offering had to be done every year and by an imperfect priest. They needed a true Savior who could amend for all past, present and future sins and bring us back into the presence of our Holy and Just God.
Christianity is the only religion where our God actually took on our punishment, making the ultimate—and perfect—sacrifice for our redemption. Out of His great love and justice, the Father sent the Son, giving up all and being born to a humble teenager in a stable, to be our Lamb of God, the Perfect Sacrifice. He reconciled us to himself “by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (Col. 1:20).
So that in Christ “we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Eph. 1:7).
“How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” (Heb. 9:14).
And because of Jesus’ death and resurrection—his poured out pure blood for our punishment—we have this incredible gift of confidence and holiness, not of our own making or of anything that could fade, but by the work of our Savior and Lord (Heb. 10:19, Romans 3:22, Romans 5:9, I Peter 1:18-19).
He has freed us from the wages of sin and the debt of our destructive rebellion (Rev. 1:5) and said, “My justice and righteousness demand punishment, but I will take it and bear the full weight of it, so that you can be my redeemed children, free to enter into the holy of holies.”
For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. John 3:16
He has come! And He is coming back again. If you don’t yet know what His powerful sacrifice did for you, ask Him to show you. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Look to His wonderful and loving face and realize that His blood was offered for you–an undeserved and tremendous gift!