O, precious is the flow….
What can wash away my sins…….
The blood that Jesus shed for me……
O, the wonderful cross……
Or for you younger folks
Where your love ran red and my sin’s washed white…..
Oh the blood it is my victory…..
Oh that rugged cross my salvation…..
The blood of Jesus. This is a central element in Christian theology and doxology, right? After all, Hebrews 9:22 cleary states that ‘without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.’ It only makes sense that the blood of Jesus be a major part of our teaching, our worship, and our preaching. However, in an alarmingly increasing number of churches, the blood of Jesus is disappearing from hymnody as well as from the pulpit. Why?
When I began piecing this post together, I intended to try to answer that question. Most of us already know the answer lies somewhere in the realm of being PC or inoffensive. The more I thought about it, the less I wanted to go there. I read enough articles from Christians that spend more time bashing the other guy than in making their own point.
Today, I have decided to let you know why this worship pastor will never stop singing, teaching, or preaching about the blood.
First and foremost, let me be clear. I do NOT worship the blood. I worship the One who shed His blood for the forgiveness of my sins. This will not be a treatise on blood worship.
To begin, we must go all the way back to Genesis. God created man in His own image and gave him dominion over the earth. With that immense responsibility came a gift. Free will. Man would not be merely a marionette with God pulling the string. Instead, man was created as a living, breathing, decision making entity.
However, with all of that, he was still susceptible to temptation. Consequently when the serpent dangled the carrot (you will become like God) before Eve and she in turn dangled the carrot in front of Adam, free will allowed them to make the wrong choice. Enter sin.
Sin caused a break in fellowship between God and humanity that could only be restored through blood sacrifice. We see this immediately as God gives Adam and Eve clothes made from animal skin before sending them away from Eden. (Some animal had to die for those clothes to be made, right?)
Sacrifice was a normal part of worship throughout the Old Testament and into the time of Jesus. It was messy, bloody, and while not for the faint of heart, required by God to atone for sin.
The one problem was that the blood of even a spotless lamb was still imperfect when it comes to dealing with sin. A perfect sacrifice must be offered once and for all, and that sacrifice would be made by the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ.
His sacrifice was the only thing that could atone for the sin of a world that was rampant with darkness. So it was done.
We have all seen the beautiful images of Christ on the cross with a few trickles of blood coming from His hands and feet. It was anything but beautiful. It was brutal, bloody, and grotesque. All the Hollywood effects that Mel Gibson could muster up still don’t tell us how bad it was.
Thank God the story doesn’t end with a bruise, beaten, and bloody Jesus. He paid the price for sin with His life, but He went a step further and took death, hell, and the grave out by rising from the dead 3 days later. Hallelujah! He arose!
Now, as to why I refuse to stop talking about the blood. In case this back story isn’t enough. Isaiah tells us that He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and BY HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED!
The blood of Jesus not only allows us to access God’s free gift of salvation. It also provides for our healing. I’m 36 years old and I’ve seen cancer healed (medically documented) and I’ve seen breath come back to my own child that had stopped breathing.
You see, I’m a witness to the power of the blood. Jesus saved my soul. I have access to His presence because the price has already been paid. I can pray for healing knowing that He is able to do it. That is why I will never stop proclaiming Jesus Christ, crucified and raised to life.
For those that may not be familiar with the songs I referenced at the beginning of this, let me provide you with links to two of my favorites.