Examining the Blood
Christianity rests on the foundational belief that the only way to God is through Jesus Christ, whose blood atones for sin. The “power of Jesus’ blood,” however, exists as more than a common religious expression and extends far beyond a new believer’s initial experience of it. Just as blood constantly flows through our natural bodies to sustain life, the blood of Jesus continually courses in the spiritual being of those who have identified with His death and resurrection.
By comparing the function of blood in our natural bodies with the function of His blood in our spiritual lives, we can recognize more clearly how His blood constantly cleanses, nourishes, heals, and protects all who actively believe in Him.
One of the most important functions of blood is to clear away the waste each cell produces as it lives and functions. If blood were unable to do this, the accumulation of waste would become so toxic that it would kill the cell. Without the blood of Jesus, we are all dead in our wrongdoing against God because His Word tells us that the punishment of sin is death. The accumulation of everything that we have done wrong (every little lie, bitterness, hatred, selfish ambition…) condemns us to death before such a holy, awesome, and perfect God.
The blood of Jesus washes away the sins of an unbeliever the moment he asks for forgiveness and accepts Him to be his personal Savior. However, even the most mature believer must continue to depend on the cleansing power of Jesus’ blood. We would be deceiving ourselves if we now claimed to be without sin (1 John 1).
In order for us to move forward in our walks with our Lord and to pray effectively, we must draw near to God, learn to be sensitive to sin, and keep our accounts clear before God—by continually seeking the cleansing power of Jesus’ blood in our lives. Our desire to be ever perfect before Him should be as David’s: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me…see if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139).
Most of our bodies’ cells do not have direct access to the food and oxygen they need to live and function. All that we eat is of no use unless it is properly digested and then delivered for use by every living cell. And all the oxygen that we draw in through our mouths and noses into our lungs is of no use if nothing in our bodies could deliver it, even to the cells in the tips of our toes. Blood functions as the medium by which nutrients are delivered to maintain the health, life, and replication of the individual cells of our bodies.
Jesus’ blood is a similar source of life for the born-again believer. It not only removes all that is unclean, but continues to deliver to the new creation all that His sacrificial love purchased for us: life abundant, joy overflowing, love unsearchable. Through His blood, Jesus offers spiritual bread and living water to nourish and strengthen all those who belong to Him. The incredible love that His shed blood represents meets the need and fully satisfies the emptiness of all who turn to Him and seek Him with all their hearts. He alone provides true nourishment and satisfaction that will never be found in any other relationship, hobby, job, entertainment, person, or object.
If our blood did not clot in the event of even the smallest paper cut, we would eventually bleed to death. The role of blood in forming clots and healing wounds can be easily overlooked. Blood carries a host of factors and cells that promote healing; the response to injury is immediate, and critical components in the blood set off a cascade of events that rapidly plug and heal the wound.
In the same way, the blood of Jesus not only cleanses us from sin and nourishes us, but also heals us when we are hurt or injured. Accepting Christ as Lord and Saviour doesn’t mean life without hurt, pain, and disappointment. It does mean, however that we acquire the grace, mercy, and comfort of God to handle, and even be victorious in dealing with, the trials and difficulties that come our way. And why not, if our Lord gave Himself to beating, bruising, and shedding of blood in our place, so that in His death, we might have life? Jesus knew hurt and suffering, overcame it, and is able to heal the gaping wounds we may suffer today.
Among the most critical components of blood are the cells that defend the body against foreign substances or invading organisms. The consequence of immunodeficiency, as in the case of AIDS, is frightening: we become susceptible to numerous bacterial and viral infections that we were once able to fight off. Some cells randomly gobble up foreign material, while others specifically recognize, and then mount an attack against, that which is foreign. Through an intricate signaling system, these cells rapidly relay information to other cells and alert them to mount up a defense and counter-attack against the foreign invasion.
Likewise, Jesus’ blood sensitizes the Christian to right, God-pleasing things versus “foreign”, God-displeasing things. His blood not only saves and heals, but also undergirds the Christian’s warfare. Through Jesus’ blood, we can rise up, defeat the schemes of the devil, and take hold of God’s victory for our own lives as well as those around us. Revelation 12:11 states that the blood of the Lamb—Christ’s sin offering in our behalf—and the testimony concerning His sacrifice, enables the saints to overcome the accusing enemy. Not even the strongest, most intelligent, discerning believers could stand a chance against Satan’s schemes apart from the protective cover of Jesus’ blood. By His blood, we not only stand in the day of battle, but we also move forward, advancing His kingdom and bringing down the strongholds of the enemy.
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We usually don’t think much about blood, yet by analyzing a person’s blood, the doctor can find out a wealth of information about that person’s health that a surface examination alone would not reveal.
If “blood” were to be drawn from your spiritual constitution today, what would it reveal about the state of your spiritual health? Are you well because you are effectively recognizing and using the power of Jesus’ blood coursing through you? Is there accumulated dirt, unsatisfied hunger and thirst, gaping wounds, or stagnation? Did Jesus shed his blood so that you can live as you are living now? Have you taken hold of ALL that He offers you?
For indeed, His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him. He gives us exceedingly great and precious promises so that through them we may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world (2 Peter 1, NKJV).
Lisa Chan, Silliman ’94
© 1995 The Yale Standard Committee