Our God in the Heights
For by grace you have
been saved through faith,
and that not of yourselves;
it is the gift of God.
Ephesians 2:8 WEB

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The Power of His Blood

According to the Lord’s own instructions to Israel, the power of an atoning sacrifice is in the blood that is shed. Many moderns typically become squeamish at the thought of a bloody sacrifice and question its necessity. Being willing to shed that world view allows us to see through the lens of scripture what is in the Mind of our Redeemer. Knowing and believing what Jesus’ Blood means can establish your faith like nothing else.

For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Colossians 1:19-20 ESV
 

The Crucial Point

Archimedes once said that if he had a fulcrum and a lever long enough he could move the world.[1] Our God has moved the world! The cross was the fulcrum. What He used for leverage was the The Power of His Blood: The Blood of Jesus Cleanses UsBlood of His Son. Why the Blood and not simply the death of Jesus? Wouldn’t the same results have occurred if Jesus had been executed by hanging, or electrocution, or lethal injection as in our day? Not at all!

As we saw in the previous article, The Temple Background, the Lord explained in scripture that only “the shedding of blood” can atone for sin.[2] We might easily imagine that the shedding of blood isn’t necessary or that it shouldn’t be necessary, but Christianity is based upon revelation—upon God revealing to us by His Word and by His Spirit what we could never have known otherwise. This may be an affront to our understanding, but it is no different than our science telling us that the “solid” objects surrounding us in daily life are in fact composed of billions of swirling electronic particles which if combined in the wrong way could easily blow us to kingdom come! That too is a form of revelation completely at variance with our common sense view of the world.

Therefore, let’s settle it in our own minds once and for all that the blood Jesus shed is absolutely vital to our salvation and see where these thoughts take us. First of all, what does every possible problem “in this crazy world” trace back to?[3] Sin. Not just the original sin, of course, but also every sin since then as well as the sinful nature resident in all of Adam’s children. Absolutely everything wrong with the world and with us is due to sin. Even the enemy’s power over the world and over us is due to sin. According to God, what is the One Thing that can possibly cleanse us and our world of sin and free us from the enemy’s power? The Blood of Jesus!
 

Nothing but the Blood

The Blood of Jesus alone makes possible our forgiveness, our reconciliation, our cleansing from sin, the covering for our sinfulness, our victory over the enemy, our communion with Christ and our access to the Father. Even the “other half” of the grace-gift of our salvation—the Holy Spirit living within us—is completely dependent upon the Blood of Jesus clearing the way for the Spirit to come and remain.

We may be arriving at this realization slowly, but there are two important “sets of players” who know this truth far better than we do: the Two Invisible Kingdoms which surround us. On the one hand, the devil and his demon hordes have no doubt about the power of the Blood and work desperately to keep us in the dark. They hate and fear it for it speaks uncompromisingly of their doom, just as they hate and fear those whose confidence is built upon it.[4] On the other hand, the entire kingdom of heaven is thrilled and delighted about what the Blood accomplishes on our behalf—every moment of the day. Watchman Nee wrote that everything would change for us if we could only see what the Blood of Jesus means to the Father.[5]

The Blood is powerful! Nevertheless, as important as the Blood is to our salvation, it is not nearly so great as Jesus Himself, or His love for us and the Father which led Him to the cross where His Blood could be shed. Nor is the Blood as great as the Father’s determination to see His lost children restored, or the Holy Spirit’s willingness to descend and live within us. Let us always remember that above the Blood is the heart of mercy and love in all three Persons of the Godhead: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God loved us and chose us from before the foundation of the earth, long before the Blood was shed.[6] Even so, it is the Blood of Jesus that divine love and mercy “conspired” to use as the effective instrument of our salvation.

Consider the following five ways by which the Blood grants immense gifts of salvation to us. All five by a happy “accident” begin with the letter “C” in English, just as Jesus’ messianic title, Christ, also does: Covenant, Communion, Covering, Cleansing, and Conquering. Although I have only cited a few scriptures here, the complete list for each of the five is at Scriptures on the Blood of Jesus.
 

1) Covenant

Once we were far off, but now we have been “brought near” to God[7] by a new and better covenant, one that is ratified by the Blood of Jesus.[8] Please see Two Competing Covenants to get a fuller picture of the radical difference between this covenant and the one it replaces. You, too, will sing the praises of how impossibly good our New Covenant in His Blood really is!

And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” Luke 22:20 ESV

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant. Hebrews 13:20 ESV
 

2) Communion

All four gospels, plus Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, record the events of the Last Supper when Jesus instituted the service of Holy Communion. Evidently, this communion that we share “in His Blood” is extremely important for it to receive so many mentions in scripture. Whether we believe the bread and wine are the actual Body and Blood of Christ, or partake of them simply “in remembrance” of Him, we are renewing the covenant through a memorial meal in which Jesus Himself is truly present.

So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.  Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.  Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.”  John 6:53-56 ESV
 

3) Covering

There are two benefits of the New Covenant that are extremely beneficial on a daily basis: confidence before God and a clear conscience. These enable us to “draw near with boldness” to the throne of grace to receive mercy and help for any problem we may have.[9] Without faith that the Blood is truly “covering” us, the awareness of past sins and present sinfulness, would crush us under that heavy cloud of condemnation the enemy ever seeks to instigate.[10]

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:19-23 ESV
 

4) Cleansing

As good as it is to be covered by the Blood, it is always a relief—when we need it—to be cleansed by the Blood. Being covered speaks of our position as justified believers; being cleansed indicates the ongoing process of sanctification. We need both! Just as clothes cover us while we are out in the world, a good hot shower (while we stand exposed in our nakedness) refreshes and restores us! May it be your joy for the “water of the Word” and the Blood of Christ to wash and cleanse you.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:7-9 ESV
 

5) Conquering

Knowing the Name of Jesus gives us our power and authority over the enemy for it is at the Name of Jesus that every knee must bow. Knowing the power of the Blood as the crucial instrument of God’s saving work through Jesus, gives us enhanced confidence in wielding the Name of Jesus against the spiritual darkness that threatens at times to overrun our world. Make no mistake about it: the enemy hates and fears the Blood. Don’t hesitate to use it against him.

And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Revelation 12:10-12 ESV
 

More to Explore

Songs of the Blood's Power  Naturally, something this wonderful has been praised to the skies by those who have gone before us. In order to lift your heart higher we have gathered six all time favorites complete with lyrics and links to YouTube: “The Solid Rock”, “Nothing but the Blood”, “Oh, the Blood of Jesus”, “There Is Power in the Blood”, “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power” and “Are You Washed in the Blood?”

Scriptures on the Blood of Jesus  The sheer number of times that the Blood of Jesus is mentioned in scriptures should open our eyes to see how important it is. It is as if God were trying to say to us: “Look! Look! I’m looking at the Blood. You should too!” As your spiritual eyes focus on this saving marvel, you will "see" and draw great confidence from the marvelous benefits it brings us: covenant, communion, covering, cleansing and conquering.

The Sacrifice of Christ: Victim, Victor, Vision  So much of what the Lord does is holographic. Turn the image just a little and it will appear entirely different. Few things demonstrate this principle better than His death on the cross. What was He doing? Great truths infuse our hearts through these three historically favored perspectives on what happened at the cross. Take care that you don't only hold to one. We need them all!

 

Scriptures and Foot Notes

[1]   According to Pappus of Alexandria, Archimedes' work on levers caused him to remark: "Give me a place to stand on, and I will move the Earth." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archimedes . The quote in a longer form:  "Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world."
[2]  [In fact] under the Law almost everything is purified by means of blood, and without the shedding of blood there is neither release from sin and its guilt nor the remission of the due and merited punishment for sins. Hebrews 9:22 AMP
[3]  I just had to include a reference of one of my favorite speeches in all of moviedom—Humphrey Bogart’s stirring words to Ingmar Bergman in Casablanca: “Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.”
[4]  This solid ground for our confidence is wonderfully expressed in hymns. See Songs of the Blood's Power.
[5]  This is the clear intent of his sermon recorded in The Normal Christian Life in the first chapter, “The Blood of Christ”: The Blood is therefore not primarily for us but for God. If I want to understand the value of the Blood, I must accept God’s valuation of it, and if I do not know something of the value set upon the Blood by God, I shall never know what its value is for me.
[6]  Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:4-7 ESV
[7]  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:13 ESV
[8]  In saying that our covenant is “new and better” we are combining two scriptural sources: Jesus and the writer of Hebrews: And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” Luke 22:20 ESV; This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant. Hebrews 7:22 ESV
[9]  Let us therefore draw near with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace for help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 WEB
[10]  On the meaning of atonement as covering from Jeff A. Benner at the Ancient Hebrew Research Center: The Hebrew word kaphar means "to cover over" such as a lid and is the word for the lid of the ark of the covenant (though many translations translate this as mercy seat for no etymological reason)… If an offense has been made the one that has been offended can act as though the offense is covered over and unseen. We express this idea through the word of forgiveness. Atonement is an outward action that covers over the error.  http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/27_atonement

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I'm Steve, a former hippie and carpenter, now a passionate follower of Jesus.

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