Many times in my life I’ve wondered why the blood of Christ is so important. Old hymns often speak of it and theologians hold that His blood is a cornerstone of the Christian faith. I heard an analogy recently that helped me understand why. In New Zealand, sheep dot the green countryside and shepherds still tend flocks as they did hundreds of years ago. Sometimes in lambing time a ewe will die while giving birth, but the lamb will live. Without a mother’s care and nourishment, the newborn lamb will quickly die. There are also instances when a mother will give birth to a stillborn lamb.
To prevent a new lamb from dying, shepherds tried giving it to a mother ewe that had delivered a stillborn. To their dismay, the mother would push the lamb away. Unfamiliar with the smell, the ewe would not allow the lamb to suckle, and without nourishment and protection, it would die. They continued trying until one shepherd thought to take the blood of the newly-birthed stillborn lamb and smear it over the living lamb’s body. When the blood-covered lamb was brought to the mother of the still-born lamb, she recognized the smell of her offspring, allowed the lamb to feed, and took it as her own.
This is exactly what the blood of Jesus does for us. When we accept God’s gracious gift of salvation, we are covered by Christ’s blood. God then recognizes us as His own, because He recognizes His Son’s blood as a pure and righteous sacrifice – for us. This is how we are rescued from death by the blood of the lamb.
Now I know why I need the blood of Christ to cleanse me from my sins. What about you?
By Peder Swanson