A recent American Red Cross appeal for blood donors says blood is “the number one medicine for saving lives!” One encyclopedia refers to blood as “the very stream of life, without which life ceases.” A medical book tells us that “blood carries the very breath of life (oxygen) to every part of the body, while removing waste products (such as carbon dioxide) from every part of the body.” These dramatic statements about the vital importance of blood for sustaining human life are not only true for the medical profession, they also communicate a wonderful truth about gaining and sustaining spiritual life: the power is in the blood! In the Bible, Paul makes this life-saving statement: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23 NIV). And John tells us just how Jesus saves our lives: “The blood of Jesus ... purifies us from every sin” (1 Jn. 1:7). Over 3,000 years ago, Moses recognized this power of the blood when he wrote that “the life of a creature is in the blood ... it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life” (Lev. 17:11). When we are given new life spiritually by the power of Christ’s shed blood, we become part of His body, and He continues His cleansing and sustaining work in us.
The number of times something is mentioned in writing usually gives us some idea of how important a subject it is. This is no less true in the Bible, where the word “blood” appears at least 340 times in the Old Testament, and at least 100 times in the New Testament. Blood is central to the two most important days in the Jewish calendar – the Passover (which corresponds to Easter) and the Day of Atonement.
In the Passover, the blood is seen as life-saving: “When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, He will see the blood … and will pass over … and not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down” (Ex. 12:23). Death visited those houses not protected by the blood. What a tragedy!
The Day of Atonement literally means “day of covering” and Leviticus 16 tells us that the shed blood of the sin offering (usually a lamb) actually covered the sins of the people. What a wonderful picture of the blood of Christ, “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29).
How exciting to know that there is new life for us in the blood that was shed by Jesus Christ upon Calvary’s cross: “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin” (Heb. 9:22). And this new life is eternal! When Christ said, “This is My blood … poured out for … the forgiveness of sins” (Mt. 26:28), He gave eternal significance to the American Red Cross slogan quoted at the beginning of this article. In fact, where sin is concerned, the blood of Jesus Christ is not just the number one life-saving medicine, it is the only medicine for cleansing sin-sick lives!
Have you discovered the power of Jesus’ blood in your own life? Have you allowed His blood to save you? I hope so.
By Larry Ondrejack
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org