Posted by: glorifyhim1 | September 17, 2012

O Precious Blood

Let me begin by saying that I’m not into blood. I am very thankful for the many men and women who serve in the medical and emergency rescue fields who can deal with blood issues every day and never think twice about it. I, however, am not one of those people. I’m the one who has difficulty even donating blood because I grow weak and begin to lose consciousness just squeezing the little ball and knowing what is happening. A few years ago my Mom had a surgical procedure performed in the outpatient area. After taking her home, she developed some serious bleeding around the site. The medical staff instructed us to provide constant pressure to the site to see if we could stop the bleeding. This involved holding a compress to the area, pressing it firmly as it filled with blood, then changing compresses. My sister and I would take turns with each compress – mainly because after my turn each time, I had to run to the bathroom and hold my head between my knees to keep from passing out!

I was reminded of all of this the other day when, of all things, I was preparing dinner. As I attempted to remove the packaging from a whole chicken, I pricked the tightly-wrapped package with the tip of my knife. I was immediately greeted with a strong spurt of blood that streamed down the front of my shirt. But as I wiped up the icky, nauseating mess and cleaned myself up, I was also reminded of something else – the stories of blood sacrifice in the Bible. These are the stories, explained in great detail in the book of Leviticus, that I will read through hurriedly trying not to dwell too much on what was actually happening.

But whether or not I like to read or think about it, each sacrifice outlined in the Bible was revealed to Moses by God Himself for the nation of Israel. Sin separated the Israelites from a holy God. Through the sacrificial system outlined in Leviticus, we can see God providing a way for the people to approach and have fellowship with Him. They participated in various types of sacrifices and offerings in order to receive forgiveness, to atone for their sin, to offer thanksgiving and praise, and to restore a right relationship with God.

But why blood? The writer of Hebrews explains: “And according to the law almost all things are purifed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). Why was such a sacrificial system required to fellowship with God? It was because of sin. No matter how many ways we may try to dismiss, diminish, or outright ignore the consequences of sin, it is costly. Sin separates us from a holy God and the result of our sin is death. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Yet as the writer of Hebrews explained, such sacrifices were only “a shadow of the good things to come.” “For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins” (Hebrews 10:1-4).

But “the good things to come” has come and this One was sufficient to take away our sins. “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:3-4). God sent His perfect Son, Jesus, to shed His blood and become the one and only sacrifice required to save us from our sin. Just like the sacrificial lamb in the Old Testament, Christ took upon Himself all of our sins and died in our place to free us from the condemnation of sin and to give us everlasting life. What we could not do for ourselves or through any sacrifice, Christ did for us. He shed His own blood for you and me.

I am overcome when I think of the high cost of sin. Likewise, I am completely humbled to think of the lengths to which God went to restore fellowship and redeem us from the condemnation of sin. It cost the perfect, sinless Son of God His very life. But because of the blood He shed, we can now have access to the very presence of God. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

As much as I try to avoid anything to do with blood, I admit that I am so thankful for the blood of Christ. Because of the blood He shed for me, I can walk boldly right into God’s presence – not because of anything I am or have done but because of what Christ did for me when He shed His blood on the cross. He took my place so that instead of death, I might have life. Instead of separation, I might have intimate fellowship with God. And instead of being dressed with the ugly rags of sin, I might be clothed in the beauty and holiness of the risen Jesus Christ. Thank You, God, for the precious blood of Christ!


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