“Would you be free from the burden of sin? There’s power in the blood!”
In our bodies there is life-giving power in the blood. To our souls there is life and hope only in the blood of Jesus Christ.
There is cleansing, convicting, drawing power in the blood!
There is cleansing power in the blood. Under the law of Moses animal blood was shed for cleansing (Heb. 9:13, 18-22), but the blood of animals could not provide for the cleansing of sin (Heb. 10:1-4). We could not provide for our own cleansing because we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). Only the blood sacrifice of a perfect One could provide the cleansing of our sins.
Jesus became that One who was qualified to be our Savior (Heb. 5:7-9). He became a man (John 1:1, 14; Phi. 2:6-8) and lived His life without sin (Heb. 4:15). John announced, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Jesus was able to do what animal blood could not do and what we could not do for ourselves!
At the last supper with His disciples before going to the cross, He took the cup and said, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Mat. 26:28). Later that night, He fell on His face in the garden and prayed saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Mat. 26:39). The physician Luke wrote, “And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44). But, there was no other way. It was the Father’s will that He go to the cross. Only the blood of Jesus could provide for the cleansing of our sins!
So, this perfect One shed His blood on the cross for the cleansing of our sins (Isa. 53:4-6; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:22-24; Rev. 1:5; 7:14). We appropriate the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus when we are baptized into Christ (Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-6, 17) and continue to live in faithfulness to Him (1 John 1:7-9).
There is convicting power in the blood. We are at once convicted of the awfulness of our sins when we realize the awful price that was paid for our redemption (1 Pet. 1:18-19). We are prone to minimize our sins. We say, “Oh, it’s not all that bad. It was just a little sin. What’s the big deal?” Your sin is so bad, so big, that it cost Jesus His own blood!
Some in the church at Corinth were trying to justify their sexual immorality, but Paul reminded them that their bodies belonged to God because they had been purchased by the blood of Christ (1 Cor. 6:20). Here is the very best reason to not engage in sexual immorality. God gave the blood of His only begotten Son for such sinfulness. If that will not convict you, nothing will.
Paul convicted the elders in Ephesus of the grave responsibility they had as overseers to shepherd the flock, by reminding them of the expensive purchase price that God paid for the church (Acts 20:28). The church is so precious to the Lord that He gave His own life’s blood for its redemption (Eph. 5:25). There is no more compelling force to move elders to care for and protect the Lord’s church than the convicting power of His blood.
Those who have been bought by the blood of Jesus and then fall away, “crucify again for themselves the Son of God and put Him to an open shame” (Heb. 6:4-6). The young people have a song that illustrates this verse entitled “Does He Still Feel The Nails?”. Each time you sin, it is as though you have personally pushed the thorns deeper into His skull, driven another nail into His hands and feet, cast another spear into His side. How can we sin against the One who shed His blood for us?! Such a one, who willfully sins against His Lord and Savior, has “trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing” (10:26-31).
There is drawing power in the blood. Jesus said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself” (John 12:32). John then writes, “This He said, signifying by what death He would die” (v. 33). Jesus would be crucified and lifted on a cross. He would die an ugly, bloody death.
This is repulsive to some and they want to remove the blood from the gospel. It was reported that one church took from their songbooks every song that even mentioned the blood of Jesus. Paul wrote, “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God… it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe… we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:18-24). We must not be ashamed of the message of the cross but tell it to all the world (Rom. 1:16).
As one pictures the Son of God on the cross and realizes the suffering even unto death, he is led to see how much God really cares for him. As he sees in his mind’s eye the soldier piercing Jesus’ side and the blood and water flowing from the wound, he sees more keenly God’s love for him. It is against this background of the crucifixion that the words of John 3:16 are most meaningful. The marvel of God’s love is that Jesus died for us while we were not his friends, but his enemies (Rom. 5:6-8; 1 John 4:9-10, 19).
Is there any greater power to draw us to God than His love as seen at the cross upon which the blood of Jesus flowed? As we often sing, “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my life, my soul, my all.”
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135