Monday, February 27, 2012

Why Is There Power In the Blood?

You’ve heard that there is power in the blood. Perhaps you have sung that wonderful old hymn about the wonder working power in the blood. It is fun to sing the words that Lewis E. Jones wrote, but have you stopped to consider why there is power in the blood?

If you’ve watched the Indiana Jones movies, you know all about the Holy Grail and its supposed power to heal. I suppose, it there were such a thing as a Holy Grail that was used to collect the blood of Jesus as it drained from his body, then maybe that isn’t so farfetched. The idea that the Holy Grail was used to catch his blood is nothing more than an artist’s conception. Jesus’ blood fell to the ground, beginning at the garden, all the way to the cross, where blood and water came from his side.

We talk about the blood being applied to our hearts and it brings to mind images of God using a brush to paint our hearts with the blood of Jesus, much like the blood of the Passover lamb was applied to the doorposts. But that is just figurative. God doesn’t actually apply a coating of Jesus’ blood to us.

To understand the power of the blood, we have to go back and look at the Old Testament. There is so much blood in the Old Testament as we see sacrifice after sacrifice. The penalty for sin is death. The life is in the blood, so to shed blood is death. But the Old Testament demonstrates a way of escape. If we were to shed our blood, we would be dead, so the penalty would be paid, but we could not have fellowship with God. In the Old Testament, rather than people shedding their own blood, they sacrificed an animal. It was an imperfect sacrifice, but it delayed the ultimate penalty. So, when we get to the New Testament and see Jesus offer himself as a sacrifice, the precedent is already set that the blood of a sacrifice can be applied to the sins of living person. But Jesus is the perfect sacrifice. The lambs of the Old Testament were supposed to be without spot, but there’s never been a completely spotless lamb. Jesus, however, was without sin. He was also a man, so he identified with us. But he was also God, so he is without limit. Why is there power in the blood? Because it is sufficient to pay for the sins of the whole world, and to give us fellowship with God without the need for our own death.