By Elizabeth Prata
I like to write on a variety of Christian topics. Anything related to the Bible, Jesus, the Church- I’m all in.
Lately I want to strip back some layers and get back to some basics. It’s easy to go off-script and get involved in hair splitting theological debates, or write about myself, or the culture- anything that drifts from Jesus. So I want to do a few essays in these turbulent times related to the root of our faith: Jesus, the Gospel, and the blood.
Yes, I said blood. Here’s why.
When I was a pagan heathen strutting around in my sin and reveling in it, I hated mention of the blood of Jesus. I hated any mention of Jesus at all, but the blood thing was the worst. I’d scream like the Wicked Witch of the West when water was thrown on her.
“I’m melting! Who knew someone like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness!” said the witch. Yes, Jesus destroyed my beautiful wickedness with His own blood.
Do you know which New Testament book speaks of the blood most often? You guessed it, Hebrews. Twenty times in fact.
Hebrews 9:22: And almost all things are cleansed with blood, according to the Law, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
Barnes Notes says of the Hebrews 9:22 verse,
And without shedding of blood is no remission - Remission or forgiveness of sins. That is, though some things were purified by fire and water, yet when the matter pertained to the forgiveness of sins, it was "universally" true that no sins were pardoned except by the shedding of blood. Some impurities might be removed by water and fire, but the stain of "sin" could be removed only by blood. This declaration referred in its primary meaning, to the Jewish rites, and the sense is, that under that dispensation it was universally true that in order to the forgiveness of sin blood must be shed. But it contains a truth of higher order and importance still. "It is universally true that sin never has been, and never will be forgiven, except in connection with, and in virtue of the shedding of blood." It is on this principle that the plan of salvation by the atonement is based, and on this that God in fact bestows pardon upon people. There is not the slightest evidence that any man has ever been pardoned except through the blood shed for the remission of sins. The infidel who rejects the atonement has no evidence that his sins are pardoned; the man who lives in the neglect of the gospel, though he has abundant evidence that he is a sinner, furnishes none that his sins are forgiven; and the Mussulman and the pagan can point to no proof that their sins are blotted out. It remains to be demonstrated that one single member of the human family has ever had the slightest evidence of pardoned sin, except through the blood of expiation. In the divine arrangement there is no principle better established than this
We should ponder the blood. We should read about the blood. We should sing about the blood. We should look for verses that speak of the blood. Why? First, because it all boils down to the blood of Jesus. Second, because it grieves the satanic spirit in heathens. They writhe to avoid, but that is exactly the message they need.
Here are some resources on the blood of Jesus.
Carrie Underwood: Nothing but the Blood
Antrim Mennonite Choir: Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lamb
Selah: There is a Fountain
Victory Valley Girls: The Last Blood
Ligonier: The Blood of Christ
Spurgeon: The Power of the Blood
Spurgeon at Ken Sande’s blog: Ye are Christ’s
RC Sproul The Curse Motif of the Atonement
Phil Johnson preaches “Bought With Blood” 1 Peter 1:17-19
Blood Work: How the Blood of Christ Accomplishes Our Salvation, by Anthony J. Carter. (I’ve read this and it’s GREAT)
The Blood of Jesus by William Reid
The Atonement. Essays on the atonement from multiple authors, Packer, Boice, Begg, Ferguson etc, from Ligonier