There are many people who are offended by any reference to “blood” in modern day religion. To them “religion” is a spiritualized moral philosophy of positive thoughts and actions. As far as I am concerned…..let those people be offended ! We Christians have a choice of offending a few sinful people or offending God. The Lord has said that no man will ever approach His throne without an offering of blood. This is because every man, every woman, every child who has ever breathed the air of earth has been a sinner in God’s sight. And no unholy sinner has ever had access to the Lord. But in the shedding of acceptable blood, and only in the shedding of blood, there is remission of sin. In application of the blood of God’s proscribed sacrifice – righteousness is applied to the sinner. Theologically, it is called “justification” – the imputation of the righteous of the Lamb of God.
Those who moan about the bloodiness of Bible Christianity could have it a lot worse. Christianity is the reason why the aisles and parking lot of churches are not stinking with the stench of stale blood. If were not for the influence of Christianity, we’d still be slaughtering chicken, sheep, calves and goats. Blood sacrifices have been a part of most ancient religions from the days of the Babylonians and the barbarians of Europe. Christianity is the reason why some of our daughters’ throats have not slit open with sacred knives. Christianity is the reason why some of our children haven’t been pushed into volcanos or tossed over the rapids on Spokane River. If it were not for Christianity, I’d likely be wearing blood-stained robes this morning. And even in some modern religious circles, members still drink blood – or so they think. Blood has always been a part of religion, both heathen and “civilized.”
And would you like to hear my guess as to why that is the case? It is because every man, every race, every nation has descended from the first man, Adam of Eden. Adam was a witness to the sacrifice of first blood, because he chose to sin against His Creator. And then Adam was taught to pass that act of blood-letting on to his children and grandchildren. Through the centuries, and through sin, the truth has been twisted and corrupted. Nevertheless the need for a blood atonement has been branded into soul of humanity.
But for the Bible-believing child of God there has been a major change. The sinless Son of God, Jesus the Christ, shed His pure and precious blood once for all time. It is not possible that the blood of today’s bulls and goats should take away sins – Hebrews 10:4. “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood Christ entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” And as Colossians 1:20 tells us, He has made peace with God on behalf of repenting and believing sinners through the blood of His cross.
The word “blood” is found in 93 New Testament scriptures with 42 of those speaking of the blood of Christ. That makes this a “heavy” subject. But, unfortunately those scriptures don’t answer every question. I’d like to raise one of those questions before moving on to a clearly defined application.
Let’s think about THE NATURE of the blood of Christ.
A little tempest has been raging in theology for centuries. Its troublesome, divisive little head keeps popping up – separating even good friends. Some people question the orthodoxy and fundamentalness of those who don’t agree 100% on this issue. But I do not. And I would like to encourage you not to be so foolish as to forsake a friend over something which is not clearly defined in the Word of God.
Here is an introductory question, “Did Jesus Christ have a true human body?” When the Son of God, became incarnate and the Son of Man, was he really a man or was He some kind of Heavenly creature – half angel, half god, half man? Did He have the same organs that we have – liver, kidneys, heart and lungs? That is an important question and vital to our doctrine – our very Christianity.
The Bible teaches the confusing idea that Christ was both 100% God and 100% man. And, by the way, He was 0% angel and 0% creature, having never been created or made. The Scripture ascribes to the incarnate Son of God a human body, given to Him by way of the Virgin Birth. “When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law that we receive the adoption of sons.” “The Word as made flesh and dwelt among us; he was made in the likeness of men.” “God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh.” “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”
The fact that Jesus Christ was a true man is vitally important. For if He were not human He could not be the human’s perfect substitute in death. The wages of the sinner’s sin is death — not just any death, but that sinner’s death. Unless there might be found someone or something equal or greater to that sinner who would be willing to take that sinner’s place in death. Well, someone both equal AND greater volunteered for just that task – Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Son of Man. Jesus Christ died as a vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice for those He intended to save. He literally took the place of all who would repent before God and believe on the Lord Jesus. Was His body a true human body? Absolutely ! That was essential.
Now to question which divides: “Was His blood true human blood, or was it some sort of God-blood?” The Holy Spirit does not come out and say, “Jesus’ veins carried divine – not human blood.” And since God did not make that statement, if we want to consider the question at all, then we have to study, pray and think. And perhaps we should admit that the question may not be as important as some believe. Wouldn’t the Lord clearly tell us, if this was something vital to our faith? And yet the question remains.
Consider some background. From where does the blood which YOU have come? It DID NOT come directly from your mother. When you were yet unborn, your mother’s blood was in her placenta and your blood ran up beside it. Then through osmosis your blood picked up food and dropped waste into her blood. Your blood was never in your mother’s veins, nor was hers ever in your veins. That is a medically provable fact. And quite often the blood type of the baby is entirely different from that of his mother. One is “A negative” while the other is “B positive” or some other type. That blood is often uniquely his own. In fact, sometimes during birth both mother and baby bleed, and depending on the blood-types involved, that baby can become very sick because of his mother’s blood.
There is plenty of evidence to make us believe that this mixture did not occur in the birth of Jesus. The body of Jesus did not carry the blood of His mother. The blood which flowed in His veins was entirely His own. This means, among other things, that whatever sin Mary had – and I believe that she was a sinner… Whatever sin she carried from her father, was not passed on to her child..
But was the blood of Christ divine? Was it “God blood” or God’s blood? Well, Christ was conceived in that woman through an operation of the Holy Spirit of God. Then the blood in that baby developed as blood develops in any baby. With one major exception, there was no trace of sin in it, because God was His Father. Lacking any more direct Biblical statement, I answer the question: “Was Jesus blood divine?” based upon a statement we find in Hebrews 2:14. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he (Christ) also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” To “take part” means “to share or participate with.” Christ shared in our flesh and blood. Jesus’ blood was human blood.
But again, one critical point is that, like His life, His blood was without the slightest taint of sin. Sin is a pollutant of the blood. Mary was the mother ONLY of Christ’s flesh, and therefore she didn’t pass on her sin . Mary was not the mother, or originator, of Christ’s blood. The blood of Christ, I think, was specially formed by the power of God in operation with ordinary human chromosomes and subsequent ordinary human development. It was human blood.
We don’t have all the miraculous details, so we can’t more specific. But we have to consider a couple of other questions: Does GOD, the Father, possess blood? Is there such a thing as “God-blood?” God is a spirit, says the Word, and a spirit doesn’t have flesh and blood. And is not “the life of the flesh in the blood?” – Leviticus 17:11. Leviticus 17:14 says, “The blood of it is for the life thereof.” To my weak mind, if the life of Jesus was human life, then so must be the blood.
The critical question is not: “Was Jesus blood divine?” The critical question is: “Was Jesus blood pure and sinless?” And a resounding “absolutely” is the Biblical answer. Christ was born without sin; His blood was absolutely pure through the multifaceted miracle of the Virgin Birth.
Now, going on, I want you to know that this blood is the watershed of Humanity. The thing which ultimately divides humanity is our relationship to that blood of Christ. At death the matter of your race, color, nationality, language or whatever will not play a part in what follows. A person may accept or reject the principles of the Sermon on the Mount, but that choice is not as important as he might think. Another person may argue one way or other about the deity of Christ, and this is indeed important. But the critical thing is a person’s relationship to the blood of Christ.
And this is what I’d like you to consider from here in this text.
There is so much that we could preach about the blood from Matthew 27. For example, Judas spoke of one of the many characteristics of that blood – innocence. From there we could preach about the precious, sinless blood of Christ. And then there is power Jesus’ blood; power to cleanse, to open, to transport, etc. There is another sermon in the “field of blood,” purchased with Judas’ blood money, and from there we could turn to Christ’s blood once again.
Then we watch the dramatic scene of Pilate standing on the balcony. He wanted to release this Jesus of Nazareth, because he was convinced of His innocence. But the man had no spine, and collapsed under the pressures of the Jews. So there he stood in front of that throng and washed his hands in symbolism. “I am not guilty of the blood of this just person called Jesus; It is not on my hands.” Pilate, you can wash your hands until the skin falls off. You can pour acid over them until flesh rots off. You can try to wash the scarlet color of your sins in the Columbia River until there is a tint of red all the way to the Pacific. But there is nothing that can wash away your sins, nothing except the blood of Jesus Christ. The material from which Pilate was trying to distance himself, was his only hope for personal cleansing. But now Pilate forever carries the blood of Christ on his hands.
And then we have those Jews, screaming at the top of their lungs, “Crucify him., crucify him.” “Pilate, if you don’t want the responsibility, let his blood be ON us, and ON our children.” And they got exactly for what they prayed. They were even slaughtered by the Romans, in part I think, as the fulfilment of their wish. “Let his blood be ON us,” is a proverbial statement found several times in the Bible. When the man came to King David saying that he had murdered Saul, David replied, “Well then let your blood be UPON your own head, You’ve confessed.” When Paul had preached to the Jews in Corinth, they rejected the gospel outright. Paul responded, “Your blood be UPON your own heads; I am clean, from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.” Later the Jews accused the Apostles of trying to bring Jesus’ blood upon their heads. But no matter what the Apostles might have done, that blood was already there – on their heads and souls. Those Jews were responsible for the crucifixion and death of the Son of God.
But, there is a sense in which that is true of all of us, as well. Christ Jesus came into this world to shed his blood for sinners. You and I, being sinners, therefore have that blood over us, hanging there in a bucket dangling by a thread. But the blood on your hands or dripping onto your head, means nothing.
The only worthy place for the blood of Christ to be applied to your heart and soul. “Again, what can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.’ What is the only thing that can bring about the sinner’s peace with God? BLOOD – Christ’s blood. What is the only price precious enough to purchase a sinner out from under the due punishment for his crime? “The precious blood of Jesus, as of a lamb without blemish or spot.“
Where are you wearing the blood of Christ this morning? The Jews in Egypt had to sprinkle the blood of the Lamb over door-post houses. That was the only thing that would detour the death angel. Today, we must do the same, except that it’s Jesus blood, applied by faith to the heart of the sinner. Where are you wearing the blood of Christ this morning?