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Ok, a moment of self disclosure: I do not like blood. I have never been able to watch scary movies, and I always end up closing my eyes through most of the episode when I watch a hospital drama on tv. As a mom, I've stomached tending to many bloody wounds--because that's just what moms do!-- but whenever possible, I defer to my husband. Please do not offer to show me your festering wound from a recent surgery or how your kid's latest cut goes almost all the way to the bone. Ick! I don't like. Not cool to me. Just gross.

So weak-stomached and fainthearted though I may be, the significance of blood as a Christian is not lost on me. In church I sing about being washed in the blood of the Lamb. On the stage is a large wooden cross, a symbol of an ancient instrument of torture. I drink the cup, red with juice, and remember the blood of Jesus shed on the cross.

Sometimes that makes me shiver. On the surface, it's almost a bit morose, no? I mean, I'm not at an Ozzy Ozborne concert, for crying out loud, I'm at church!

To someone on the outside looking in, it may all seem a bit odd. We're so obsessed with a single event in history, the torture and murder of one Man, and while many agree it was a horrible and unjust death, they miss the significance.

If you read the Bible, particularly the first half, there is lots of blood. Even in the first book, Genesis (Chapter 3), we read about Adam and Eve, who once they had disobeyed God, watched God kill an animal in order to clothe them in the skin. I can't imagine how horrible that must have been for two people who had only known living in harmony with created things--to go from caring for the animals to killing one, skinning it, and wearing the fur as clothing. I imagine Eve shivered much like I do at the blood, perhaps even horrified as she put on her covering. I imagine she felt guilt, at death which was a direct result of her sin.

I sin daily. (more self disclosure) I'm just being honest when I say, many times, my heart is far from God and from His purposes for me. And when I look deep down, into myself, I know that though on the surface you may see a nice, sweet gal---I am wicked. I see evil. I know my heart seeks my own good at the expense of others. My heart can be full of envy, bitterness, anger, selfishness, lust and greed. I am sick and broken and desperate. And in those moments when that reality comes face to face with how holy and just my God is---I feel naked. I feel undone. I long to cover up, even if it's in bloody garments.

The cross was not just a murder. It was a brutal, horrific, bloody death--yes--anyone who has seen the Passion has a small glimpse of what it must have been like. But my Savior did not just die a martyr's death. He died my death. That should've been my blood. The nails should have been in my hands. But instead Jesus--the Son of God, sinless, perfect, and undeserving--bore not only my punishment physically but also spiritually as He bore my sins in His own body. He died, willingly, on my behalf.

And even though I believed this many years ago, it is a truth I go back to daily, as I am faced with my own sin. I find myself often, at the foot of that cross on Good Friday, repenting and reminded of the power in that moment where blood was shed so that I might be able to know God in His fullness and live with Him forever. Washed in the blood.

Blood is the foundation of my salvation.

It is why I am offended when people say, aw, don't worry, there's no final judgment--love wins and we all get in! I am offended because that not only diminishes the holiness of my God, it makes this single event, on Good Friday, pointless. It renders the blood impotent. What need would there be, for such a death, if God planned to just overlook sin and let everyone get by anyway?

Blood is death--messy and gross and horrible.

But it is where life is found, both my physical life and my spiritual one.

It is where power is. Freedom.

Blood is my rescue. It is my remedy.

"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree,

that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.
By his wounds you have been healed."
I Peter 2:24


mrstraciewhite said...

Best. blog. post. Thank you. When I read the OT, I am so, ever thankful that I did not live at that time in history. But what a reminder it was to them. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction this Good Friday.

To God be the Glory! said...

And when I think that God his son not sparing,
Sent him to die - I scarce can take it in...

Chrissy said...

That was awesome to read. I love the part about needing to cover up, even with bloody garments. Makes me relate with Genesis more than I ever have before. God bless!

Janet said...

Well said. A great read for Good Friday... and by His stripes we are healed!

The B Family said...

So timely as we reflect this weekend on the greatest event in history. Beautifully, thoughtfully written post. Love you!

Meyerdrk said...

We were reading today about how the veil was the OT, all that blood was shed but still only the high priest had access to the holy of holies and that only once a year...whereas our Savior rent that veil in two and brought every last soul that He purchased with His blood before the very mercy seat of His (and our) Father. How can we not fall at His feet in worship? Today we remember His death, but Sunday is a-coming and He is risen! He is risen indeed!