Of all celebrations known to man, none is as joyous as a wedding. Who among us cannot help but be captivated when the bridal procession begins? The married guests find their hearts taken on a journey backward in time to the day their vows were spoken. Singles start dreaming of what their special day might be like. Little girls stare wide-eyed at the beautiful bride arrayed in white. And little boys smile, knowing that the cake is now much closer at hand. Everybody is nervous, yes, but the excitement of the day wins out against the stress and strife of preparation.
Unless they are exceptionally well-trained, our souls are more comfortable being carnal than they are being spiritual. This is why the Scripture exhorts us to be spiritually minded. As priests of God, we are called upon to invoke the blood of Jesus Christ. I can do this from a soulish perspective by taking into account only the historicity of the blood. And even though the shed blood on Calvary’s cross is humanity’s greatest historical event, what would happen to my faith if I understood and believed that the blood is a present spiritual reality that when invoked actually fell on an individual and did something?
The blood of Jesus Christ flows through His body, the Church. Blood performs specific vital functions in our physical beings. The blood of Jesus Christ is no less vital in the spirit realm. And we can learn of the reality of one from the science of the other. In the natural, blood is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. Let us look at each in turn to learn more about what the blood does in the body of Christ.
Jesus of Nazareth shed the blood that was in His body for the sins of the world nearly two thousand years ago. If you had a sample of it as it was before the resurrection and placed it under a microscope, I doubt you would be able to find anything extremely remarkable about it. Floating in the plasma, you would see the red and white blood cells and platelets that are common to us all. As such, that spilled blood congealed and hardened. And yet, that it atones, reconciles, speaks, reveals, and heals today tells us that it is presently alive, active, and effective.
Not only are we spirit beings who live in material bodies; we are also members of a larger spiritual body—the body of Christ. Are you used to thinking of this as merely a figure of speech? I know that I used to look at it in this way. But this is not just an analogy; it is a spiritual reality. We really are the body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 15 contains a wealth of information and is probably the most frank discussion in all of Scripture regarding the nature of resurrection. We are told that as we have a natural body, we shall also have a spiritual body. A day is coming when we will have much more in common with angels than we presently share. Be that as it may, we are still spirits that live in physical bodies. This does not make our spirits unsubstantial. Our spirits have shape and form and can impact the physical realm.
Having covered a wide scope of how to apply the blood and what the blood has done for us, we are now ready to delve into a deeper discussion of what the blood is. To do so, we have to venture into that part of the river of life that man cannot pass over but must swim in. I freely concede that this can be a daunting task.
The holy of holies was also called the “holy oracle.” It was of this place that God said “There I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat.” The communications of God proceed from the holy oracle, from the holy of holies. Communion without communication is impossible. We need to enter into the holy oracle to hear our Father’s words, for it is the place from which He speaks. The basis for receiving any revelation from God is the blood of Jesus Christ because it is only by His blood that we are able to enter in.
On the Day of Atonement, blood went on the veil and beyond. The blood of the sin sacrifice was sprinkled on it with a motion that imitated whipping a man. When Jesus gave up the ghost, the veil of the temple was rent from top to bottom. Can you imagine the reaction of the priests? There they are in the holy place going about their daily functions when suddenly—“RIIIIP!!”—this very tall, double-thick veil tears down the middle from top to bottom. And as if that weren’t bad enough, then comes an earthquake to knock them off their feet! There’s not much in life that teaches humility quite like getting knocked down. The veil tore from the top. Grace comes from God to man; only the humble receive it.
Another important facet of the Day of Atonement was that it was called a Sabbath of Sabbaths.
It shall be a sabbath of rest [Hebrew—a Sabbath of sabbatism, a rest of rests] unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.
This emphatic description for a day of rest is only used of the weekly Sabbath, the Sabbath year, and the Day of Atonement. Other holy days were Sabbaths, days of rest; but these were special. They were the Sabbath of Sabbaths.